This article was originally published in the Design 2023 Issue of the WatchTime print magazine.
Under the name Bucherer Blue, the Swiss jewelry company regularly presents the beautiful, blue-accent results of its exclusive collaborations with luxury watch brands. In 2022, Bucherer introduced two watches and a race car.
Bucherer mastered the interplay of shape and color even before the presentation of the first models under the Bucherer Blue label in 2016. Founded in Lucerne in 1888, the watch and jewelry company has designed many of its own timepieces over the course of its 130-year history. What surprises and inspires about the Bucherer Blue collection are the multifaceted statements that can be elicited from the color blue. One watch looks sportier with its welldesigned accents, while another seems more elegant. Yet another appears even more luxurious than its famous original model or reveals an artistic flair.
The motto of the collection, “Innovative, Daring, Exceptional,” fits perfectly with the newest additions to the Bucherer Blue line. A number of creations available only at Bucherer — ranging from watches and jewelry to accessories — have found their way into the jeweler’s stores over the past six years, where they are presented exclusively to those who appreciate the extraordinary.
Since its premiere in 1867, the Three Bridge Tourbillon offered by the long-established Swiss watch brand Girard-Perregaux has become a watchmaking icon. A tourbillon escapement itself is highly complex, but the barrel, gear train and tourbillon supported beneath three perfectly symmetrical and intricately designed bridges makes this complication an unparalleled visual experience. It’s even more exciting when the complicated movement is mounted on sapphires to allow for an unobstructed view of the mechanism.
Bucherer and Girard-Perregaux diligently follow this design path with the new Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer Blue. And which element of this icon would be best suited for presentation in elegant blue? The bridges, of course. Unlike 150 years ago, both the barrel and now a microrotor that automatically winds the in-house movement are supported beneath the first bridge, which gives the watch its excellent properties for everyday wear. The bridges have been modified from their original arrow shape to the modern “Neo” shape with striking curves and cutouts that heighten the threedimensionality.
Luminous hands, luminous indexes attached directly to the edge of the case, a lightweight 44-mm titanium case, two scratchresistant sapphire crystals, and an impressive 60-hour power reserve all underscore the functional aspect of the modern Three Bridge Tourbillon. Anyone who purchases one of the 18 pieces in a Bucherer store will enjoy the historical relevance of the watch as well as its exceptional functionality.
The second blue wonder of the year 2022, the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Tourbillon Bucherer Blue, was made a total of only 18 times. This is the first limited edition Streamliner watch launched by Moser in cooperation with a retail partner. Bucherer uses the color blue in the form of 60 baguette sapphires on the bezel, totaling 2.9 carats. Otherwise, the watch retains the Streamliner’s typical gray colorway. A tourbillon rotates at 6 o’clock with superior precision thanks to the Moser double hairspring.
Special design features include the brand’s signature fumé dial whose color transitions from light to dark, as well as the logo applied in transparent varnish below the 12 to preserve the simple, unadorned elegance of the watch dial. The visibility of the logo depends on how light hits the dial. As far as utility goes, this watch offers a number of refined features. The screw-down crown ensures that the 40-mm stainless-steel case is water resistant to a depth of 120 meters and the uniquely designed bracelet comfortably hugs the wrist with its beautifully ribbed links.
The markers and hand inlays are made of Globolight, a mixture of ceramic and luminous material, which permits free-form shapes and makes a metallic carrier unnecessary.
The in-house automatic movement HMC 804 is equipped with a bidirectional gold rotor and provides the power. It runs for at least three days when fully wound. The finely decorated movement is visible through a sapphire crystal caseback as it performs its timekeeping function.
The creative workshop L’Epée 1839 shows what an asset well-made table clocks can be for an industry that focuses primarily on wrist watches. A perfect example of a successful clock creation is the L’Epée 1839 Time Fast Bucherer Blue in the style of a single-seater race car from the 1950s. Here Bucherer designed its entire aluminum body in brilliant blue automotive paint, and naturally highlighted it with dynamic racing stripes. Even the wheel rims are rendered in blue. The wheels themselves have a function. Like winding a toy car, pushing the automobile in reverse powers the in-house movement for up to eight days. And the car has a solid, high-quality feel. This mechanical artwork weighs 4.7 kilograms and shows the time iin a typical racing font on two drum rollers. The balance wheel oscillates visibly under the “driver’s helmet,” and the time is set using the steering wheel.
What Bucherer and L’Epée 1839 have created here is a 38.5cm long, 16cm wide timekeeping instrument that can also function as an object of nostalgia, or even as a toy. Anyone who ever wanted to become a race car driver as a child will be thoroughly thrilled to wing it and set the time. With a limited production, only 18 fans of automotive and mechanical technology will get the chance to enjoy this experience.