The watch industry loves dramatic turnarounds. And also contradictions. Fifty years ago, mechanical watches were all we had. But they were swept away by quartz watches – before returning to favour at the turn of the century – only to be faced with the advent of.
.. the smartwatch. But this time, mechanical watchmaking is not under threat; it has become a prosperous industry. In fact, there is now so much choice that brands have been forced to come up with the concept of limited series and one-off pieces!
Today, the market is more vibrant than it has been in two centuries. Anyone can treat themselves to a mechanical or quartz timepiece, a smartwatch, something brand new or second-hand, part of a current collection, a limited series, or a unique piece. There are even one or two boutiques that cover all of these categories. One of them is Bucherer. Bucherer is a watch manufacturer, distributor and retailer, of both new and pre-owned watches. The company is in a unique position. But it does mean that collectors can sometimes find themselves a little overwhelmed. How do you find that special something that no one else has?
There are several ways of standing out from the crowd. The first is to choose a niche brand. Bucherer represents several: H. Moser & Cie for the top of the range, Emile Chouriet for more affordable timepieces, and between the two, the venerable independent brand Oris, which was born in Holstein in 1904.
Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Vantablack © H. Moser & Cie
Heritage Centre Seconds Funky Blue © H. Moser & Cie.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115, for instance, is a rare and highly technical series equipped with an in-house calibre. It’s a good way to set yourself apart; it has a strongly contemporary vibe, combined with the added value of a manufacture movement.
ProPilot X Calibre 115 © Oris
Another potential differentiator is the limited series. People tend to agree what makes an interesting limited edition: no more than a few dozen pieces, or a few hundred at the most. Beyond that, and the concept of limitation starts to lose its meaning.
But Bucherer has taken this idea and transformed it into an art, a philosophy. It was the first watch retailer to commission its partner brands to produce special limited series, to be distributed exclusively in its own shops. Bucherer also decided the theme: blue! And that’s the story behind the Bucherer Blue series, whose prestigious proponents include Panerai, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Glashütte Original, Longines, Oris, Rado, Tissot, Breguet and IWC, not forgetting the in-house brand, Carl F. Bucherer. If you choose one of these limited series, most of which are numbered, you’re guaranteed to be wearing a unique example of a rare model.
Manero Auto Date © Carl F. Bucherer
And finally, those in search of uniqueness shouldn’t rule out the idea of a second-hand watch. Since launching its CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) selection last autumn, Bucherer can now offer a curated range of rare timepieces, all professionally serviced and fully guaranteed. This is the perfect way to get hold of a rare timepiece, particularly if you set your sights on a model that’s no longer produced, or one that was already part of a limited series. Some good examples are Panerai Radiomir models that are no longer available, or maybe a Breitling Superocean. This collection has recently been re-edited, which means that original models will inevitably increase in value, as we saw with the old Breguet Type XX watches. And you’ll get it for a highly competitive price. What are you waiting for?
Possession Bucherer Blue © Piaget