Lucern, Switzerland-based Carl F. Bucherer is a growing watch brand, but it’s still a name that is associated with its parent company, Bucherer — a major watch retailer chain in Switzerland that will soon be a much more popular name in North America as a function of it buying the legacy U.S.-based timepiece retailer chain Tourneau. I bring this up because I believe it is relevant to understand the particular appeal and purpose of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Peripheral 43mm watch that I am reviewing here today.
Lucern is a traditional tourist location in Switzerland, both for sightseeing and shopping. Buying watches (at a good price) in Lucern is a time-honored tradition for people from many countries. Bucherer grew itself by being ideally located in such a spot, and the development of its in-house brand was as a function of studying what many people were purchasing. In fact, if you look at the Carl F. Bucherer brand, I believe that much of the collection is based on what the company feels visitors to Lucern are seeking in a timepiece, and the other part of the collection is Carl F. Bucherer striving to come up with something original in the marketplace as geared toward enthusiasts.
The interesting middle ground achieved as a result of this multi-directional approach to product design is Carl F. Bucherer watches that might be designed for more mainstream luxury consumption but that are built with serious timepiece enthusiasts in mind. The Manero Peripheral 43mm is just such a watch. On the outside is the hallmark aesthetic of an indistinctive “nice Swiss watch,” and on the inside is a rather special in-house made movement along with an overall very high level of build quality for the watch. In some ways, the Manero Peripheral is ideal for the discreet watch lover who wants to wear something nice to please themselves but isn’t trying to announce that fact to the world.
Carl F. Bucherer produces two case sizes for the Manero Peripheral collection — and it would be easy to get confused if you aren’t aware of that fact, as the timepieces in the 40mm and 43mm-wide Manero Peripheral otherwise look the same. The piece I am reviewing is the Manero Peripheral 43mm, in the accordingly larger case (that is 11.2mm thick and water-resistant to 30 meters). Lug-to-lug distance is only about 50mm thanks to the stubbier lugs.
The steel case is attractively polished and rendered in a quality fitting a timepiece at this not-entry-level price point. Carl F. Bucherer produces less expensive dress watches but they don’t have an in-house movement, as is the case here. The movement itself is the Carl F. Bucherer CFB A2050, which is this particular dial execution of the A2000 movement family. The A2000 is the second-generation movement after the innovative A1000 movement, which over a decade ago was released as the first contemporary movement to employ a peripheral automatic rotor.
The A2000 is the more classic-looking movement as compared to the A1000, and their features differ in a few other small ways. Movement decoration is traditional with Côtes de Genève-style polishing on the bridge surfaces and angled edges. The movement’s sharp angles do help position it as an otherwise modern machine. The movement operates at 4Hz with 55 hours of power reserve in the A2050 form it offers the time with subsidiary seconds and the date. The movement is certified as a COSC Chronometer, and its major claim to fame, again, is the automatic winding system.
A peripheral rotor is one that goes around the movement as opposed to covering it. This becomes possible when watch movement engineers can build out horizontally instead of vertically. Today’s tastes for larger timepieces have meant that peripheral winding systems become possible. Is there is a technical advantage to them? Not really. They do help movements be thinner than they might otherwise be. The major advantage of peripheral automatic rotors is that they allow for an unencumbered view of the movement. So, the value is really about presentation — which, for luxury timepieces, is a big consideration when it comes to making a purchase decision.
What I like about the A2050 movement is, first and foremost, its originality. That it doesn’t look like most other watch movements is a positive thing. It also appears to be designed for durability and longevity as opposed to merely being a different mechanical movement that does the same thing as most other mechanical movements. What I also like is that it is Carl F. Bucherer’s take on a very traditional type of dial layout. Many watches have the same dial information, so what Carl F. Bucherer is trying to do is offer its own flavor of a well-known dish. This is probably what tourists buying watches in Lucerne tend to demand the most, and it helps explain why the Manero Peripheral 43mm is a watch that puts so much effort into appearing familiar but performing uniquely.
This particular version of the Manero Peripheral 43mm is the reference 00.10921.08.23.21, which has a white-colored dial and matching steel bracelet. The bracelet is worth commenting on as most Manero Peripheral watches appear to be offered on a strap. The bracelet integrates well with the design of the case and offers a bit of visual spectacle as the polished surfaces play with light. From a design perspective, the bracelet tapers a bit, which helps visually reduce the mass of the case and also makes wearing the bracelet a bit more comfortable. Carl F. Bucherer uses a butterfly-style deployant clasp, and the bracelet further includes half-links that allow for it to be more precisely sized for your wrist.
It isn’t common to find white-dial watches of this type that are legible. That is often because the polished hands and hour markers blend with the dial too much. This is a pricier watch so you don’t really get that issue here. There is ample room between the hour markers, hands, and bottom of the sapphire crystal to allow for a clear view of the face. I also want to commend Carl F. Bucherer for using the right amount of AR-coating on the slightly domed sapphire crystal, which means that glare is impressively minimized.
The dial uses arrow-style applied hour markers with matching dauphine hands. I love dauphine-style hands as they are both easy to read and attractive in their form. On the Manero Peripheral 43mm, one might argue that the hands could be minimally longer, but overall the dial proportions are quite good and legibility is very high. No luminant, however — save that for the brand’s most sport-themed timepieces.
With its larger, masculine proportions yet elegant, dressy style, what type of watch is the Manero Peripheral 43mm? First and foremost, it is for timepiece lovers interested in the added-value that comes with having an actually unique in-house-made automatic movement. Second, the watch is like a macho office watch that is effortlessly conservative but also not subtle in its ability to capture attention. Those who want to make it clear they care about the type of timepieces they are wearing (for those who ask), want to be traditionally fashionable, and who need a conservative all-purpose watch for their collection, should take a very close look at the Manero Peripheral in either its 40- or 43mm-wide size variations. Price for the reference 00.10921.08.23.21 Carl F. Bucherer Manero Peripheral 43mm is $7,200 USD. Learn more at the Carl F. Bucherer website here.
>Brand: Carl F. Bucherer
>Model: Manero Peripheral 43mm (reference 00.10921.08.23.21 as tested)
>Price: $7,200 USD
>Size: 43.1mm-wide, 11.2mm thick, and ~50mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As as conservative-looking dress or formal watch that blends in pretty well until you inspect it, view the movement, and realize that it isn’t just another Swiss timepiece.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who needs a versatile dress watch for regular wear but who is also enough of a watch enthusiast that they’d never want to wear something that is boring.
>Best characteristic of watch: Well-made case and dial with high-grade components and nuanced attention to detail from a brand that knows what it is doing. Easily the most understated watch produced by Carl F. Bucherer with this type of movement. Watch is comfortable to wear, and dial is easy to understand.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Arguably a bit boring for some seasoned watch lovers seeking more distinctiveness in their high-end watch collection. Several times more expensive than other watches with similar aesthetics, and Carl F. Bucherer could do a lot better in explaining the value proposition, as well as the unique attributes of the A2000 movement.