There are 126 references in the Carl F. Bucherer watch catalog, and ref. 00.10927.08.33.22 is the one you see right here. It’s a glossy 40mm chronograph with classic looks and a reverse panda dial. “CFB” is the private label of Rolex-owned watch retailer Bucherer, meaning this chronograph has to compete with a lot of other “critters” in a very competitive habitat. And not just there, mind you. The brand’s watches are also for sale at other shops. That raises the question if the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback has what it takes to survive in the wild.

Two silver sub-registers on a black dial. The look is familiar. The brand? Maybe not so much. The Bucherer name might ring a bell or two. Well, it should be 36 bells since there are 36 Bucherer watch stores in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Attach a first name and an initial to the retailer’s name, and you get Carl F. Bucherer, the private-label watches named after merchant and entrepreneur Carl-Friedrich Bucherer, who, in 1888, opened the first specialist watch and jewelry store in the Swiss town of Lucerne with his wife Luise.

Bucherer has been in the (watch) news recently because Rolex bought the retailer. Interestingly, Ernst Bucherer, son of the founders, entered into a particularly fruitful partnership with Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, in 1924, adding the new and aspiring watch brand to the Bucherer portfolio. The most famous watch brand in the world had been Bucherer’s most important partner, and is now its owner. The reason is that Jörg Bucherer, the last head of the company who died last November at the age of 87, didn’t have direct descendants to whom he could pass the company down. Rolex taking ownership perpetuates the two companies’ shared history and guarantees the future of Bucherer itself.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback: can this reverse panda survive in the wild?

By acquiring the retail chain, Rolex also became the owner of the watch brand Carl F. Bucherer. When you’re a salesperson at a Bucherer branch or a retailer that carries the brand, that’s a nice story to tell — I guess people who’re trying to sell a Tudor also have a Rolex story at the ready. But is that story enough to convince someone to spend €7K? That’s a serious amount of money. But the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback has a very serious €7,100 price tag.

Manero Flyback

For €7,100, you get a steel 40 × 14.45mm case that’s water resistant to 30 meters. It has a double-domed sapphire crystal with an antireflective coating on one side, and the case back also has a sapphire crystal. The reference that arrived at Fratello HQ is outfitted with a nine-row steel bracelet. Its two outermost rows of links are polished, while the other seven are brushed. The case shows the opposite treatment; there are a lot of polished parts, such as the rounded side of the case and the bezel, while there are just a few brushed parts, like the top of the lugs.

Manero Flyback

The column wheel of fortune

Inside the watch beats the 29-jewel automatic CFB 1973 (La Joux-Perret 7771), which measures 30.4 × 7.9mm and has a power reserve of 56 hours. The flyback chronograph caliber is also equipped with a blue column wheel that you can spot through the transparent case back. Apart from hours and minutes, the movement powers the small seconds register at 9 o’clock, a date at 6, and a 30-minute counter for the chronograph at 3.

Carl F. Bucherer

The black dial shows a tachymeter scale, applied indexes, and two recessed sub-dials with a concentric circular pattern. The layout is classic, and so are the proportions, but the watch, I’m sad to say, is possibly not going to be.


Final thoughts on the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback

Not too long ago, I tried to wrap my brain around the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Verde. And with Manero Flyback, I once again was faced with a challenge: what to make of a very shiny, reverse panda chrono with €7K price tag? I’m not going to compare this watch to similar offerings from competing brands that compete for the same “prey” in the highly competitive “wild.” I did that with the green ScubaTec already. Instead, I just stuck to the €7K watch, scrutinized it, and judged it on its own.

So, here it goes. The size and proportions of the case are good, but the pump pushers could/should have been smaller and subtler. They do stick out, don’t you think? The large sword hands look strong, and the applied indexes match them very well. But an applied brand logo is sorely missed, and it would uplift the dial. The abundance of polishing is quite overwhelming — even the inside of the nine-row bracelet is completely polished — and not as refined and subtle as you would expect from a watch at this price level.

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback

The other Manero

Writing two CFB reviews in a row taught me something that I need to share. If you want to spend good money on something original and interesting with Carl F. Bucherer on the dial, take a look at the Manero Peripheral (00.10924.08.33.01). This 40.60 × 11.2mm one-eyed reverse panda in steel with pink gold hands costs €7,300. That’s a higher price than this chronograph, yes, but the movement inside the Manero Peripheral is very interesting. It’s the COSC-certified caliber CFB A2050 with a peripheral rotor. And that’s not something you see every day. It’s a complicated winding system normally reserved for Haute Horlogerie creations from reputable manufacturers. The rotor spinning on the outside of the 30.6 × 5.3mm movement offers an unobstructed view of its workings. The Manero Peripheral cannot be compared to anything from Omega, Tudor, TAG Heuer, or Breitling. The Manero Flyback, on the other hand…

For more information about the Manero Flyback and Peripheral, please visit the official Carl F. Bucherer website.

Watch specifications

Manero Flyback
Black with sunray finish, applied indices, and silver sub-dials
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
40mm (diameter) × 48.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 14.45mm (thickness)
Double-domed sapphire with antireflective coating on one side
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire display
CFB 1973 — La Joux-Perret 7771 base, automatic and hand winding, 28,800vph frequency, 56-hour power reserve, 29 jewels, column wheel
Water Resistance
3 ATM (30m)
Stainless steel nine-row bracelet with push-button folding clasp
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), date, flyback chronograph (30-minute counter, central seconds)