Eberhard & Co. Summer Adventures in Bern with the Eberhard Scientigraf
With its UNESCO World Heritage Old City, 14th-century astronomical clock, picturesque biking circuits, and a natural water attraction, Bern has so much to offer
I have been to Bern on a number of occasions, but had never stayed long enough to really appreciate the multitude of things to do, but all that was about to change with an invitation to explore the city and its surrounding countryside.
Rooftops © Made in Bern
And as with all my travel adventures, it would be a shame not to test a new timepiece at the same time, so I invited the new Eberhard Scientigraf along for the ride.
Eberhard Scientigraf © Sophie Furley/WorldTempus
Bern’s 13th-Century Astronomical Calendar Clock
The adventure started in excellent horological style with a tour of the city’s famous astronomical calendar Zytglogge (clock tower). This impressive structure was originally a fortified guard tower, before being turned into a prison, a lookout post, then finally becoming a clock tower. I have photographed and filmed this clock literally every time I have visited the city, mesmerized by the automaton of parading bears, a golden rooster, and Chronos (the god of time), all of whom put on an hourly show.
Bern’s 13th-Century Astronomical Calendar Clock © Made in Bern
Climbing the 130 steps to the top, we arrive right into the heart of the medieval clockwork mechanism which is just mind-blowing when you think that this large clunking, ticking, and tocking mechanical device has been keeping the city on time for over 600 years. I glance down at the Eberhard Scientigraf on my wrist and realise that much of how a movement works follows the same principles as the 13th century.
Clock figurines and work © Sophie Furley/WorldTempus
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Bern’s Old City was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The city was built on a peninsula surrounded by the Aare River and features the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe. Except for a few electric buses, you can almost imagine you have travelled back in time. For those who love shopping, there is an array of local fashion designers, potters, jewellers and more for a unique gift that you won’t find in any other European capitals.
Shopping Arcades © Made in Bern
E-Biking around the Gantrisch Nature Reserve
The next day, we leave the city for the Gantrisch Nature Reserve which covers 400km2 and is situated between the cities of Bern, Thun, and Fribourg. Forests, prairies, and canyons will take your breath away at each turn. We rent e-bikes at Gantrisch Bike & Sport in Riggisberg and set out on the 64km “Route des legends” where you can read about, and listen to (via QR code), local legends from the different villages you pass. We stop at Gasthof Löwen Riffenmatt in Dorf for lunch, which I can thoroughly recommend incorporating into your itinerary! The route can be done in one or two days, depending on how long you want to be in the saddle.
Gantrisch Nature Reserve © Sophie Furley/WorldTempus
Walking above the Treetops
Staying in the Gantrisch Nature Reserve, we try out the 3 km “Family Trail” in the Gurnigel woods. This is a new route that takes walkers along boardwalks above the trees. Children can pick up a little booklet at the beginning of the walk and stamp the different pages as they go along. This leisurely stroll above the trees allows me to appreciate the Eberhard & Co. Scientigraf on my wrist.
Treetops © Sophie Furley/WorldTempus
Eberhard & Co. Scientigraf
This re-edition of a model from 1961 has been beautifully re-interpreted for today’s watch lovers. Featuring an inner cage, the automatic movement is protected from magnetic fields that can easily affect a watch’s precision. The Scientigraf comes in a 41mm stainless steel case with polished satin finishes and a matt black dial with a galbé finish. There are two dial versions – one with orange luminescent hands and indexes and the other with a vintage-colored Super-LumiNova. It is available on a choice of a black leather strap or a stainless-steel bracelet.
Scientigraf © Sophie Furley/WorldTempus
Urban Swimming in the Aare
Before leaving the Swiss city, a friend and Bern local takes us to Eichholz beach on the banks of the Aare River to experience floating down the river in the summer heat. The Bernese get in the water at different stages along the river and let the current carry them through the historic city. It is not unusual to see the mayor and prominent politicians in their swimwear drifting along after work! The clear, refreshing water and speed of the river make this so much fun (although it is only recommended for strong swimmers). Luckily, the Scientigraf has a solid water resistance of 100 metres thanks to a screw-in crown and caseback, so we are fine in the water. The experience is the perfect end to an action-packed mini-break in Bern.
Swimming in the Aare © Sophie Furley/WorldTempus
It is incredible how much Bern has to offer, from its UNESCO old town to its historical clock tower, from its unique shopping experience to its natural reserve, not to mention the biking and swimming! And I only did a fraction of the activities available in the region. There is enough to do here to keep you busy for weeks! But don’t take my word for it, why not try it out for yourself, perhaps even with a Eberhard Scientigraf on the wrist, if you want to do it properly!
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