Founded in 1888, Bucherer is a multi-faceted presence within the watch and jewelry industry. In addition to producing luxury timepieces as the manufacturer Carl F. Bucherer and also having its own collections of jewelry, Bucherer is first and foremost a retailer of these products. As one of the biggest presences within this space, Bucherer operates dozens of retail locations across Europe, along with nearly just as many in the U.S. under the Tourneau brand. Additionally, since 2016, Bucherer has collaborated with some of the biggest manufacturers in the watch industry as part of its Bucherer BLUE program to create exclusive blue-colored versions of their most famous and iconic models (blue is Bucherer’s company color). For 2022, Bucherer BLUE has teamed up with Girard Perregaux and H. Moser & Cie. to create limited edition blue versions of the Three Flying Bridges and the Streamliner Tourbillon, along with a blue rendition of the race car shaped Time Fast clock made by L’Epée.
Up first is the Girard Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer BLUE, which reimagines the design of the model that first debuted in 2021 to celebrate the brand’s partnership with British automotive manufacturer Aston Martin. The design of the watch is essentially a round 44mm bezel-free case that is made from titanium and lacks any type of dial whatsoever so that its highly skeletonized movement can sit on display between two sapphire crystals fitted to either side of the case. On top of that, the movement has been skeletonized to showcase the brand’s signature Three Bridges design, so other than the three parallel bridges themselves, which are mounted in a manner that gives them the appearance that they are floating within the case, the only other visible components are the various smaller parts that form the movement of the watch, such as its mainspring barrel, gear train, and tourbillon. Given that it has been skeletonized to the point of essentially being three bridges and a pair of hands floating inside a case, you might be wondering how the Bucherer BLUE edition was able to incorporate the retailer’s signature company color into its design, and the answer is on the bridges themselves.
Unlike the original Aston Martin edition model, which featured black PVD treated bridges to match its black DLC coated case, the new Girard Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer BLUE includes its bridges finished in a deep blue color. Additionally, rather than having a black finish on its case, the titanium case of the Bucherer BLUE edition features the natural tones of the metal and includes brushed side surfaces with a high-polish finish on the tops of the lugs. It’s worth noting that although the tourbillon-equipped movement is about as minimalistic as you can get from a visual perspective, it is (rather surprisingly) actually a self-winding caliber that runs at a frequency of 21,600vph with a 60-hour power reserve. Cleverly hidden behind the barrel is a micro-rotor, which offers the convenience of automatic winding, yet still allows the three blue-finished bridges of this exclusive Bucherer BLUE edition to sit on full display through both the front and back of the watch.
The other wristwatch among the Bucherer BLUE limited editions for this year is the H. Moser Streamliner Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE, which represents the next step in the ongoing collaboration between these two independent family-run Swiss companies. The Streamliner has quickly become one of Moser’s most famous and instantly recognizable models, and like past Bucherer BLUE editions of H. Moser & Cie. watches, the use of the color blue is fairly subtle and restrained. Rather than going the obvious route of just fitting a blue-colored dial to an existing watch from the lineup, past models have incorporated Bucherer’s company color into components of the movement, and the new H. Moser Streamliner Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE features Moser’s signature gray fumé dial surrounded by a bezel set with 60 baguette-cut blue sapphires. Additionally, rather than being just a ring of blue stones, the sapphires have been cut and set in a manner so that they occupy the entirety of the cushion-shaped case’s top surface, with larger stones placed near the corners and smaller ones near the edges.
Similar to the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablack that was released earlier this year at Geneva Watch Days 2022, the new H. Moser Streamliner Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE is a flying tourbillon version of the brand’s signature integrated bracelet sports watch. Powered by H. Moser’s in-house Cal. HMC 804 double hairspring automatic movement that runs at a rate of 21,600vph and offers users a three-day power reserve, the H. Moser Streamliner Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE features a 40mm case with a screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock location that helps provide it with 120 meters of water resistance. However, rather than being crafted entirely from solid 5N red gold like the model that debuted at Geneva Watch Days, the case and bracelet of the new Streamliner Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE are constructed from stainless steel, and the sapphire-set bezel marks a first for Moser’s highly successful Streamliner collection, which has traditionally been characterized by its smooth radially-brushed bezel that seamlessly blends into its integrated bracelet.
Lastly, rounding out the trio of new blue-themed releases for 2022 is the L’Epée 1839 Time Fast Bucherer BLUE, which is a bright blue, race car-shaped desk clock. L’Epée is famous for its finely crafted clocks that range from the traditional to the fanciful, and the Time Fast is of the later variety that draws its inspiration from a 1950s single-seat race car. Designed by Georg Foster while he was a master’s student at the Swiss school Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), the original L’Epée Time Fast D8 first debuted in 2019. The time is displayed by a set of rotating discs through a window in the side of the car, while the escapement sits on display within a clear domed bubble that occupies the place where you would normally see the driver’s helmet. As a reference to children’s toy windup cars, winding the L’Epée Time Fast clock is done by rolling it back and forth, where the rotation of the rear wheels tightens the mainspring, which will supply the movement with a power reserve of 192 hours (8 days) once fully wound. Although a dark blue color was among the original options back in 2019, this year’s Bucherer BLUE edition features the retailer’s much brighter signature hue and it also turns the blue up a few additional notches with metallic blue rims and a matching blue grill fitted to the front of the car.
The trio of new Bucherer BLUE timepieces will be available exclusively from Bucherer, and each one will be strictly limited to just 18 pieces worldwide. As far as pricing, the Girard Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer BLUE will be accompanied by an official retail price of $167,000 USD, while the H. Moser Streamliner Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE will cost $119,900 USD, and the L’Epée 1839 Time Fast Bucherer BLUE will be priced at $34,000 USD. Given that the most affordable option is a $34k toy car desk clock and the other two options are priced in the six-figure territory, it goes without saying that these new Bucherer BLUE releases are fairly premium additions to the retailer’s list of collaborations. However, given that there will only be 18 examples of each one, I have no doubt that Bucherer will easily be able to find buyers, especially given the company’s vast multi-national retail network. When you first hear about Bucherer BLUE, the whole “make blue versions of watches” concept seems like a pretty thin one that would get old rather quickly. However, despite the fact that you know they will feature the color blue in some way or another, it’s always a fun surprise to see what timepieces will get selected to receive the Bucherer BLUE treatment, along with how the retailer’s signature color will ultimately be integrated into these designs. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.