Carl Friedrich Bucherer established his first watch and jewelry boutique in the Swiss city of Lucerne in 1888, making 2018 the 130th anniversary of his eponymous company, which in 1919 also began making its own luxury timepieces. With the release of the Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition — the flagship piece of its new Heritage collection, announced this week in New York — the modern Carl F. Bucherer watch brand pays an impressive homage to both its watchmaking history and to the ancient baroque city of its origins.
Limited to just 88 pieces (a reference to the year of the firm’s founding), the watch has a 42.5-mm-diameter case made of 18k rose gold, with a domed, nonreflective sapphire crystal over the dial, an additional sapphire window in the caseback, and a water resistance of 30 meters. Through that crystal-clear caseback, one can view the stunningly decorative movement, a specially embellished version of Bucherer’s recently released, in-house-developed Caliber CFB T3000, which is self-winding by means of a peripheral rotor and incorporates a tourbillon cage that is also supported peripherally, by three ceramic ball bearings. In this version, the movement bridge, which covers nearly the entire back of the movement, aside from the tourbillon cage, is crafted from 18k white gold and hand-engraved with an illustration of the Lucerne cityscape.
The engraving, which requires more than two weeks of painstaking, detail-oriented work by a master craftsman, is highlighted by the large central image of the Lucerne bridge, the city’s iconic symbol. Even more noteworthy, each of the 88 pieces is by definition unique because of another special detail in the 3D depiction of Lucerne — a swan, the position of which differs slightly in each piece, which symbolizes Lucerne’s Schwanenplatz (“Swan Space”), the square where the first Bucherer boutique opened in 1888, not far from the current location.
From a technical standpoint, Caliber CFBT3000 (for which two patents have been filed) offers other attributes: it 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. And for those who value optimum precision, it has earned a COSC chronometer certification.
The tourbillon cage dominates the lower part of the silver, sunburst-finished 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. Above it, rose-gold-plated, diamond-shaped applied indices and gold-plated lancet hands indicate the time, surrounded on the dial’s periphery by milled rings that accentuate the dial’s somewhat concave design. The tourbillon’s construction, according to CFB, not only makes for a more stable connection and smoother running, also makes it 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.
The Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition is mounted on a dark brown Louisiana alligator strap with an 18k gold folding pin buckle. The price is (you guessed it) $88,800.