Carl F. Bucherer: pink gold for the Patravi ScubaTec
On the parallel walls of the transit corridors at Zurich airport, situated between the Radisson Blue hotel and the terminals, the brand represents the enlightened “Swissness” of a flourishing visionary brand in full view. Modern adventurers, look out!
This independent brand is unique in high-end Swiss watchmaking. From its very beginning, it has been characterized by its many journeys and adventures, as well as its warm sense of welcoming and its openness to the world.
A name linked to production and retail
In 1888, Carl F. Bucherer, the brand’s visionary founding father, opened his first store at Falkenplatz in Lucerne. It specialized in selling watches and jewels. He was able to see the wonderful potential for tourism growth as an increasing number of wealthy tourists were coming from all over Europe. Some wanted to see the amazing beauty of central Switzerland. Some believed in the benefits of mountain air and its surrounding thermal baths. Others were charmed by the mysterious panorama of Lake Lucerne. In any case, more often than not tourists were fans of unique horology.
Since its beginnings, Carl F. Bucherer has been one of very few watchmaking brands to intimately link watchmaking skills with a qualified retail network. From the start of this rich entrepreneurial journey (soon 130 years old) and over the course of the years that followed, the German-Swiss brand has added its share to Swiss watchmaking history. It also worked with two approaches that would never be in symbiosis nowadays. Firstly, independence in terms of watch design and production. Secondly, complete control of points of sale. They did such a good job in representing Swiss watch brands that the latter often indulged in special treatments which included mostly producing specific models but which sometimes went as far as co-branding.
Pink gold and diving: Bucherer’s DNA
The history of Bucherer is filled with important dates, patents and creativity. Originally launched in 2013, the diving watch Patravi ScubaTec was introduced in pink gold at BaselWorld 2015. Here’s an interesting fact: in 1930, in the early years of Art Deco, Bucherer already produced pieces with pink gold straps whose blued hands and Arabic numerals were a sign of good taste. Art Deco would later on continue to inspire the brand. In 1971, Bucherer introduced the Archimedes Supercompressor, quite an avant-garde diving watch. Indeed, it was equipped with a universal hour display and, most importantly, with an internal turning bezel that was used to time diving lapses.
The question was whether or not they should use pink gold in diving watches. Purists of the field favored functional watches, yet they were known to go for completely technical measuring instruments of either steel or high tech or, at the very least, industrial. Nevertheless, the combination of pink gold, the bright black on the dial’s surface as well as on three quarters of the unidirectional turning bezel and the pure marine blue of the remaining quarter was enough to question preconceptions. And from a particularly appealing visual of good taste, they were able to overthrow prejudices. Certainly, the latest Patravi ScubaTec has perfect aesthetics. It does not lack any of the usual diving functionalities and no modification has been made in terms of security; i.e. to make sure that any wristwatch made for diving is a reliable piece of equipment.
Technically safe chronometer in deep sea
An automatic helium valve ensures the safety of this 44.6-mm solid watch. It is water resistant to less than 500 meters, or 5 atm. Visible through a two-sided anti-reflective sapphire crystal, its hands and indexes are coated in a luminescent material whose bright reflection is well adapted to deep water.
The watch’s high tech elements are the ceramic of its bezel’s blue and black inserts and the blackened titanium of the screwed crown’s protection. The easily adjustable black rubber strap with stunning blue ribs makes the watch perfectly portable, hence blending comfort and safety. We find the same combination of technicality and aesthetics in the 18-K pink gold and blackened titanium diving clasp.
The Patravi ScubaTec is equipped with the self-winding CFB 1950.1 caliber, that is, a chronometer set with either 25 or 26 rubies and featuring a 38-hour power reserve. Incidentally, the prestigious family brand that Jörg G. Bucherer – representative of the family’s third generation – has been managing since 1976, owns research and development workshops in Sainte-Croix where its in-house movements have been produced since 2007. Once again, the Lucerne-based brand proves that it is a visionary brand. Unlike any other, Bucherer embodies a view of Switzerland that is open to the art of warm welcoming. Further, it does not hesitate to commit itself to animal protection. Indeed, two manta rays have been engraved on the diving watch’s back and are a reference to the brand’s partnership with the Manta Trust organization – and by the way, it would have been very dull if the brand resorted to a transparent back for this one!
In short, the watch blends a touch of altruistic utility with the pleasure contemporary adventurers feel when wearing a timepiece that will undoubtedly become iconic with time.