For over 130 years - since 1888 to be precise - Bucherer has been the go-to retailer for beautifully crafted watches. It now boasts one of the largest selections of partner-brands of any retailer, from Baume & Mercier to Rolex via Ulysse Nardin, Chopard or H.
Moser & Cie., not forgetting its own Carl. F. Bucherer brand. But with so much on offer, where to begin? WorldTempus takes you on a tour of the watches that should be top of your end-of-year list.
For anyone taking their first steps in fine Swiss watchmaking, one name is almost certain to enter the conversation: Baume & Mercier. Established in 1830 in Geneva and now part of the Richemont group, it is the go-to brand when choosing your first ever Swiss-Made prestige watch, or for adding a "see it, want it" purchase to an existing collection.
Clifton Club Cobra Shelby 1964 Chronograph © Baume & Mercier
Bucherer is one of the last retailers to have the Clifton Shelby Cobra. This rare, limited-edition piece sealed the high-octane partnership between the watchmaker and the automotive icon that famously defeated Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966. Since the watch was launched, this exploit has been told on-screen in Ford v Ferrari, released in 2019 and starring Christian Bale opposite Matt Damon.
Kitted out in a red and blue livery with a cobra head counterweight on the chronograph seconds hand, the Clifton Shelby Cobra is mounted on a carbon-style strap with red stitching. Already a collector's item that commemorates a milestone in motor-racing history, Bucherer has the last few still available.
On a more classical note, Bucherer's offering includes collections by Chopard. Why this choice? Because Chopard is one of the last remaining fully independent, family-owned Manufactures; one of the great names whose fortunes are overseen, with rare consistency, by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.
Collection © Chopard
Among the selection proposed at Bucherer is the latest L.U.C in a 40mm steel case. This is probably one of the most understated watches from the Manufacture, not to mention one of its most accessible. By choosing steel for the case, Chopard makes clear its intention to price this watch within reach of its first-time buyers. The movement is nonetheless 100% in-house and finished to the highest expectations of Haute Horlogerie, all of which can be admired through the sapphire caseback. Younger collectors will appreciate that Chopard has matched this gorgeous L.U.C with a denim canvas strap, a one-off in its collections. The result is a sexy, modern, affordable, finely crafted timepiece not to be missed!
This is one of the brands at Bucherer you're unlikely to see on another collector's wrist: H. Moser & Cie. The hallmarks of this family-owned Manufacture's watches are familiar terrain, from the double hairspring escapement to the fumé dials or its use of Vantablack. But there is one piece, available at Bucherer, that stands out from the rest and that is the Streamliner – Moser's first foray into vintage with a 70s touch.
Streamliner Centre Seconds © H. Moser & Cie
Powerful and perfectly proportioned, there is nothing anywhere on the market that can match the Streamliner. Its integrated bracelet, almost round, almost square, borderline tonneau case, and gradient green dial make this a truly original, untypically Moser creation. Looking at it, we may wonder where the brand wants to take us but the second it's on the wrist, we're won over by this perfectly mastered, beautifully executed creation. The kind of horological curiosity that Bucherer loves to hunt down.
Who can honestly say they've never stopped up short at the sight of Ulysse Nardin's Freak? This longstanding collection has become the brand's aesthetic and technical signature; a laboratory for some of the most forward-thinking R&D at the vanguard of innovation.
Freak © Ulysse Nardin
So, when Ulysse Nardin released a more accessible version of its famous Freak, Bucherer was first in line. What it isn't: a subcollection or a watered-down version of the original. What it is: an authentic Freak whose hours and minutes carousel is set – a first for this model – by a crown at 3 o'clock. Thanks to excellent relations between Bucherer and the brand, collectors also have the chance to own a Freak from an 88-piece limited edition, featuring a 43mm carbon and titanium case on a leather strap. An opportunity that won't last forever...
If there could only be one, then this would be it: the Rolex Submariner. An undisputed classic, the Sub has been given a full refresh in 2020 and is ready and waiting at Bucherer. The Submariner and the Submariner Date now feature a redesigned and, at 41mm, slightly larger case whose shape is shown off by light reflections from the case sides. The bracelet also has new proportions, in particular slimmer lugs. Movements are respectively calibre 3230, which Rolex unveiled just this year, and calibre 3235, which adds a date to the time display and is making its debut in the Submariner range. Power reserve has been extended to 70 hours, which is 50% more than for previous models. Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Submariner and the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date both carry Superlative Chronometer certification as a guarantee of excellent performance on the wrist.
Submariner © Rolex
It would be hard to end this Bucherer Top 5 without adding a sixth name to the list: the retailer's own Carl F. Bucherer brand. One model from its extensive collections that catches the eye is the Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral. Why? Because its tourbillon testifies to the brand's manufacturing expertise, but also because it illustrates, in two ways, its singularity. Firstly by the fact the tourbillon isn't attached to the mainplate or held by a bridge, but instead appears to float above the movement. Secondly for the peripheral rotor that is a speciality of Carl F. Bucherer. While rare examples can be seen at Breguet or at younger brand Charles Girardier, Carl F. Bucherer is still the main proponent of this solution whose advantages are manifest in the Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral, where the impression of a tourbillon levitating in space is preserved.
Manero Tourbillion Double Peripheral © Carl F. Bucherer