How Did it get so late so soon? – Dr. Seuss –Is what I thought when I looked at this beautiful piece of jewellery that reminded me to get going to catch that noon lunch meeting.
I believe my first real watch was from Calvin Klein – I received it as a gift from my dad back when I was in my teens. It was very small, delicate even, and a piece of jewellery I still own and cherish until this day. It is silver watch and so thin and lightweight you wouldn’t even notice it during the day. Watches were made to tell you the time – or so I thought at first. Then came the phase were I appreciated them as a piece of jewellery; an accessory to upgrade the overall outfit. Only with time did I learn that it is used by some to show a certain status in society. Later I learnt that there are far more pricey watches than the rather popular watches that are worn in rap videos or shown on celebrities. Watches, that go beyond a certain price tag but become a collectable like a rare painting. To me, they too are items to collect, but mostly, it is a piece of art that catches the time of memories. Today, I cannot imagine leaving the house without a watch on my wrist (I almost feel naked without one!).
This past week, I was invited to the Carl. F. Bucherer manufacture in Lengnau, Switzerland, and learnt not only about the history of the brand but the process of making, assembling and creating watches. My appreciation for watches has grown far beyond what I thought was possible. The time, patience, love and care-taking that goes into assembling and putting together a watch, for it to be in its final state as we know it, is not just a craft, but art.
Carl F. Bucher was founded 1888 and stands for tradition, craftsmanship, excellence & innovation since more than 130 years. It is the only Swiss manufacturer owned and led by the founding family (3rd generation) until today.
Way ahead of his time (no pun intended), the early founder Carl Friedrich Bucherer not only founded the business, but he founded it with his wife, Louise (very rare if you think about what status women held in 1888). Both of their sons, Carl-Eduard and Ernst Bucherer continued the legacy of their parents until today’s owner, Jörg G. Bucherer (3rd generation) took on the family business in 1976. However the watch brand as we know it today, Carl F. Bucherer, named after his grandfather and the founder, was not launched until 2001.
Perhaps it is the way the story of Carl F. Bucherer was told during the presentation, perhaps it is resemblance in the family-owned business between the father and the son, that made me more drawn to the brand than ever before. Being extremely close with my family, and even owning a business with a father myself, I appreciate the environment this watch brand was founded on even more.
One the most spectacular pieces, in my humble opinion, is the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony – a watch launched in 2021. Not only is it one of the most complicated (technically speaking) pieces Carl F. Bucherer has ever launched, but only one watch maker in the whole manufacture has the skills needed to assemble this incredible piece. It is a watch made out of more than 600 individual pieces (some so tiny you can barely see them with the naked eye), which alone take one year to manufacture in-house. Then, the assembling of the watch takes another couple of months. The love, the precision and the hard work that goes into making such a work, is breathtaking.
So what is a Minute Repeater you ask? That is the exact same question I asked. It is a watch that is able to tell you the time by using sounds (similar to a bell). Not only is it that special due to its function, but only 5 or 6 watch brands worldwide are able to manufacture it themselves. That is even more impressive if you get told that there are over two million watch brands globally.
Time is the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. – Thomas Edison –And here is how to make time even more special, with a special piece
What started with a delicate Calvin Klein watch simply to read the time grew into a love for watches – one that I want to grow through collections over time. My husband and I own several beautiful pieces already and although I have always loved looking at them and having different watches for different occasions, styling them with different outfits, only the tour through the Carl F. Bucherer manufacture made me appreciate these timeless pieces on a whole other level. This craftsmanship should be rewarded with an award for every watchmaker out there!
I believe there are different watches for different occasions, as mentioned – but also for different emotions. There are some complimenting my outfit in a subtle art, others that make me feel strong and confident, and others (like my beloved Apple Watch) that are just very practical for tracking any workout or reminding me of the billion phone calls I have scheduled that day. And of course there are the memories made with watches – be it a certain event that one connects to their watch or even the buying of a luxury watch; it is an experience in itself (and one you do not want to miss out on!). Now that I have seen and learned about the process of the Carl F. Bucherer watches, I also already have one (or two) on my wish-list!