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Where handmade watches stand the test of time

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on June 19, 2019 Published on June 19, 2019

Carl F Bucherer is one such Lucerne, Switzerland-based watchmaker, known for its masterpieces since 1888   -  Website/Carl F Bucherer

Carl F Bucherer makes them last generations

Imagine a situation where you were presented a handmade Swiss masterpiece when you were 12 years old by your grandfather. And, now, as a grandpa, 45 years later you present the same piece to your grandchild along with loads of love, emotions and nostalgia. Such experiences abound and provide connecting links when it comes to Swiss handmade masterpieces where time does not stand still.

Carl F Bucherer is one such Lucerne, Switzerland-based watchmaker, known for its masterpieces since 1888. The company business has passed on through generations, taking mechanisation and automation in its stride, just as the watches it makes move on from one to another.

Laurent Lecamp, Vice-President of Carl F Bucherer, says: “We just don’t make classic watches, we also ensure they run for decades. This is made possible by making adequate spares so that they go on and on forever.”

Interacting with BusinessLine at Ethos retail chain, where Carl F Bucherer has displayed its range of watches for men and women, Lecamp said: “We are one of the few family-owned businesses which continue to innovate and offer timepieces for watch lovers. And those who buy come to us to have that rare handmade piece which stands out being part of the limited edition watches.”

‘Something unique’

“We make some limited edition watches which are just 88 in number or one of the 888 pieces. So for those who want to have something that is unique, they come looking for our range,” he says.

For the company, Asia, Japan and India have emerged major markets. And in India, there is the tradition of purchasing precious items, gold jewellery. So is the case with watches, he says. The company’s watches are priced from ₹1.25 lakh to ₹24 lakh a piece.

It had 12 outlets by the end of 2018; this is expected to go up to15 by this October and to 18 by 2020.

Research and innovation

On how watch-making has evolved over the years, he said research and innovation helped develop ‘Peripheral Rotor’ in 2008, the first company to do so in the world. This addressed a major pain point of watch lovers — that a big metal sheet was blocking the view of the internal machine. Now, with this, they can see the entire mechanical movement, he says.

Of the total Bucherer watch portfolio, about 60 per cent are for men and the rest for women. But unlike in the past, women prefer large dials just like men, so there is a range for them.

About its models Manero Flyback, Patravi Cubatec, Patravi Autodate, Pathos Diva and the Alacaria collection, he says, “the retro style Manero Flayback launched at Baselworld 2019 is now being offered in India, priced at ₹4,57,000 for the stainless steel edition and ₹12,98,000 for the gold edition.

Published on June 19, 2019
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