Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback

Angus Davies indulged his love of chronographs by evaluating the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback over a number of days.

This detailed review of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback in stainless steel (ref. 00.10919.08.13.01), includes live images, specification details and pricing.

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While ambling along life’s highway, it becomes apparent that the road is not always straight but features many twists, turns, peaks and troughs. I once thought this road was infinitesimally long, however, I have now realised this is not the case. Indeed, now I am 48 years of age, I have crested the highest point of this highway and can see that the path ahead, contrary to my youthful belief, does not go on forever.

I don’t wish to sound melancholic, quite the contrary, I am currently in a happy place. It seems that nature has graciously compensated me for my middle-aged paunch, endowing a welcome degree of wisdom.

Looking back to my youth, it seemed that any adversity which I encountered, assumed monumental significance. A falling-out could have meant a lifetime of animosity. However, once I entered my midlife period, I began to see the rationale in pressing the stop button, reflecting on the moment and, if necessary, reseting the situation. With the benefit of wrinkled insight, I accept that sometimes it proves necessary to embark on a new journey, setting aside the past and starting again. It is this orchestration of time and perception which attracts me to chronographs.

In the world of horology, chronographs prove very popular. The capacity to press a pushpiece, actuate the stop watch function and record elapsed time can be very useful. However, inevitably there comes a time when a ‘normal’ chronograph cannot cope with all situations. For example, when a racing car crosses the finish line and embarks on a new lap, the wearer must engage in some very nimble finger-work in order to accurately measure the next elapsed time interval.

The process of pressing a pushpiece at 2 o’clock, then pressing the pushpiece at 4 o’clock and finally pressing the pushpiece at 2 o’clock again, can prove awkward, especially when conducted at speed. This scenario would challenge even the most dextrous of fingers.

The horological solution to this problem is the ‘flyback’, a complication which allows the wearer, whilst the chronograph is running, to press the pushpiece at 4 o’clock and in one simple action, stop, reset and start again. It is not a complication offered by all watch companies and is proffered by only a select few with the necessary horological expertise.

Carl F. Bucherer, the watchmaking company based in Lucerne, was founded in 1888 and exhibits a profound horological wisdom, purveying some very impressive timepieces, including the ‘Manero Flyback’. This model is available in a choice of 18-carat rose gold or stainless steel, I chose the latter version of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback for a ‘hands-on’ evaluation.

The dial

Silver-toned, dauphine hour and minute hands float resplendently above the grey dial of the steel Manero Flyback. They exhibit a fascinating personality with their open-worked construction. However, despite the notable degree of style they evince, the hands remain highly legible.

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The hour and minute hands collaborate with applied, faceted triangular-shaped indexes. Positioned in between each hour marker is a series of black strokes, both long and short, which indicate each 5-minute integer. The hour track employs a darker shade of grey to accord delineation from the neighbouring areas of the dial. Encircling the dial, a tachymeter scale allows the wearer to determine the speed of an object moving over a predetermined distance.

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A 30-minute chronograph register resides at 3 o’clock, whilst opposite a small seconds display is presented. Each subdial is snailed, with a combination of Arabic numerals and black dots, along with small, silvery dauphine hands. The date is proclaimed via an aperture at 6 o’clock and utilises black text, presented on a white date disc, to converse with crisp intonation.

There are many constituent parts to the dial composition but at no stage does anything overburden the eyes or inhibit ease of interpretation. The styling is very much in a classic vein, conferring a slightly retro appearance which I personally find very engaging. I especially appreciate the masterful exploitation of dial depths with the indexes, subdials and date disc, collaborating to heighten the visual allure of the Manero Flyback’s display.

The case

Measuring 43mm in diameter, the stainless steel case seemed at home while nestling on my arm. At no stage did the watch reveal any desire to annoyingly rotate on my wrist, thanks, in no small part, to the steadfast grip provided by the black alligator leather strap. Conversely, the watch did not unduly impose its presence on my arm, according high levels of wearer comfort at all times.

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Part of the charm of this watch can be attributed to the retro aesthetics. The caseband is imbued with sinuous contours which implore the wearer to explore its form with an outstretched forefinger. The chronograph pushpieces betray a nostalgic mien, successfully blending ease of operation with boundless beauty.

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The highly polished surfaces of the case flirtatiously toy with ambient light while the glass-box sapphire crystal is evocative of timepieces of yesteryear, underpinning the classical design language employed.

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A sapphire crystal, positioned centre stage of the caseback, invites the wearer to inspect the self-winding CFB 1970 Caliber.

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The movement

The CFB 1970 Caliber features an oscillating mass, adorned with Côtes de Genève motif. Below the oscillating mass, some of the bridges and areas of the mainplate are visible, decorated with perlage.

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The movement is not the most aesthetically beautiful, lacking the exalted execution of the brand’s recently announced, CFB A2000 Caliber. Nevertheless, whilst the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback was in my temporary custody, the self-winding movement performed faultlessly.

Closing remarks

The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback is a thoroughly handsome timepiece. The grey and silver shades populating its dial, together with the eye-catching hour and minute hands, accord a sense of style while still conferring extraordinary levels of legibility.

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Beyond the beautiful face of this timepiece, the allure of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback is heightened further with the curving lines of the case. In particular, the elegant horns exhibit a softly spoken nature and the pushpieces and box-glass sapphire crystal deliver a high quotient of nostalgia.

Lastly, with over 125 years of watchmaking expertise to its name, Carl F. Bucherer has shown it has the capacity to produce a flyback chronograph of exceptional beauty. Indeed, it is this company’s wisdom which allows wearers to easily stop, reset and start again, a trait which I can attest leads to a contented life.

Technical specification

  • Model: Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback
  • Reference: 00.10919.08.13.01
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; height 14.45mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case back.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; flyback chronograph.
  • Movement: CFB 1970 Caliber; self-winding movement; 25 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
  • Strap: Black Louisiana alligator leather strap with stainless steel folding clasp.
  • Price: CHF 7,900 (RRP as at 25.6.2016)

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