Carl F Bucherer’s CEO explains why there’s more to the brand than John WickTime+Tide
Editor’s note: John Wick is an enjoyably mindless shoot-em-up that’s turned into a successful Hollywood trilogy. Keanu Reeves plays the titular hero who becomes a relentless vengeance machine in the first movie after some Russian gangsters kill his puppy. Compensating somewhat for this canine loss, is that fact that in all three John Wick films, our hero wears a Carl F. Bucherer Manero AutoDate. For many watch lovers, that would be their only familiarity with this under-the-radar brand. But as the CEO explains to Mike Christensen, there’s considerably more to Carl F. Bucherer than action-movie product placement.
Carl F Bucherer’s CEO Sascha Moeri was born and raised in Switzerland’s Jura mountains, so it comes as little surprise that from an early age he always knew that he wanted to work in watches. Indeed, Moeri became one of the industry’s youngest CEOs when he took over the reins at Carl F Bucherer in 2010.
“Our partnerships are important parts of who we are as a brand.”
For Carl F Bucherer, creative collaborations are very much at the forefront of the brand’s thinking and for that reason Moeri chooses its partners carefully, giving a lot of consideration to how each one expresses the brand’s overall mission and core values.
“For example, we are excited to be collaborating with Women in Business on joint projects, compelling talks and new media formats in Switzerland,” Moeri tells us. “Women in Business is a community of inspirational and motivational women in leading positions that offers networking and in-depth information on a wide range of business-related themes.”
Sticking with women and watches, the brand is also producing a monthly podcast called She Is Speaking, hosted by journalist Sophie Furley. In each 20-minute episode, Furley interviews strong, brilliant, inspiring women, discussing their motivations and the driving forces that constantly encourage them to move forward.
Earlier in the year, Carl F Bucherer also entered into an exciting new partnership with Caran d’Ache, the Swiss brand known for its writing and drawing instruments. Like Carl F. Bucherer, Caran d’Ache has established a global reputation for crafting analog products admired worldwide, even in a digital age, so watch this space as the brands will be announcing details of some collaborative projects soon.
Another significant partnership which has garnered the much success is with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra (LFO). “The LFO and Carl F. Bucherer both take Lucerne out into the world and ultimately, bring the world back to Lucerne. We have pointed out before the similarities between a fine watch and a musical composition: they are both created from many individual components that have to work together perfectly so it seems almost inevitable that Carl F. Bucherer and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra would celebrate their partnership with two unique creations.
“One is the Manero Minute Repeater Symphony, a timepiece of unparalleled complexity. The other is an intriguing composition by Lisa Streich, who was commissioned by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra to write a piece honouring this groundbreaking expression of the fine art of watchmaking,” says Moeri of the piece that was premiered during Watches and Wonders this year.
But Carl F Bucherer’s longest standing partnership, dating back to 2013, is with the Manta Trust, a foundation committed to preserving endangered manta rays and the ecosystems they need to survive. Since 2017 it has regularly launched models of the Patravi ScubaTec watch to raise awareness of the Manta Trust with a portion of the proceeds donated to its work. Moeri says that it’s a proud expression of the brand’s corporate social responsibility. Indeed, most recently, the ScubaTec Maldives became the newest member of the family to support the Manta Trust. “In addition to this great timepiece, Carl F. Bucherer is also financing a new floating research station in the Maldives in 2021, which is what led to the name of the watch,” Moeri explains.
“Lifestyle is all about storytelling.”
“There is an interest in the sort of differentiation from other brands offered by Carl F. Bucherer as a manufacture and more specifically, because of our mastery of peripheral technology,” Moeri says. “And we take it one step further: each one of our Minute Repeater Symphony watches for example can be individually customised. When someone puts on a Carl F. Bucherer watch, they are wearing something that goes far beyond the aesthetic style statement each of our timepieces makes – they are also carrying on a tradition of quality and innovation that has made our industry so great for so long.”
Moeri believes that corporate social responsibility is also an aspect of lifestyle and is turning into a decisive element when purchasing a watch worth thousands of dollars. “Because a portion of the proceeds from the sales of our ScubaTec watches is donated to the Manta Trust, our customers know that when they buy one, they are purchasing with purpose, which is a meaningful and strong motivation for many of them,” Moeri says.
Brand experience is also key and like many brands in the industry, Carl F. Bucherer’s customers are drawn to its long, unique heritage dating back to 1888. “We enjoy talking about our history and the fact that we are the only Swiss watch brand founded in the 19th century that is still entirely in the hands of the founding family. The people who wear our watches have told us that they enjoy having a link to this legacy. Lifestyle is all about storytelling and there are some incredible stories that can – and will be – told about the Bucherer family and our 13-plus decades of watchmaking adventures.”
“The future of Swiss watchmaking traditions is in very good hands.”
According to Moeri, Carl F Bucherer’s latest Manero Minute Repeater Symphony makes a clear and bold statement that the future of Swiss watchmaking traditions is in very good hands. “A watch like the Minute Repeater Symphony not only has the floating tourbillon that you mention but peripheral technologies that have never been combined in a single timepiece,” he says. “Each one is truly a work of art and an expression of craftsmanship. Our intention is not to create a product with built-in obsolescence but an heirloom piece that the owner – and his or her descendants – will wear proudly for generations,” he continues.
“The Manero Minute Repeater Symphony is also a sort of calling card for our brand. People who hear about it, will also take a closer look at our other watches and hence discover the rich universe of our timepieces. And our experience has shown us that when people discover the brand, they are always excited about what ‘Made of Lucerne’ means in terms of quality watchmaking.