When we talk about innovation in watchmaking, Carl F. Bucherer is probably not a name that comes up often enough – which is a shame, as we demonstrated in an in-depth video. The fact is that the Lucerne-based Manufacture is doing some pretty interesting things, particularly with peripheral automatic winding systems. This year at Baselworld, the company presented a new model that takes that concept an impressive step further: the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral. What double peripheral means? Let’s find out.
When we first wrote about the new Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral (read the article here), we hadn’t yet seen the watch in the metal and only had press images to go by. Housing a new movement based on its signature peripheral automatic winding system – a technical solution that is found in various Manero watches – the watch promised a new style tourbillon, one without traditional bridges holding it in place. Needless to say, we were very curious to see what it actually looked like in real life.
Classic in its design, the relatively understated style of the new Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral belies the years of research and development that went into making this watch a reality. Presented in a 43.10mm x 11.57mm case crafted from 18k rose gold, it sits comfortably on the wrist, wearing slightly smaller than its dimensions might suggest thanks to a convex sapphire crystal, curved lugs and gently downward sloping bezel. Not quite a dress watch either, it appears more like a formal “everyday” watch, one that you could wear to important meetings but also to a restaurant or bar with friends.
Complementing the pink gold case nicely is a silver-coloured dial with subtle sunburst finish. There are minimal embellishments, save for the pink gold appliques for the hours and matching pink gold hands, with the brand name and logo printed in pink gold just above 6 o’clock. This minimalist style is both attractive and intentional, ensuring the entire focus of the eye when you look at the dial is exactly where it should be; on the incredible floating tourbillon at 12 o’clock.
As I mentioned earlier, the tourbillon architecture is unlike anything we’ve seen before, with no visible bridges holding the mechanism in place. To make this possible, the tourbillon cage is actually supported peripherally by three ceramic ball bearings, which ensure a stable connection, precise guidance, and smooth running. Visually, this gives it the appearance of floating inside the case, which is kind of trippy when you first look at it but in a very cool way. Unfortunately, photos can’t really do it justice, so you’ll just have to take our word for it.
Turning the watch over, we are greeted with a view of Carl F. Bucherer’s new in-house calibre CFB T3000, which is COSC-certified as a chronometer. Although at first glance it looks relatively simple, there is some serious innovation hiding beneath (and around) the Geneva-striped bridges. The pallet and escape wheel are made from silicon, dispensing with the need for lubrication and ensuring in-built protection from magnetic fields, whilst simultaneously increasing the power reserve to a healthy 65 hours. Meanwhile, Bucherer’s famed peripheral rotor revolves around the outside of the movement, efficiently generating energy whilst ensuring a slim case profile.
It’s all very clean and elegant and understated and yet remarkably impressive from a technical standpoint. It’s almost as though Carl F. Bucherer knows it’s doing intriguing things in mechanical watchmaking but doesn’t need to make a big fuss about it. Personally, I find this approach quite refreshing, as it means you can own an innovative watch that is also actually very wearable.
Presented on a hand-stitched Louisiana alligator leather in dark brown with a folding pin buckle in matching 18k rose gold, the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral will be available for USD 72,300. Arguably the price is a little high for a time-only timepiece with a tourbillon, but then again this is no ordinary tourbillon. Representing real innovation, it has taken years for the Manufacture to develop the patented technology to make this timepiece possible. Plus, it looks good, like really good, and that goes a long way in my book. More details on www.carl-f-bucherer.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.