Oddly enough, when Carl F. Bucherer does a “specialty watch” it tends to look quite traditional in style. You’d think the reverse would make more sense – though this is not true with this avant garde brand. The limited edition Manero ChronoPerpetual is quite a classic looking timepiece by most angles – though it does have its eye catching quirks. Carl F. Bucherer enthusiasts will view it is as being the brand’s vision of what a traditional looking perpetual calendar watch with a chronograph complication might look like through a Bucherer lens.
At the same time, the watch is being produced in limited numbers so as not to dilute the brand’s reputation for creating (mostly) uniquely interesting modern timepieces for the demanding connoisseur. If you are in the shoes of a watch brand, this dilemma actually comes up a lot. For designers it is always a tug of war between the past and the present. Do you focus on a safe bet by sticking with tried and true designs? Or do you venture forth into untested territory and offer something highly original? It is a tough call, but I respect Carl F. Bucherer for dancing between these two lines skillfully.
As a wink to the more historic side of watch making and design, this limited edition Manero ChronPerpetual timepiece proves that Carl F. Bucherer understands the principles of traditional Swiss watch making. The 42.5-mm wide watch comes in an 18-karat rose gold or steel case, and features two highly desired complication sets. It contains a 12 hour flyback chronograph which is neatly integrated with a perpetual calendar as well as a moon phase indicator. The calendar and chronograph complications share subsidiary dials, which have two hands each. Black colored hands are used for the chronograph functions, while gold or steel hands indicate the various calendar functions (as well as the time). In addition to the moon phase indicator, the calendar displays the date, day of the week, month and indication of the leap year.
The mechanism powering the watch is comprised of an exclusively made Dubois Depraz Caliber 42101 module that is combined with the CFB 1904 automatic movement. It has 50 hours or power reserve and is a relatively slim 7.6-mm tall. You can see the movement operating through the sapphire caseback window on the rear of the watch.
Being a Carl B. Bucherer, the Manero ChronoPerpetual has a few interesting design cues on the dial. First is the eccentric shape of some of the subdials, as well as the multi-level dial. With applied polished hour markers and recessed subdials, the face has an enticing three-dimensional feel to it. “Deep” dials are often an indicator of quality in timepieces, especially over more flat looking dials.
While Carl F. Bucherer timepieces aren’t for everyone, the brand isn’t going out of its way to be mainstream. Quality seems consistently good, and the brand certainly sticks to their core values of offering complex movements in their own modern interpretation of the “sophisticated timepiece.” The Manero ChronoPerpetual is limited to just 150 pieces in steel and 100 pieces in 18-karat rose gold. Prices are $31,000 and $46,200 respectively. www.carl-f-bucherer.com.
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.