Basel 2014 Preview: 3 New Watches from Carl F. Bucherer, Speake-Marin, and Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Manufacture - rose goldAs we continue the countdown to Baselworld 2014, we present three more watches making their worldwide debuts at the fair — two new perpetual calendar watches from Carl F. Bucherer and Ulysse Nardin and the first-ever chronograph from Britain’s Peter Speake-Marin.

Carl F. Bucherer is releasing a limited-edition version of one of its most complicated watches, the Manero ChronoPerpetual, with a new tachymeter-scale bezel. The watch contains Caliber CFB 1904, which integrates a base movement from Vaucher with a module developed exclusively for Carl F. Bucherer. It features the rare combination of a perpetual calendar and flyback chronograph in one timepiece. The new Manero’s complexity is reflected in its dial: the subdial at 12 o’clock indicates both the date and the small running seconds; the one at 6 o’clock shows the day of the week and the chronograph hours counter; and the one at 9 o’clock displays the month and leap years as well as the chronograph minutes. As with all true perpetual calendar timepieces, its indications — including date, day, month, and moon-phases — are designed to compensate for the quirks of the Gregorian calendar, particularly the differing lengths of the months and the extra day in leap years, and won’t require manual correction until the year 2100.

The dial has wedge-shaped hour markers, tapering hour and minutes hands coated with gold Super-LumiNova, central chronograph hand in black or rose gold, and a moon-phase indication with an anthracite-colored background and silvery moon disk. The center of the dial (in silver colored or black) is matte, while the minute ring and subdials are brushed for contrast and depth. The 18K rose-gold case measures 42.5 mm in diameter, has a concave bezel and a domed sapphire crystal with nonreflective coating, and is water-resistant to 30 meters. The automatic movement, with its rose-gold rotor, is visible through a sapphire caseback. The watch is limited to 100 pieces worldwide and comes on a hand-stitched brown alligator leather strap with rose-gold pin buckle.


Carl F. Bucherer Manero ChronoPerpetual Limited Edition
Carl F. Bucherer Manero ChronoPerpetual Limited Edition

Ulysse Nardin’s limited-edition Perpetual Manufacture contains the brand’s in-house Caliber UN-32, which it touts as nothing less than “the most advanced perpetual calendar in the history of watchmaking.” The reason is that the Perpetual Manufacture — the successor to Ulysse Nardin’s GMT +/- Perpetual watch, has a date function that can be adjusted both backward and forward, distinguishing it from most other such watches, in which the date can only advance in one direction. In fact, the day, date, month, and year can all be adjusted by simply turning the crown in either direction. Like the Bucherer watch above, this watch is a perpetual calendar with a mechanical “memory” of 1,461 days and requires no manual adjustment until 2100.

The Perpetual Manufacture also includes a GMT function for easy indication of a second time zone. The central hour hand can be moved backward or forward by pressing the “+” and “-” pushers at 4 and 8 o’clock; the calendar functions synchronize automatically with the changing of the hour. The central GMT hand, tipped with a red arrow, indicates a second time zone on a 24-hour scale along the dial’s flange.

The case, available in either rose gold or platinum, is 43 mm in diameter and features sapphire crystals in the front and back. The white dial features openworked hour and minute hands and a double-window at 1 o’clock for the big date indication. Ulysse Nardin Caliber UN-32 is a COSC-certified chronometer movement with automatic winding and a power reserve of 48 hours. The watch — limited to 250 pieces in rose gold and 250 in platinum — comes on a leather strap with folding buckle.

Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Manufacture - rose gold
Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Manufacture in rose gold (above) and platinum (below)

Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Manufacture - Platinum

Ulysse Nardin Caliber UN-32
Ulysse Nardin Caliber UN-32

Swiss-based British watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin has added an aviation-inspired chronograph to his Spirit collection. Named for the first modern carrier-based airplane used by the British Royal Navy to protect its fleet during World War II, the Seafire is the first chronograph watch to bear the Speake-Marin name — a significant fact, since the brand has produced various complicated watches in the past, including minute repeaters, tourbillons, and perpetual calendars. The Spirit Seafire has central hours and minutes, date at 3 o’clock, a central chornograph seconds hand, chronograph counters at 12 o’clock (elapsed hours) and 6 o’clock (elapsed minutes), and a small seconds wheel at 9 o’clock in the shape of Speake-Marin’s “topping tool” emblem.

Many of the elements on the matte black dial — hour markers, minutes chapter ring, chronograph subdials, date, and tips of the skeletonized hour and minutes hands — are coated with a white Super-LumiNova that glows bright green in the dark. Speake-Marin has used Roman numerals — not often found on chronograph subdials — for the minutes counter at 6 o’clock, which helps distinguish the elapsed hours from the elapsed minutes (in Arabic numerals) at 12 o’clock and also echoes the style of other Speake-Marin watches. The “Piccadilly” case — another Speake-Marin hallmark — is made of grade 5 titanium and measures 42 mm in diameter. It has s solid caseback engraved with the brand motto, “Fight, Love, and Persevere.” The Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire comes on a brown leather strap with titanium folding buckle.

Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire - Front
Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire, front (above) and back (below)
Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire - Back
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  1. Colin Agar-Rea

    That Speake-Marin would be a winner but at 42mm is it a ladies watch??? The others, one looks like a Breitling and the other a Cartier…nothing new or innovative here then!!

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