The inspiration: A Carl F. Bucherer from the 1960s.

To celebrate its 135th anniversary, Swiss watchmaker Carl F. Bucherer is releasing a quartet of limited-edition watches inspired by one of the brand’s models from the 1960s. Harkening back to an era when slim, sleek watches ruled the roost (and the wrist), and when those watches were more often than not gold, this new collection is fittingly nested with the brand’s Heritage line, which is almost exclusively comprised of limited editions. With two models in rose gold and two in stainless steel, the brand is hoping this capsule has wide appeal.

The new Heritage Chronometer Celebration watches are available in either 18k rose gold or stainless steel, both fully polished. While the proportions have been adjusted for modern tastes, it is by no means large: at 39mm in diameter and 8.45mm in height, the watch should be exceptionally wearable. The 39mm, though, may wear larger due to the thin bezel and a domed sapphire crystal, both of which will make the dial seem larger than it is. The watch features a pull-out crown at 3 o’clock and a scant 30m of water resistance. (I suppose that wasn’t something the brand wanted to modernize.) In lieu of the braided bracelet of the original, which I’m sure would’ve made these even more expensive, Carl F. Bucherer has paired these watches with fitted mesh bracelets with quick-release tabs and removable solid links at the clasp for sizing. To be honest, the way the mesh bracelet fits into the lugs, with the solid terminus that matches the case’s curve, is one of my favorite elements of these releases.

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The watches come in three dials done a total of four ways, all faithful to the original 1960s model. For the rose gold models, you have your choice of a galvanized silver dial or a gradient brown lacquer dial. Both have blocky gold-plated applied hour markers and matching hands; both have black lacquer infill, but the hands get Super-LumiNova, while the hour lume plots are set just outside the markers. The seconds hand features a small red triangle tip, and a date is positioned at 3 o’clock. For the stainless steel models, you can choose from the same silver dial or a black lacquer dial. In both cases, the hands and markers are rhodium-plated instead of gold-plated. As an added quirk, the steel models also get the “chronometer” text in red.

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To commemorate the occasion, the watches have been given a screwed-down caseback with the Bucherer crest on it. Beneath the caseback is the automatic caliber CFB1965.1. Aside from its dimensions and a 42-hour power reserve, the brand is conservative with giving details. Based on those dimensions, though, as well as the 25 jewels specified, it’s not unreasonable to assume this caliber is based on the Sellita SW300-1. If that’s the case, you’re looking at a beat rate of 28,800vph along with excellent reliability and serviceability.

While I don’t necessarily question the pricing here, what does cause my eyebrows to lift is that there are other brands with very similar watches at much lower prices, namely the Mido Commander 1959, which bears an uncanny resemblance to this model. One wonders if Bucherer could have done a little more market research and chosen a different model for this collection. But the reality is that Mido and Carl F. Bucherer don’t really compete and have very limited customer overlap, so we’d be comparing apples to oranges. Musings aside, Carl F. Bucherer has done a lovely job with the Heritage Chronometer Celebration watches. The brand has a big catalog, but this style is an almost guaranteed winner for its customer base. The Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Chronometer Celebration is priced at $19,900 USD for the rose gold models (00.10804.03.13.21 & 00.10804.03.93.21) and $5,900 USD for the stainless steel models (00.10804.08.13.21 & 00.10804.08.33.21). The rose gold models are limited to 88 pieces each, while the stainless steel models are limited to 188 pieces each. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.


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