The story of Carl F. Bucherer began in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1888, a time of unparalleled cultural and artistic expression in Europe — what we now call the Belle Époque. That year, Carl Friedrich Bucherer, an entrepreneur with a passion for horology, and his wife Luise opened their first shop on the Falkenplatz in Lucerne’s old quarter. According to company records, the shop, carrying both watches and jewelry, did well, mostly due to the husband-and-wife team’s complement of business acumen and people skills. They did so well, in fact, that Carl Friedrich’s sons soon joined him in a family business that has lasted until this day.
The first Carl F. Bucherer creations saw light in 1919, products of the knowledge gleaned from Carl Friedrich’s years of customer interaction and the maturation of his watchmaking expertise. Carl Friedrich passed away in 1933 and the business — both the retail network and the watchmaking segment — passed to his sons Carl Eduard and Ernst. The history of Swiss horology finds the Bucherer name cropping up in quite a few milestones.
For instance, by 1968, Bucherer was one of the leading producers of COSC-certified chronometers, a position the company tenaciously held throughout the greater part of the 1970s. Bucherer also formed part of the consortium that developed Beta 21, the first Swiss mass-produced quartz movement. Under such auspicious conditions, the third-generation scion Jörg G. Bucherer rose to the leadership of the company, a leadership that has led to Bucherer’s claim today as Switzerland’s leading watch and jewellery retailer.
In 2001, the company took the strategic step of rebranding its Bucherer watch line. Carl F. Bucherer timepieces, specifically named to acknowledge their historical dues to their founder, were to be produced under the newly inaugurated Bucherer Montres SA subsidiary. The company continued in the strong tradition of timepieces established since that first 1919 collection. Market favourites such as the high-performance Patravi collection and the dazzling Alacria ladies’ line quickly established themselves.
The widespread commercial success of the company by no means signified a lack of audacious innovation in its workshops. By the summer of 2007, Carl F. Bucherer had been working with Techniques Horlogères Appliquées (THA) for over a decade. The THA workshop in Sainte-Croix — founded by Denis Flageollet, Vianney Halter and Francois Paul Journe — was working on something special for Bucherer Montres. In July of that year, BuchererMontres acquired THA, renaming it Carl F. Bucherer Technologies SA. At Baselworld the following year, amidst great excitement and approval, the brand presented its first in-house caliber, the self-winding CFB A1000 with peripheral rotor.
From the perspective of many industry observers and longtime aficionados of fine Swiss watches, Carl F. Bucherer had it all — peerless retail operations, fine ladies timepieces, technical and ambitious watches, and a prestigious history. In 2014, the company added one more pillar to their panoply of strengths. The Patravi ScubaTec was a high-performance COSC-certified sports chronometer with a water resistance of 50 ATM (500 m) and paid tribute to Carl F. Bucherer’s history of popular dive watches such as the Archimedes Supercompressor Diver.
In 2015, the success of the Carl F. Bucherer ScubaTec timepieces brought about an expanded collection in a range of case materials. The bold, notched unidirectional divers’ watch bezel with its oversized markers, highly legible luminous indices, textured dial with scalloped guillochage and robust screw-down crown framed by sturdy shoulders translated across several metals and high-tech materials such as Hyceram ceramic.
Furthermore, the ScubaTec represents Carl F. Bucherer’s ongoing partnership with the Manta Trust, a maritime organisation that works to further research and conservation efforts centering on the manta ray. The caseback of the ScubaTec is engraved with an illustration of two majestic manta rays in their natural oceanic habitat — the perfect complement to a dive watch.
The ScubaTec was recently released in a bi-metal case, with a gold bezel paired with a steel case middle. A matching two-tone bracelet can be interchanged with an ocean-ready rubber strap, and the bi-metal models come in a trio of dial colours — black, white and ultramarine.
Movement: Automatic CFB 1950.1 calibre, certified chronometer, diameter 26.2mm, height 4.6mm, 25 jewels, 38h power reserve
Functions: Date, hours, minutes and seconds
Case: Stainless steel, 18K rose gold bezel, helium escape valve, stainless steel crown protection, screw-down crown, sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides, water-resistant to 50 ATM (500 m), diameter 44.6 mm, height 13.45 mm