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Carl F. Bucherer - Interview with Sascha Moeri, CEO

Carl F. Bucherer Interview with Sascha Moeri, CEO

Sascha Moeri talks about the nine years he spent at the head of the Lucerne-based company, the in-house movements and his development plans for 2020.

Carl F. Bucherer was the first brand to offer serial production of watches equipped with a peripheral oscillating weight, as early as 2008. Has this increased desirability among collectors ?
Absolutely ; it is very important for collectors and fans of the brand. This new self-winding system is part of Carl F. Bucherer’s DNA, which can rightly claim leadership in this field. Following on from the first CFB A1000 caliber equipped with a peripheral rotor, we introduced a second, even more reliable and affordable version, the A2000 caliber. The latter was not just a new movement, but in fact laid the foundations for the next 15 years. One might compare the A1000 to a Ferrari ; very sharp and expensive, yet not very versatile. I would personally liken the A2000 to a Mercedes, that can be enriched with a lot of options and could even carry your bicycle, etc. We thus used the A2000 base to launch the Flying Tourbillon Double Peripheral last year. Devotees of Haute Horlogerie appreciate being able to admire the entire movement, which is not masked by the oscillating weight since it is located on the periphery. They can also count on enhanced performance and reliability, as all our watches equipped with the A2000 are chronometer-certified by the COSC. For collectors, these watches are must-haves. Moreover, since 2008, many brands have been inspired by them!

Interview de Sascha Moeri, CEO

Calibre A2000 © Carl F. Bucherer

In fact, you have just announced three new non-limited variants in your Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral Haute Horlogerie collection. Is this an important area of development ?
We are indeed very proud to have been able to produce in-house the world’s first caliber to combine peripheral automatic winding with a tourbillon also floating on a peripheral system, our T3000 Manufacture movement. This represents nearly 5 years of R&D and a patent application. It equips our Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral, of which we have just presented a new trilogy, as well as our Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral. Its COSC certification proves its reliability and our mastery of production processes within the Manufacture.
Moreover, Carl F. Bucherer is what I call a boutique Manufacture : we offer a lot of very high-end customizations and one-off creations. We hand-engrave the bridges on the back of our Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral, for example, which can take up to two weeks depending on the customization requested. One of our customers with three children ordered the trilogy of the Tourbillon Double Peripheral (one for each gold color), each with its own personalization on the caseback. We want to offer our best customers a unique experience and a high degree of personalization, including in the Heritage collection.

Interview de Sascha Moeri, CEO

Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral © Carl F. Bucherer

Your Heritage Bicompax Annual and Manero Flyback chronographs have considerably modified the brand image ; was this merely a matter of prestige ?
It meant much more than that, since these models have changed the image of Carl F. Bucherer and won over a new local clientele. These collections have enabled us to triple our European customer base. Above and beyond the commercial success of these chronographs, which have very different diameters (40 and 43mm), they have opened up a new customer segment for us. This is very important for the brand, as it is highly likely that these customers will subsequently take an interest in other collections such as the Patravi Scubatec.

Interview de Sascha Moeri, CEO

Patravi Scubatec Black Manta © Carl F. Bucherer

What are Carl F. Bucherer’s other areas of development in 2020 ?
Our Manero collection will be enriched by a new women’s range, Lof, developed with our ambassador Li Bingbing. It should establish itself as an important mainstay for the brand. Within the Heritage collection, we will launch a new chronograph at the end of the year in the wake of the panda version. Finally, you will also be seeing three new ScubaTec watches. Some of these new products will be shown in the film Infinite slated for release in August 2020. A ScubaTec Infinite limited edition will be issued. Our good relations in Hollywood may sometimes be a source of amusement, but they garner a lot of visibility and sympathy for the brand.

What would you say in retrospect about the past nine years at the head of Carl F. Bucherer ?
When I took over the brand in 2010, it was selling 6,000 watches annually and had a small network of retailers. Last year we reached the target that I had set myself of 400 retailers, nicely spread around the world and which sold 30,000 timepieces. This number of points of sale will remain stable ; we will just make a few ad hoc adjustments according to markets and opportunities. Collaboration within the Bucherer Group has also intensified, and we are working together very pleasantly and efficiently. In general, we are very satisfied with our network, which itself confirms we made the right choices in terms of building a product portfolio based on six highly complementary collections. They represent a very strong offer, for men of course, but also for women.

Which models are the most sought-after by women?
The choice that the brand now offers them has evolved considerably since my arrival. In 2010 women’s watches represented only 20% of our sales. Today it is 40%, but with a total volume that has meanwhile been multiplied by five. Carl F. Bucherer devoted two exclusively feminine collections to them, Alacria and Pathos, as well as creating Manero and Patravi models for them which they also greatly appreciate, notably the gemset Patravi ChronoDate. Tastes change a lot from one continent to another. In Asia, Pathos is by far the most popular. 

Interview de Sascha Moeri, CEO

Patravi ChronoDate © Carl F. Bucherer

 

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