The trade-off of the first automatic, or self-winding, watches was their chunky central winding rotors blocked your view of all those captivating gears, wheels and bridges. Carl F. Bucherer changed that in 2008, with the groundbreaking CFB A1000 movement that generates energy with an oscillator that turns around the periphery on a system of DLC-coated rollers with ceramic ball bearings.
There’d been similar systems, but Bucherer was the first to produce an entire collection powered this way. The watchmaker followed up with the next-generation calibre CFB A2000, in 2016, and last year’s calibre CFB T3000 with a peripherally mounted tourbillon regulator.
A peripheral rotor also offers slimness as eliminating the central oscillating rotor and moving the winding system to the outer edges of the movement condenses the architecture to shave off precious millimeters. Last year, when Vacheron announced its first automatic tourbillon movement, the ultrathin Caliber 2160 with a 22K-gold, arc-shaped peripheral winding rotor, it became one of the thinnest automatic tourbillon movements on the market at 5.65 mm thick.
Following its debut in dressy gold and platinum pieces, the 2160 made its way into the band’s sporty steel Overseas range this year. With its radiant blue-lacquered sunburst satin-finished dial, the 42.5-mm Overseas Tourbillon ($103,000) mesmerizes with its tourbillon spinning at 6 o’clock, and you can turn the watch over to see its intricate mechanism.
Carl F. Bucherer further elevated the game with the 43-mm, rose-gold Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral ($68,000) and the Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition ($88,888), both launched last year to mark the company’s 130th anniversary. Bucherer spent four years developing the CFB T3000 movement that combines the brand’s peripheral winding system with a peripherally mounted tourbillon that dispenses with the typical bridges to appear as if it is freely floating in the cage at the top of the dial. The COSC-certified chronometer features a silicon escapement, a first for the brand, and 65 hours of power reserve.
For something much less complicated and far more affordable, Bucherer also upsized its classic Manero Peripheral ($6,800 to $16,600) to 43 mm in stainless steel and 18K rose gold with your choice of black or white dials.