Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition
The Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition has been created to mark the Swiss brand’s 130 year anniversary. It has a hint of the 1960s, an exquisite hand-engraved caseback and a technically remarkable movement, the CFB T3000 manufacture caliber. In this feature, Angus Davies looks at the watch in detail and considers how its place of origin has influenced the specification.
This detailed review of the Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Champagne, Harris Tweed and Scotch Whisky are defined by their place of origin. Likewise, Carl F. Bucherer will forever be linked with the Swiss city, Lucerne. The luxury brand has called this picturesque city its home ever since it was founded in 1888.
While the brand now makes its watches in a modern facility in Lengnau, the company continues to be headquartered in Lucerne. It is this city, positioned in ‘the heart of Switzerland’, where several of the company’s operations continue to take place.
Carl F. Bucherer is located far from the rest of the watchmaking industry. The majority of Swiss watches are made in the French speaking areas of this landlocked nation. However, the inhabitants of Lucerne speak Swiss-German. Furthermore, the city is overlooked by the Pilatus mountains with the Rigi and Stanserhorn mountains only a short distance away. Both inhabitants and visitors to Lucerne cannot fail to notice the pure, fresh waters of the eponymous lake. Indeed, it forms part of the mountainous panorama, imbuing the city with a character all of its own.
In winemaking, producers talk of ‘terroir’. The climate, the soil composition, the available light and the presence of shade are said to influence the resultant flavour of wine. Likewise, it is the place of origin which often affects the character and composition of a timepiece.
Carl F. Bucherer watches are often legible, beautifully executed and, most notably, superbly engineered. It is the brand’s mechanical prowess which is evident with several of its models including the Patravi Traveltec and the ingenious Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral. The trailblazing movement within this latter watch, the CFB T3000 manufacture caliber, provides the basis for the new Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition. This watch, limited to just 88 pieces, pays homage to the brand’s ancestral home, Lucerne, and celebrates the historical firm’s 130 year anniversary.
Arguably, the Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition is the company’s magnum opus. It has been meticulously crafted in order to celebrate an important milestone in the brand’s history. The specification of the watch is superb with each component executed to an elevated standard. This excellence is evident when looking at the magnificent dial.
The dial has a traditional appearance, save for the tourbillon aperture. The dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands, along with the diamond-shaped indices, imbue the watch with a classical appearance. The fitment of a box glass sapphire crystal, again, upholds said classicism and harks back to the 1960s.
The central area of the dial features a sunburst finish. Fine lines emanate from the centre of the dial, delightfully toying with light. The tips of the applied indices span a series of milled rings. These concentric rings sit below the adjacent expanses of sunburst finish, heightening the appeal of the overall dialscape. Indeed, one reason for the success of this dial is that it is enriched with different depths and textures.
Unlike most tourbillons there is no upper bridge. In fact, there are no bridges at all. The cage of the 60-second tourbillon ‘is supported peripherally’, mounted on three ceramic ball bearings. These ball-bearings, barely visible to the wearer, are friction-free and provide a stable footing for the rotating cage.
By adopting this ingenious approach, Carl F. Bucherer has created a tourbillon which seemingly appears to float mid-air. Moreover, by employing a bridge-free design, the wearer can see uninhibited views of the cage rotating.
A golden pointer sits atop the tourbillon cage, interfacing with a neat track in order to display the running seconds. Unusually for a tourbillon, the Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition is fitted with a stop-seconds function, allowing the wearer to synchronise the watch with a reference clock.
Carl F. Bucherer has not overburdened this dial with numerous functions. Indeed, the dial evinces a pure, unsullied temperament. The eye initially lands on the hands, notes the prevailing time and then migrates to the pièce de résistance, the tourbillon aperture below noon. This may be a technically complicated watch, but the dial remains simple to interpret.
The Lucerne-based company has enriched the Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition with a myriad of luxurious touches, eager to make its watch feel special. The 18-carat rose gold case exhibits a sumptuous warmth. All surfaces are highly polished, save for the upper surfaces of the lugs, and their respective underside, which are endowed with a satin finish.
The lugs gracefully extend from the case and gently arc downwards. The sense of elegance is omnipresent. The lugs do not comprise merely of a surface and a flank, but also incorporate a bevelled edge that softens their appearance.
As stated earlier, the upper surfaces of the lugs are satin finished. This treatment accentuates the gleaming appearance of the adjacent polished surfaces. Even the inside edges of the lugs are polished to a resplendent conclusion. It is these subtle details which exalt the ownership experience.
Carl F. Bucherer has fitted an 18-carat white gold disc to the rear of the case. It provides a means of showcasing incredible artisanal work. The Swiss brand has referenced its place of origin with a hand-engraved view of Lucerne. The intricate detail on the white gold disc includes a remarkable depiction of the Kapellbrüke, the iconic wooden footbridge beloved by the city’s residents and visitors alike. Interestingly, the bridge, the oldest of its kind in Europe, features numerous paintings on its walls, a reminder that this city has long since had an appreciation for art in its various forms.
Adjacent the white gold disc is the verso view of the tourbillon. The wearer is indulged with a front to rear view, punctuated with the animated spectacle of the escapement in flight. The 22-carat rose gold rotor follows a circular path, floating above a brushed trottoir.
While the dial incorporates some design elements which are reminiscent of a 1960s watch, the scale of the Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition is decidedly modern. It measures 42.5mm in diameter and has a thickness of 11.90mm. Although these dimensions may prove greater than this model’s vintage forebears and tastes often change, I envisage this watch will wear its years well. Furthermore, the scale of the watch should make it suitable for a large cross-section of potential purchasers.
This is not the first time that I have seen the CFB T3000 manufacture caliber. The movement first appeared in the Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral, launched at Baselworld 2018. Its technical virtuosity distinguished the movement as extraordinary at the time of launch, making it the ideal accompaniment for this limited edition timepiece.
Despite being an old brand, Carl F. Bucherer has not shied away from new technology. The company has equipped the CFB T3000 manufacture caliber with a silicium pallet lever and escape wheel. Silicium (the French word for silicon) is a glass-like material which is unaffected by magnetism. Furthermore, its low-mass and frictionless surface mitigates energy consumption. Indeed, this is manifest with the movement’s power reserve of 65 hours, an impressive figure for a tourbillon.
The Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition is a certified chronometer. The CFB T3000 manufacture caliber has a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and contains 32 jewels.
Carl F. Bucherer has produced some amazing watches during its 130 year reign. In my opinion, the Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition is the brand’s chef-d’oeuvre. It grants the wearer an array of attributes.
The dial is aesthetically pleasing with period details such as dauphine hands and diamond-shaped indices. While this watch is technically complex, the simplicity of the dial layout makes read-off a matter of child’s play. Beyond its notable practicality, the dial proves a beautiful canvas, enriched with different depths and texture, surpassing the perfunctory and achieving a stylish greatness.
Close examination of the sumptuous gold case reveals a laudable attention to detail. The interplay between satin finished and gleaming surfaces is exquisite. Furthermore, the Swiss company has bestowed this timepiece with a myriad of curving lines and intricate facets. These details necessitate protracted manufacturing, but the resultant mien vindicates the brand’s approach.
The CFB T3000 manufacture caliber showcases Carl F. Bucherer’s technical capability. The company has conceived an innovative means of mounting the tourbillon cage. The coveted whirlwind appears to levitate, unencumbered by bridges. Furthermore, the peripheral rotor and silicium components reaffirm that ‘blue-sky thinking’ is part of this company’s DNA.
The engraved depiction of Lucerne to the rear of the watch demonstrates that beyond its clinical, precise approach to making movements, this company also has an artistic side to its character. Indeed, the hand-engraved scene of Lucerne, and its famous Kapellbrüke, the pulchritudinous dial suffused with texture and depths, and lastly, the sculpted contours of the case, all show that this brand has an empathy for art and craftsmanship.
The Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition is a product of Lucerne. It is the mountains, lake and people which provide the terroir necessary to make this firm’s impressive watches. Indeed, this brand’s watches have a distinct character by virtue of where they are made, a place Carl F. Bucherer has called home since 1888.
- Model: Carl F Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition
- Reference: 00.10802.03.13.01
- Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 42.5mm; height 11.9mm; sapphire crystal to the front and engraved caseback
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; stop-seconds function; tourbillon
- Movement: CFB T3000 manufacture caliber; self-winding movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); 32 jewels; power reserve approximately 65 hours; Chronometer
- Strap: Dark brown alligator leather strap with 18k rose gold folding pin buckle.
- Price: US $88,888 (RRP as at Oct 2018)
- Limited Edition: 88 pieces