The year 2018 was a landmark one for Carl F. Bucherer and its dynamic CEO Sascha Moeri. Not only did the brand’s parent company, the jeweler Bucherer, make a huge splash in the American market with the acquisition of Tourneau, but it also introduced a number of intriguing novelties like the Manero Tourbillion Double Peripheral, which furthers the brand’s advancements in peripheral watchmaking, and the Manero Flyback Chronograph in rose gold. Recently, we had a chance to sit down with Moeri to discuss the brand’s latest product launches, his vision, and the recent expansion of the Lucerne-based brand in the U.S.
One of the brand’s recent highlights is the Manero Tourbillon with peripheral oscillating weight. Why did you choose this complication?
We were the first company to successfully design and produce a peripheral rotor-based movement in series: the CFB A1000. This caliber set new standards within the industry and established our role as pioneers in the field of peripheral technology, which became a signature-competence for the brand. With our Manero Tourbillon DoublePeripheral and the T3000 movement that beats inside of it, we decided to take that concept even further, emphasizing on our pioneering spirit. This masterpiece presents the climax of our innovative developmental work. Not only the bidirectional automatic winding system is mounted peripherally; the tourbillon is as well. The cage of the minute tourbillon is supported peripherally by three ball bearings – invisible to the viewer, giving it a floating appearance.
In 2018, Bucherer was able to substantially expand its retail network in the U.S., thanks to the acquisition of Tourneau. Does that also mean you increased the annual production as well?
The current market situation is really exciting. The partnership with Tourneau enables us to offer our watches to a wider audience throughout the U.S., thus increasing brand awareness, and potentially sales. It’s too soon to talk about increasing the annual production, but: yes, we are expecting to grow further, while keeping our status as an exclusive manufacture.
What was your most exciting moment since you started with the brand in 2010?
It’s hard to narrow it down after nine exciting, eventful, and successful years with many great and emotional moments – big and small – happening every day. Take alone 2018, our anniversary year, and all the milestones we achieved and celebrated: we seamlessly linked the digital and analog worlds in Asia by launching our first exclusive Carl F. Bucherer online boutique on JD.com, and opened a new mono-brand boutique in Hong Kong shortly after. We paid tribute to our rich tradition and crowned our 130th anniversary with the launch of a limited masterpiece in New York: the Heritage Tourbillon DoublePeripheral Limited Edition. We extended our distribution network in the U.S. through the partnership with Tourneau and topped things off by becoming an official partner of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. So it’s not one single moment in particular that stands out rather than the overall journey that the CFB family has successfully mastered in the past years, as well as the sum of all moments on the way to get where we stand as a brand today.
In the last 8 years, you almost quintupled the brand’s production volume. What’s your next goal?
My mission and objective for the future is to stay on our successful path and to go with the signs of the times, backed by our strong roots and tradition. We are proud and happy to look back on a very successful year and will continue doing what customers around the world appreciate us for: reliable, beautiful watches at the highest quality and at a very fair price point.
What do you consider the biggest challenge(s) for the watch industry in 2019?
The industry needs to keep up with the fast-pace changes and developments – most prominently seen in distribution. The digital world is key, especially for the upcoming generation of watch enthusiasts, which is why e-commerce will become more and more important. Moreover, customers today are more demanding and knowledgeable than ever and are challenging the industry to deliver products developed in a holistic way, according to their needs. Watches today need to be beautiful yet high-functional, high-end, but reasonably priced.
Why did you choose a career in the watch industry?
I was fortunate to grow up in the cradle of watchmaking at the foot of the Swiss Jura. I’ve always been surrounded and fascinated by watches, so a career in the industry was almost inevitable.
What makes a watch collectible to you?
A watch should be stable in value, have a story tell, stand out by unique aesthetics and refined complications — a timepiece that offers the perfect combination of technical ingenuity and innovation, outstanding design, and tradition. For me, it is the watch I am currently wearing: the Manero Tourbillon DoublePeripheral. Incredibly complicated inside, timelessly elegant on the outside, truly manufacture made, and inspired by the rich heritage of our brand, this watch is an exceptional companion and a collectible timepiece by all means.