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Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One of the most interesting things I’ve found as a watch collector is how certain timepieces are head of their time. By that I mean certain watches are produced and released into the market without much noise, only to be “discovered” by the collector community months, or even years, later. Something like that is happening around Carl F. Bucherer’s diver’s watch collection known as the Patravi ScubaTec. Today, I go hands-on with one of the latest models, the 2019 “special edition” Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta (originally debuted on aBlogtoWatch here).

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This is the second watch produced as part of Carl F. Bucherer’s relationship with the wildlife conservation charity known as The Manta Trust. With an international presence and based in the UK, The Manta Trust has a simple mission: to educate people around the world, from tourists to fishermen, about why manta rays are threatened, why they are important animals to protect, and what people can do to prevent damaging the environment they live in. The Manta Trust is part of a larger effort to provide education about pollution and human effects on our oceans. In addition, they are also helping to fund scientific research about a species we don’t actually know much about.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A good example is how many black mantas exist — or why they exist. What I learned as part of getting to know the people who work at The Manta Trust is that black mantas are actually a naturally occurring variety of manta rays and not a different species. Similar to albinism in humans and other animals, black mantas have additional pigmentation in their skin which accounts for their special dark colors. Science still does not understand how or why black mantas come into existence or if there might be other reasons for the morphological difference within the same species.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Black manta rays are the subject behind this special edition (it is not a limited edition like the first Carl F. Bucherer ScubaTec Manta Trust watch, which aBlogtoWatch reviewed here), the Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta watch.

This is also the first time Carl. F Bucherer has made its ScubaTec out of titanium (versus steel) — not just titanium, but black DLC-coated titanium. Not only does this offer a great look, but it also offers scratch resistance, a welcome addition. The case is water resistant to 500 meters with an automatic helium release valve and is 44.6mm-wide and about 13.4mm-thick. It actually wears very comfortably, especially on the rubber strap. I also like that the watch is relatively compact overall for a 500-meter diver’s timepiece.

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Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Around the dial is a rotating diver’s bezel in metal, but with a ceramic inlay. The polished surface, which includes the numerals, is an interesting design feature that doesn’t look like other Swiss divers out there. The inlay colors in the bezel are black and a sort of bronze/burnt orange, which is handsome and distinctive. That same bronze color is used on the dial for the swimming manta motif. I really like this artistic element because it suggests the theme of the watch, clearly suggests diving, and also doesn’t distract from one’s ability to read the hands. Speaking of the hands and hour markers, Carl F. Bucherer decided to coat them in black, as well, which offers a nice look along with the generous amount of luminant. Overall, the dial is both distinctive and exceptionally easy to read.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Compared to the steel ScubaTec watches, this titanium case is appreciably lighter (30% lighter, I believe) and is a good choice for this type of watch. The stubbier lugs help even the nearly 45mm-wide case feel good on almost any wrist size. Attached to the case is a rubber strap with a plastic inlay produced from recycled plastic. This goes with the theme of the watch because plastic in the ocean is among the things killing manta rays (and countless other species). This strap is specifically made of PET plastic bottles that were collected in the ocean and then made into the material in the strap. The strap is connected to a folding deployant buckle that comes with both a micro-adjustment system and a diver’s extension clasp.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the watch is what the brand calls its caliber CFB 1950.1. It is a slightly modified Swiss ETA 2892-A2 automatic that operates at 4Hz with about two days of power reserve. Carl F. Bucherer has all of the movements COSC Chronometer-certified (and says as much on the timepiece’s dial).

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Unlike the initial Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust Limited Edition (188 pieces) product, the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta is not a limited edition, but will not be produced forever. It is a good-looking Swiss diver’s watch that is very capable and has a satisfying relationship with an authentic charity. Price is $7,200 USD. Learn more at the Carl F. Bucherer website here.

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  • Pedro Lambareiro

    So.. no shot of the actual movement?

  • Raymond Wilkie
  • DanW94

    Remove the outline of the Manta Rays on the dial. It looks like a coffee stain. It’s enough the Ray is depicted on the caseback. Other than that it’s got some rugged good looks.

    • Berndt Norten

      There’s a coffee stain around the dial
      And lines that I don’t recognize
      Everything changed from being okay
      The night they drove poor BiLL away

      And I know by the time on the stove
      That Manta Ray
      Was no longer mine alone
      I guess this watch is out on loan
      And everybody is only
      Their own

      Well maybe I’m a fatalist
      To let it all go like this
      Like some BiLLoon I’ll probably miss
      Lost in a treetop

      • DanW94

        Now Bill’s gone
        And I’m back on the blog
        A coffe stain on my dial
        Flipping through Carl F’s catalogue
        Now he’s gone
        And Berndt’s out with a friend
        With nothing but time on my Scubatec
        And coffee in bed

  • Independent_George

    I saw this watch two weeks ago and I liked it. It is light and wears well. I really liked the strap, I think it compliments the watch quite well.

  • Joaquin

    Like the color tones of this watch. Price is steep but quality goes with it.

  • Daniel Harper

    Out of this world price for an ETA 2892 in DLC titanium.

    • ray h.

      Correct. When I was in sales I had an associate that would chant “If you don’t ask the moon, who would just give it ?” that is “luxury watches” as I see it.

  • ray h.

    Are you trying to find rhyme and reason to “luxury watches ” ? I have given up,the price is what it is,no economic principle applies in this game.They are asking what they are asking and people ether buy in or they don’t.
    For instance you can buy on a very famous website a copy of a panerai including drilled lugs a quality movement ,sapphire crystal with ar coating etc,for a few hundred dollars.That tells me at least that Panerai can make it for for few hundred dollars with better movement and strap etc.So when you pay 7k for pam how much is profit ? Almost all of it.

  • ray h.

    Can I ask why ? Resale leverage ? Makes me wonder if I had every other aspect of the watch replicated using even better tolerances ,and then dropped in an expensive in house movement,($1000 ?) would that then give you a 7k watch ? This seems to be the value proposition in the watch buying community,in house movement equals “ask anything you want” and I will pay it.That is silly to me, but their must be something to it.

    • DanW94

      I think part of the rationalzation from a buyers perspective is that it shows the watch company developing that in-house movement has, in the least, made a significant investment finacially in developing their own movements. (research, personnel, materials, etc…)That doesn’t necessarily mean that they should indiscriminately charge whatever they please for said movement. I liken it to pharmaceutical companies involved in bring their drugs to market. They invest so heavily in the overall development of the drug that when it hits the market the prices are exorbitant, in an effort to recoup their outlay.

      • ray h.

        They charge what the market will bare,they usually do in house movement to off set price hike,to help raise the level of perceived value.The funny thing abut this is that watch buyers eat this up,seems a hollow gesture if no new benefits have been added. Feels like a placating gesture and nothing really useful has really happened here but , like I said people seem to take as a good deal even if they received no new benefit .I guess exclusivity of having a in house movement as a divider between them and those who only have stock Swiss movement makes it all worth it somehow ? Your guess is as good as mine.

    • Jared

      the ETA will be more reliable and have higher tolerances than most of these in-house movements.

      in-house movements these days is just reinventing the wheel for marketing purposes only to appeal to the WIS. Normal people really don’t care about movements

    • Craig A Clark

      For me it’s a case of paying 7K for an essentially off the shelf movement means the bulk of the 7K is then presumably for the housing etc which feels steep to me, though I’ll accept my knowledge of that is limited.

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