Since stainless steel sports watches landed on everyone’s radar about three ago, there has been an avalanche of new contenders to choose from within the genre, and it’s becoming important for brands to distinguish theirs from the pack. The Carl F. Bucherer Manero ($6,200 on a strap and $6,600 on a bracelet) is a standout in a few ways. Like many options out there, it has a neo-vintage flair, with ’50s-like pump-style pushers, diamond-shaped hour indexes and a domed sapphire crystal. And the blue dial, which is new to the Manero, was a popular color in the 1970s that has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. But its proportions – 43 mm x 14.45 mm – are thoroughly modern. Most vintage sports watches were no more than 38 mm, and in the interest of authenticity, most recent faux-tina models mimic the reduced format. Other details, like the nicely beveled and brushed-finished tapered lugs, the high-polish finish on the slightly rounded bezel and the flexible nine-link bracelet are the kind of detailing you expect on a luxury watch, yet this one comes with a price tag under $10,000. Factor in that it is also a flyback chronograph, which is rarer and usually priced accordingly, and you have yourself one rather affordable high-value luxury watch.
The Manero is one of five main Carl F. Bucherer collections, some of which contain variations on the company’s in-house CFB A1000 movement or the A2000 series in 2016. This one has the CFB 1970 automatic movement, which is based on the ETA 7750, the famous workhorse chronograph caliber, modified to include a flyback function. It has a 42-hour power reserve and is decorated here with blued screws and Geneva stripes on the plate and rotor, which can be see through the sapphire caseback.
The Manero Flyback Chronograph was first introduced in 2016, also in steel, but this is the first time it has been offered with a blue dial. It comes in a traditional bi-compax design, with a 30-minute chronograph minutes totalizer at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock, which are nicely balanced by a date window at 6 o’clock. A tachymeter scale on the outer index completes what is really a full range of functions. The lance-shaped hands on the subdials are skeletonized, as are the central hour and minute hands. The alternative strap, made of blue textile has an intriguing luster for a 3D effect.
In 2017, the Bucherer Group, which owns Carl F. Bucherer, acquired the U.S.-based retailer Tourneau, which means we are likely to see even more of these watches in the U.S. market in the future.