There’s something mesmerizing about the way a manta ray moves through the water. Like a giant aquatic albatross, it magically glides through the ocean in slow motion, following a meandering flight path that’s seemingly unaffected by its surroundings or those in it. And that hypnotic impression was only the result of watching the majestic, expressionless creature through a screen, on a looping video projected on the side of the trendy Smogshoppe at September’s star-studded Carl F. Bucherer launch event in West Hollywood.
The guest of honor at the event wasn’t the mantas in question but rather Carl F. Bucherer’s newest addition to its long-running Patravi Scubatec dive watch collection: the Black Manta, a 44mm titanium-cased diver finished with a stealthy DLC coating and a pair of manta ray silhouettes on its horizontal dial “shutters,” paying homage to the creatures that inspired its name. Fitted to the watch is a soft rubber strap whose surface has been reinforced with a rugged recycled nylon made from plastic bottles pulled from the Mediterranean Sea. Granted, we reviewed an earlier stainless steel variant of this watch before, and both benefit the Manta Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of these enigmatic mobulas and the realms they inhabit. Both variants are equipped with the same COSC-certified CFB 1950.1 automatic movement, an automatic helium release valve on the 9 o’clock side of the case, and are water resistant to 500 meters.
As viewed up on the big screen, giant mantas are indeed big animals — and, as we learned from the Manta Trust team in attendance, because of their and mobility throughout the reef environment, they understandably need a lot more space than most creatures. So, by proxy, protecting the mantas from bycatch (a common side effect of overfishing in certain parts of the world) also equals protection of the surrounding ecosystems they call home — making this two-for-one conservation effort a very important one, indeed.
Carl F. Bucherer has proudly supported the Manta Trust organization for the better part of the last decade, but has only recently (since 2017) offered special-edition dive watches in the collection to celebrate the partnership, enabling collectors to get directly involved through the purchase of these limited-edition pieces. One particularly unique facet of the partnership that persists in the new Black Manta edition is the ability for its owner to register their new Scubatec on watchmymanta.com, where the unique engraving on the back of the watch is matched to the belly markings on a real-life animal, enabling the new “parent” to name their manta and keep track of its comings and goings, as monitored by Manta Trust teams in the field.
And though the Black Manta might have perhaps been the star of the evening, there were lots of other CFB watches in attendance to enjoy, including other members of the Patravi Scubatec collection and the super-bold Patravi Traveltec, a reference favored by brand CEO Sascha Moeri for its rapid time-changing capabilities. One of the brand’s modern signatures in attendance was a little more subtle, though: an isolated CFB A2050 caliber movement, which is Carl F. Bucherer’s gorgeous in-house manufactured automatic movement that is characterized by its sophisticated peripheral winding rotor and unique shock absorber that more efficiently protects the regulator and balance spring from impacts.
If there’s one thing that becomes clear about seeing the full range of Carl F. Bucherer watches in the context of key partnerships like Manta Trust, it’s that the brand’s proud independence is, perhaps, its strongest calling card. It enables the manufacture greater design creativity and the freedom to find innovative ways to partner with the organizations it finds the most compelling — in this case, the Manta Trust.
You can find more information on the Manta Trust right here, but to find a Carl F. Bucherer retailer or learn more about the brand’s involvement with the UK-based charity, head over to www.carl-f-bucherer.com.