Peripheral technology such as floating tourbillons aren’t new to the watchmaking world but there is one brand that keeps pushing them further and further with each of its explorations into the peripheral space, Carl F. Bucherer. Their latest watch combines three peripheral movement elements into its construction, each individual part working together to make a symphonic whole. This is the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony.
In simple terms, a peripheral element is a way of mounting part of a timepiece’s movement on the dial side, where it is visible to the wearer, without going for a fully skeletonised aesthetic. It’s a method that is primarily used to show off particularly beautiful aspects of a calibre. In 2008 Carl F. Bucherer patented their own peripherally suspended flying tourbillon and in 2018 they added a peripheral winding system to their wheelhouse and now they’ve also created a peripheral regulator – with all three elements comprising part of the MR3000 manufacture calibre and displayed either on the dial front or, in the case of the winding system, through the caseback.
Individually, each of the periphery elements are solid high-watchmaking achievements but don’t necessarily stand out, like listening to just the woodwind section or strings of an orchestra in isolation. Put them together and they’re greater than the sum of their parts – you can hear the whole symphony, which is what inspired the name of this watch, along with the fact the peripheral regulator is part of the new minute repeater function that adds an audible element to your timekeeping.
Talking of the minute repeater function, let’s take a closer look at it. It’s one of the most refined complications in haute horology, using delicate gongs or chimes to denote the time when struck by hammers. The Symphony has two gongs and hammers that are visible through apertures near 6 o’clock, when activated they produce two tones that are amplified to twice their normal volume by the timepiece’s resonator. The peripheral regulator is what controls the beat of the chimes.
It’s an extremely delicate complication that’s easily damaged by misuse when it’s activated, so to prevent any accidents Carl F. Bucherer have integrated a protection function that locks the crown in place when the minute repeater is active and vice versa. There’s also the visual cue of a blue dot and musical note at 9 o’clock that indicates whether you’ve set the minute repeater to sound or not, so you don’t make any mistakes. The peripherally mounted tourbillon and periphery winding system, visible through the display case back, are also impressive but not a new addition.
This isn’t just an exercise in mechanics and it’s actually a great looking watch with a striking case shape matching the unique dial detail. It has a simple 43.8mm 18k rose gold case with matching hands and indices on a white gold dial with grained texture. The simplicity of the design lets the relatively complex appearance of the flying tourbillon and other peripheral elements show themselves off without becoming overwhelming to the eye. An elegant bandstand for the key players.
You might be thinking that I’ve run this music analogy into the ground but it really is apt. Carl F. Bucherer has even worked alongside the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, who share a hometown with the brand, to create a two-and-a-half minute piece of music inspired by the watch. Now that’s dedication to a theme.
The watch is rounded out by a 65-hour power reserve for the MR3000 automatic movement and the whole piece is presented on a hand-stitched and hand-finished alligator strap. The overall impression is that this is a watch Carl F. Bucherer are genuinely excited to reveal and have gone the extra mile to make its debut as special as possible with the involvement of a real orchestra. And I can’t deny I like the results.
Price & Specs:
Model: Carl F. Bucherer Manero Minute Repeater Symphony
Case/Dial: 43.8mm diameter x 12.47mm height, 18k rose gold case, 18k white gold Pd210 electroplated and grained pattern dial
Movement: In-house Calibre CFB MR3000, COSC-certified, automatic, 47 rubies
Water Resistance: 10m (1 bar)
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power Reserve: 65h
Functions: Hour, minute, small seconds, minute repeater, floating tourbillon, seconds on tourbillon cage, stop-seconds
Strap: Dark brown Louisiana alligator leather
Price/Availability: $399,000 USD, limited to 88 pieces
More details at Carl F. Bucherer.