When it comes to luxury pens, drawing instruments, and particularly colored pencils, few names carry the same cache as Swiss brand Caran d’Ache. For over a century, Caran d’Ache has supplied artists and professionals alike with some of the world’s finest-crafted writing and drawing utensils, and the brand’s new partnership with Carl F. Bucherer has spawned a vibrant horological celebration of Caran d’Ache’s most famous art supplies. The new limited edition Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback Signature reinvents the brand’s classically styled chronograph with a playful new colorway and a more relaxed personality, creating a unique and compelling stylistic hybrid.
The 43mm stainless steel case of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback Signature is shared with the standard Manero Flyback, preserving the line’s blend of bold sizing and classical design cues. The flowing, tapering polished chamfer running the length of the case sides give the long athletic lugs a sense of elegant curvature in initial images, while adding a reflective highlight to break up the predominantly brushed finish. Elements like the flat polished bezel and oversized piston pushers give the case a sense of midcentury refinement in initial images, but the bezel’s narrow width and the sizeable 14.45mm case thickness should ensure this design wears large on the wrist. Carl F. Bucherer finishes the case with a sapphire display caseback, but this element likely exacerbates the Manero Flyback Signature’s water resistance woes with a subpar rating of only 30 meters.
The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback Signature shows off its Caran d’Ache inspiration most clearly through its dial design. Like the case, the basic layout of the dial is shared with the regular production Manero Flyback, but here this sharp classical look is given a more outgoing character courtesy of its new colorway. Naturally, the applied indices are the star of the show, adding a rainbow gradient to the hours track. The pointed, daggerlike shape of these indices also works to further the theme here, with the highly saturated colors and pointed tips visually calling back to Caran d’Ache’s signature colored pencils in images. The 3 o’clock chronograph minutes subdial also adds a punch of vibrant color here, coating the cutout dauphine hand in bold sporting red. Beneath this new spectrum of colors, the Manero Flyback Signature’s midcentury-inspired design remains unchanged, with a handsomely busy look that plays skillfully with both ornate serif dial text and a wide array of visual textures. The light gloss finish of the colored indices forms a consistent highlight above the silver sunburst main dial, recessed anthracite gray azurage subdials, and contrasting brushed silver hours ring. Overall, it’s an impressively nuanced and well balanced dial concept in images, with even the 6 o’clock date window maintaining a sense of visual weight distribution and symmetry.
Like other members of the Manero Flyback family, the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback Signature uses the Valjoux 7753-based CFB 1970 automatic flyback chronograph movement (the brand was unable to provide movement images prior to press time). In addition to the flyback function, the CFB 1970 offers a solid if unspectacular 42 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Carl F. Bucherer completes the package with a pair of included woven NATO straps made from recycled PET plastic, both using unique color schemes and layered construction. The more dramatic of the pair is finished in white, with edge highlights in bold red and an off-center accent stripe in putty gray calfskin leather. Carl F. Bucherer also includes an alternate take on this strap design in two-tone blue, with the leather accent stripe rendered in black. Both of these strap options give the traditionally dressy Manero Flyback line a more relaxed, casual look that debatably clashes with the initial design’s ethos but interacts uniquely with the Manero Flyback Signature’s new colorway. As part of the package, buyers of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback Signature will also receive a limited edition Caran d’Ache Signature rollerball pen, with a finely engraved rhodium and silver design featuring lacquered triangular rainbow highlights to echo the watch’s indices.
Although it departs drastically from the line’s traditional style, the limited edition Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback Signature finds its own voice with a more dynamic, attention-seeking character that pays colorful tribute to the writing tools of Caran d’Ache. Only 188 examples of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback Signature will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $7,200. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.