Like so many other watch brands with a long and rich history, Lucerne-based Carl F. Bucherer has in recent years sifted through its archives for notable timepieces that resonate with contemporary audiences, and found success by resurrecting those vintage models in a modern way. This is perhaps most evident in the brand’s Heritage Bicompax Annual model, first rolled out in 2019 and now offered in a new execution this year.
The Heritage Bicompax Annual takes its primary design inspiration from a 34-mm chronograph wristwatch that Carl F. Bucherer released in the 1950s. Its first-generation models included a rose-gold-cased version with a champagne dial and a steel-cased version with a silvery-white dial and two black subdials; the latter dial style is referred to in shorthand by watch aficionados as “panda” and has become extraordinarily popular. With the newest steel version, released this month ahead of the Watches & Wonders virtual watch event in April, Carl F. Bucherer flips the dial colors of its 2019 predecessor, i.e., a black main dial and two silvered subdials, a look appropriately nicknamed “reverse panda.”
As its name implies, the Bicompax Annual combines a chronograph with an annual calendar, all inside an elegantly shaped 41-mm case. The parallel subdials on the central axis of the galvanic black dial tally the chronograph minutes and running seconds. The annual calendar displays include a big date indicator in the upper half of the dial and a month aperture tilted between 4 and 5 o’clock. The dial’s historically inspired details include syringe-shaped, luminous hands, vintage-style Arabic numerals, elongated chronograph pushers, a box-style sapphire crystal, and a tachymeter scale on the dial’s flange.
The movement that drives all these functions is Carl F. Bucherer’s automatic Caliber CFB 1972 (an ETA 2894 base movement with a Dubois Dépraz module), which runs in 47 jewels and stores a 42-hour power reserve. The newest Heritage Bicompax Annual is available on either a black calf leather strap with silver contrast stitching (as above) or on a sportier black rubber strap (as below). Like its predecessors, it is limited to 888 pieces, in homage to Bucherer’s founding date of 1888.