As one of the few remaining family-owned Swiss watch maisons, Lucerne-based Carl F. Bucherer has used the most recent version of its popular, vintage-inspired Heritage BiCompax Annual timepiece as the base for a very special limited edition that takes its aesthetic cues from a 72-year-old family car with a rich history. Here’s the story behind this week’s Watch to Watch, the Heritage BiCompax Annual Lucerne.
The distinctive light blue tones found on the watch’s silvered dial, specifically for the subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock and the tachymeter-scale ring around the border, recall the color of a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Town Sedan originally owned by Carl Eduard Bucherer, son of the company’s eponymous founder Carl Friedrich Bucherer. The car was sold in 1952 and changed hands several times over the years but in 2013, Jorg C. Bucherer, Carl Eduard’s son and current sole owner and chairman of the Bucherer Group, was able to buy it and restore it to its original grandeur. Nowadays the vintage roadster is a familiar sight in the Bucherers’ home town of Lucerne, Switzerland.
The Heritage Bicompax Annual, the first of which debuted in 2019, takes inspiration from a vintage piece from 1956. Its 41-mm stainless steel case combines a chronograph with an annual calendar. The two parallel subdials that lend it the “Bicompax” designation display the elapsed chronograph minutes and running seconds. The “Annual” name derives from the annual calendar displays, which include a big date indicator in the upper half of the dial and a month aperture tilted between 4 and 5 o’clock. Historically inspired details include syringe-shaped, luminous hands, vintage-style Arabic numerals, elongated chronograph pushers, a box-style sapphire crystal, and the aforementioned tachymeter scale on the dial’s flange. Further distinguishing the Lucerne model from its predecessors, in addition to the car-inspired blue details, are the chrome-colored “12” and “6” applied numerals at their respective hour positions.
Carl F. Bucherer’s automatic Caliber CFB 1972, an ETA 2894 base movement with a Dubois Dépraz module, ticks inside the 14.15-mm-thick case, running in 47 jewels and amassing a 42-hour power reserve when fully wound. The Heritage Bicompax Annual Lucerne comes on either a multi-link Milanese steel bracelet or a calfskin leather strap, both equipped with folding clasps that incorporate a quick-release system to easily switch them out. Limited to 188 pieces, in homage to Bucherer’s founding date of 1888, it is priced in the United States at $7,700.