In 1888, 130 years ago, Carl Friedrich Bucherer opened his eponymous watch and jewelry boutique in Lucerne, Switzerland, and in 1919 he released the first watch bearing his name. It is the former anniversary that the modern Carl F. Bucherer company commemorates this year, and it is doing so in grand horological fashion, with the release at Baselworld 2018 of the Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral, a timepiece that combines, for the first time in watchmaking, a peripheral-rotor automatic winding system with a “floating” peripherally mounted tourbillon.
The 43-mm rose-gold case of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral houses a new movement developed entirely in-house, in Bucherer’s ancestral headquarters in Lucerne: Caliber CFB T3000, the third caliber developed by the brand and, like its predecessors, is self-winding by means of a peripheral rotor. (Bucherer was, in fact, the first watch manufacturer to put a watch with this type of automatic winding system into serial production, in 2008.) However, this movement is even more noteworthy than the technically upgraded CFB A2000 base caliber that the brand debuted two years ago, incorporating a tourbillon cage that is also, like the winding rotor, supported peripherally, in this instance by three ceramic ball bearings. This construction not only makes for a more stable connection and smoother running, but has the striking visual effect of making the tourbillon regulator appear to be floating inside the watch, with an unhindered view from both above and below, while the ball bearings themselves remain hidden from view. Basically, as Bucherer describes it, the design is one step further from a flying tourbillon, which is mounted to the movement’s mainplate and is thus visible only from above.
Caliber CFBT3000 (for which two patents have been filed) also uses low-friction, antimagnetic silicon for the escapement’s pallet and escape fork, dispensing with the need for lubrication, an efficiency that increases the power reserve to 65 hours. It is also equipped with a stop seconds function for easy synchronization with a time signal. Geneva stripes have been applied to the large bridge, one of several details that can be admired through the sapphire caseback. Best of all for those obsessed with accuracy above all else, the movement has earned a COSC chronometer certification.
Carl F. Bucherer wisely, and not surprisingly, chose to place this groundbreaking tourbillon cage prominenty on the dial, in a large aperture at 12 o’clock, where it rotates on its own axis once every minute and drives a hand that displays the running seconds. The elegant dial design of the Manero collection is still very much in evidence, however, with gold-plated, wedge-shaped applied indices and gold plated lancet hands contrasting with the convex, silver colored dial. Over the dial is a sapphire crystal with double-sided nonreflective coating. The watch comes attached to a hand-stitched, brown Louisiana alligator strap, which closes securely on the wrist with an 18k rose gold pin buckle.