This year, Carl F. Bucherer has embarked on a brand refresh. How do you start on a process like that? Is it a refreshed brand leading to new watches? Or vice-versa?
The idea was to analyze everything from the brand to the products. Really, to get into the details of the brand identity. We wanted to design, or redesign, the brand’s DNA and everything that is in that DNA. The goal in our mind was to sharpen everything. We wanted the new DNA to have a sharper identity, a sharper brand expression and give clear guidance for the way forward. So that Carl F. Bucherer stands for something unique and something robust.
This might seem like an esoteric question. But did you want the brand to mean new things to people? What I am trying to figure out is where do you draw the line in an exercise like this?
Not necessarily new things. It is not that we turned the brand in a totally different new direction. But to find out who we are. It is foremost an exercise in self-discovery, really. And the ultimate goal is to clarify our communication and what the brand stands for. Without necessarily changing everything. You don’t have to change everything.
Is that why you chose Lucerne to play such a strong role in the refreshed identity?
That seemed an obvious choice. We are based in Lucerne. And Lucerne as a town is famous...and it is a brand in itself. We’ve been there since 1888. We defined eight brand pillars and Lucerne is one of them for us...
What are those other pillars?
There is Lucerne; our founder Carl F.; the year 1888 is a pillar in itself—a period the French call the fin de siècle; the manufacture...our production facility, is a pillar; our savoire faire—our know-how; and my favourite—our free spirit. This reflects the fact that we are an independent family-owned business still run by the Bucherers. Very few brands can say that...
I suppose the challenge with a refresh like this is to make sure that you strike a balance. Change too much and you have a new brand altogether...
... And change too little and nobody realizes or recognizes just what you have done. The trick with getting such things right is to build it on authentic things. On things that are actually relevant and connected to the brand. You can’t just make things and connections and pillars up.
The gold colour also seems like a strong motif...
Let me explain. Earlier, we used to have red and grey as the brand colours. This was great. It was very technical and very sporty. But, above all, technical. When we started relooking at our products and our history, we noticed several baroque elements—a style from 17th century in Europe. You must also keep in mind that Lucerne is a Catholic town in what is otherwise a very Protestant and Calvinist country. All the other watch brands are in Protestant areas. We don’t care about religion at all. But that Catholic angle made us think. Why not embrace that Baroque part of our heritage? And you see this all over Lucerne! In the architecture and style...there are baroque and exuberant churches and a certain lifestyle. There is a week-long carnival in Lucerne where people really party. And we felt that there was a link. Which is why we adopted this new golden colour, this very baroque colour, as part of our new refresh. But we didn’t just cut and paste it. No. We created something we like to call Minimal Baroque. We infused modern watchmaking design codes with hints of baroque and opulence.
What I think is interesting is that you have achieved all this without having to completely overhaul your watches...
Yes. Because, like I said, the watches were part of our thought process. This was not going to be an excuse to change everything. You can already say that many of our watches have a sense of minimal baroque.
Pathos Swan Limited Edition
Patravi Traveltec Black
Patravi Traveltec II