Who was Carl. F. Bucherer? - more than just a watchbrand!

Carl F. Bucherer is a traditional watch brand from Lucerne, switzerland

Whoever is looking for exquisite jewelry goes to Bucherer.  It is out of question that Bucherer is one of the most popular jewelers at all.  But at the same time this name is also known as a luxury watch brand.  How is this all connected and who was Carl F. Bucherer?  

It is out of question that Bucherer is one of the most popular jewelers at all.   

But at the same time this name is also known as a luxury watch brand.  How is this all connected and who was Carl F. Bucherer?  

Carl F. Bucherer founded a jewelry store in Lucerne in 1888, which over time would develop into an internationally operating jewelry company. However, under the name Carl F. Bucherer, self-designed wristwatches are also offered, characterized by elegance and sophistication.  

The Bucherer Story 

First of all, it is important to know that Bucherer, on the one hand, is a world-renowned jeweler and, on the other hand, presents an independent watch brand, Carl F. Bucherer.

Both sections coexist with each other.  

The Story of Bucherer already begins in the late 19th century, as Carl Friedrich Bucherer opened a jewelry and watch store in Lucerne Switzerland together with his wife. The Jeweller gained a great reputation rapidly. His outstanding originality and remarkable quality were appreciated by many. 

But already back then Carl F. Bucherer knew how to merge the craftsmanship of goldsmithing with the art of fine watchmaking. That's why the Bucherer as a jeweler had always been connected to watchmaking.   


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In the Beginning of the Bucherer watchmaking history Carl launched a Collection of wrist watches for women in order to slowly approach the area of watchmaking. In these times pocket watches were far more popular, but Bucherer did believe in the idea of the wristwatch such as Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf did. This should not remain the only path crossing.  The Rolex Founder did also have an significant impact on the watch industry. You can read more about this certain topic in this article "The Rolex Story".

Because already in 1924 a collaboration between Rolex and Bucherer resulted. Because as already mentioned both believed in the wrist watch. That's why he included the barely popular Rolex wrist watches into his assortment. As we know today, Bucherer was with his intuition, deadly right. As Rolex ist the one Watchbrand that enjoys the biggest hype in the Watchindustry, among all brands.  

Besides that, Bucherer’s sons Carl-Eduard and Ernst joined the company, so that it became a real family business. They really contributed to the success of the jeweler with their own approaches. 

And the success story continues despite hard times of crises marked by economic exceptional situations and the Second World War. Bucherer even expanded, as the jeweler opened more locations in Switzerland. 

Later when the Business was passed down to the third generation, it even expanded abroad, firstly in Austria later in Germany.   

But if this was not enough the jeweler expanded elsewhere, as it bought the Kurz Group in 1989 and the Swiss Lion AG in 2001.  

At the same time Bucherer wasn't just an usual jeweler, because it marked the history in terms of fine watchmaking as well, as Bucherer always manufactured its own creations.   

Throughout the 20th century, Bucherer had been able to develop plenty of models that reflect know-how, finesse and sophistication.  

Fortunately 2001 was also the year when the watch brand Carl F. Bucherer was finally founded. The new Bucherer creations are inspired by the old iconic watches. 

Numerous models include great complications like a flyback chronograph, the  perpetual calendar or the tourbillon. 

Today Carl F. Bucherer is one of a few Swiss watch manufactories that are still family owned.   

Bucherer as a jeweler is one of the most known and most influential luxury jewelry retailers in the world. However the family business is now about to be taken over by Rolex. But we will talk about this later on.    


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The watches offered by Carl F. Bucherer

As we already got to know, Carl F. Bucherer is the watch Brand that presents Bucher’s own creations.   

Let’s have a look at a few of the most important models.   

Manero

Carl. F. Bucherer Manero with tourbillon and striking movement, an elegant luxury watch.
Quelle: Carl F. Bucherer

The Manero Collection is one of the most popular collections. It is basically a timeless and elegant dress watch with some very complex technology in the movement.   

The most prestigious Model is the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony, which has three peripherally mounted components thanks to the CFB MR3000 manufacture caliber. However, it is limited to 88 pieces and costs about  340.000 Dollar.

But the Manero ist also available with a couple of other complications such as the Manero Tourbillon Limited Edition, the Manero ChronoPerpetual, at model with Flyback Chronograph, the AutoDate and the peripheral. The last mentioned ones are already available for about 3.000 Dollar on the second market which makes them pretty affordable.

Adamavi

The next collection worth mentioning is the Adamavi Series, which presents classic dress watches as well. The unique selling point here is the date display, which is usually found at the 3:00 o'clock position. Only the models with minor second have these at the 6:00 o’clock position. At the same time the Adamvi is available with quartz movement such as a mechanical one. Moreover you can choose out of a large selection of different sizes between 28 and 39 mm case diameter.

The best thing about it is, that you already get a good model for around 2.500 Dollar on the second market. In fact, the series is no longer in the current product selection of Carl F. Bucherer.    


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Patravi

Die Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ist eine erstklassige Taucheruhr als Alternative zur Submariner
Quelle: Carl F. Bucherer

The Patravi is the exact counterpart of the previously mentioned models. Because this series is marked by sportiness and travel enthusiasm.  

Firstly you have to know that the Patravi is again divided into two subcategories: ScubaTec and TravelTec.   

The ScubaTec is a diver watch. It is super robust and has a case diameter of 44.6 mm. Furthermore it comes along with an automatic helium valve for pressure equalization which allows the watch to be waterproof to a depth of 500 meters. 

But there is also a light version of this watch. It's a smaller diver watch for women that is only up to 20 bar pressure waterproof and has got a helium valve neither.  

Overall the diver watches have a pretty extraordinary appearance with its bright colors and uncommon materials such as titanium for instance.  

The larger variant even features a Chronometer-certified caliber, the CFB 1950.1.

The TravelTec on the other side is meant to be for the cosmopolitans among you. This watch is marked by special features like a chronograph such as the display of three time zones simultaneously.   

This series is available in numerous variations as well. The biggest model has a diameter of 46.6 mm. But TravelTec II, which had been an anniversary edition in 2010, is even about one mm bigger. In addition, you have the opportunity to choose between various alloys such as rose gold, stainless steel or even palladium.  

If we have a look at the prices, you might notice that there is a huge price range between about 6.800 Dollar and 81.000 Dollar as far as the Patravi is concerned.  

But you find cheaper watches for around 3.000 Dollar on the second market.      


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Heritage

Heritage is a popular series of watches from Bucherer
Quelle: Carl F. Bucherer

The Heritage series, as its name suggests, is inspired by Bucherer's roots.. In fact this creation is supposed to be a tribute to the brand's history. That's why the Heritage is a new interpretation of the old tradition. 

This series is available in numerous variations as well. Some watches have a classic round case with slightly bigger pointers and indices. Others have Arabic indices and more delicate pointers. 

Furthermore you have the ability to choose between a smaller model with 39 mm diameter and the regular one with 42 millimeter diameter. The smaller model comes along with a fine metal bracelet, while the larger version has either a leather or rubber bracelet. 

In Fact, the most remarkable version must be the Tourbillon Doubleperipheral.  

But it has a huge price range as well. While the cheapest 39 mm version costs about 5.900 Dollar is the Tourbillon Doubleperipheral available at around 112.000 Dollar.   


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The Bucherer Legacy - Bucherer today

So far so good. But what is the state of the family business today.   

As already said above, Carl F. Bucherer is one of the last family owned Swiss watch brands. The luxury watch manufacturer is marked by its excellent craftsmanship. Thus, it is ranked as one of the most important Swiss watch companies by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. 

But the brand is especially unique in terms of innovation with its remarkable and advanced peripheral technology.   

Carl F. Bucherer is a pretty small company that is estimated to produce around 25.000 watches per year.   

The jeweler Bucherer is today one of the most important luxury retailers of jewelry and watches. It is the official retailer of Rolex, Cartier Chopard, IWC, Longines, Piaget Tudor, TAG Heuer and of course their own brand such as many more. 

Furthermore Bucherer has its own atelier in Lucerne, in which gemologists, designers, goldsmiths and other experts create unique pieces of jewelry. At this place there are also made custom pieces on request of certain customers.  

Bucherer is one of the largest jewelers in the world and distributes countless watch brands such as Rolex.
Source: Pexels

In the meantime, Bucherer employs more than 2,400 people , while it is managed in the third generation by Jörg G. Bucherer as president.  

Additionally, it's worth mentioning that Bucherer has 36 Locations only in Europe. Among these are 17 in Switzerland, 10 in Europe and a flagship store in Vienna. The boutique in Paris for example is the biggest physical watch and jewelry store in the world.   

But Bucherer did expand into the American market as well, as the company already opened 32 stores in America under the Brand Tourneau.   

Certified Pre-Owned

 
Moreover Bucherer did have an even larger impact on the luxury watch industry.  

Because the jeweler has established the Certified Pre-Owned watches from Rolex.

Certified pre-owned is basically about the sale of second hand watches, that Bucherer bought back from its customers in order to set them in an excellent condition again and sell them afterwards with a new guarantee.   

This comes along with the advantage that you can buy popular models, for which there was a long waitinglist at Rolex, directly at Bucherer without any doubts, that you might have with a sketchy second hand market place. 

Furthermore the certified pre-owned program offers the opportunity to Bucherer customers to rotate their watch collections easier, because they can trade, buy and sell watches at any time at Bucherer.   

Nevertheless, at least the models which are super demanded are a little bit overpriced in comparison to the second market.  That's why the concept had been created previously.  die Certified Pre-Owned Uhren doch etwas teuer, weshalb das Konzept auch schon das ein oder andere mal in der Kritik stand.  


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Is your watchknowledge up to date?

Here is our list of must-know watches!

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The Rolex-Bucherer acquisition

But most recently there persisted one specific rumor about Bucherer in the watch world.  

The media speculated already for some time that the luxury watch brand Rolex is about to buy Bucherer.   

This rumor turned out to be true.  

This is not only an unique event in the history of the watch world, it has also had a huge impact on the whole industry.   

From now on Rolex has a special beneficial position. The giant company becomes even larger and more powerful. Because the brand with the golden crown can count over 100 jewelry stores and is directly in control of one of the biggest retailers.   

This acquisition especially makes sense, because Bucherer is the biggest Rolex retailer. As this deal turns out to be super benefical for the watch brand, because from now on Rolex is not only fully in control of the sale of their own watches, but also the brand profits in another way. Thus, Rolex earns indirectly a little percentage with the sale of any watch.

But the pressure on Rolex was enormous, as other luxury corporations like LVMH were also interested in the jeweler.  

In this case every competitor likes to operate in the interest of its own watch brands, which would have a clearly noticeable effect on the Rolex sales. Fortunately the luxury watch company from Geneva was able to prevent this scenario. Rolex is now able to perfectly showcase its own brand such as its sub brand Tudor.  

Further details in terms of numbers haven't been published yet. And the whole deal isn't completely certain already, as the Competition Commission (WEKO) still has to check the takeover.   

But if this truely happens in the end, this means that a huge concern becomes even bigger. Rolex strengthens its monopoly position, as the competition is struggling to catch up.    

Scource cover image: Carl F. Bucherer


About the author

Autor bei Gentleman-watches

Alexander Weinberger

For me, the most fascinating thing about watches is the interplay between precise craftsmanship and artistic development. In a watch movement, hundreds of small parts have to be put together precisely so that they form a large whole.


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