If you ask me, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for vintage chronographs. Without surprise, the cool retro vibes of the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback immediately caught my eye, since the watch was launched in 2016. This elegant and well-executed chronograph, which also features an advanced automatic movement, now comes in a variety of colours and editions. Today we’re going hands-on with the blue dial, steel case iteration of the model.
The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback is a handsome chronograph making a strong first impression with its vintage-inspired case and dial. Fashioned out of stainless steel, it features large mushroom-type pushers. Its elongated, tapered lugs are brushed and highlighted by a polished chamfer, giving a nice touch to the watch. Its rounded, slightly sloped bezel frames a double-domed sapphire crystal that slightly protrudes from the case – again to reinforce the retro vibes.
The 43mm diameter of the case provides the dial with ample room for enhanced legibility. This specific version comes with elegant two-tone blue/grey hues with contrasting white markings. Slightly convex, it combines brushed and matte surfaces, separating the sectors. The triangular faceted indexes are paired with skeletonized dauphine-style hands. The sub-dials are patterned with a circular finish and are slightly recessed, which adds a sense of depth. We won’t rekindle or solve the date/no date debate here, but the small rectangular window is neatly integrated at 6 o’clock. At the periphery, the tachymeter brings a sporty touch.
The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback is more than just a pretty face. Turning the watch over, the exhibition caseback provides an unimpeded view on the CFB Calibre 1970. The automatic chronograph movement is based on the tried-and-tested 7750 – but only based, as some work has been done on it. The iconic Valjoux architecture has been significantly modified with La Joux-Perret to integrate distinctive features.
For instance, the cam-and-lever command has been replaced by a column-wheel, which adds its touch of noblesse and a more pleasant feel to the pushers (much softer). A flyback mechanism allows you to reset the timing session by a single push on the button at 4 o’clock. Last, the classic Valjoux 12/9/6 layout is advantageously replaced by a bi-compax display, well-balanced with nicely spaced subdials. Just like the iconic Valjoux chronograph, the calibre 1970 operates at 4Hz and provides 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The movement’s decoration includes Geneva stripes, perlage and blued screws while the column-wheel stands out in black.
The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback is worn on a grey alligator strap and secured to the wrist by a pin-lock folding clasp released by double pushers. At 43mm, the watch is not small. If watch size naturally comes down to personal preference, to me, it has good wrist presence and still wears comfortably.
All in all, the elegant Manero Flyback feels well-executed and displays great attention to details. The brand has managed to create a vintage vibe that still feels cool and modern. Last, the watch stands out with the distinctive features of its movement, a unique take on the time-honoured Valjoux 7750 offering practical functionality. Price is set at CHF 5,900. For more information or to have a look at other versions of the model, please visit www.carl-f-bucherer.com.