first look at the Manero Flyback 40mm, introduced this year by Carl F. Bucherer, confirms the neo-vintage aesthetic that has largely contributed to the collection’s success, but with a smaller case size that suggests greater wearability. Overall, a watch that’s stylish but not showy.
The model I tried has a sunburst silver dial with royal blue subdials at 3 o’clock, for the 30-minute chronograph counter, and at 9 o’clock for small seconds. The contrast between the silver and the blue works well.
The case is mounted on a blue textile strap which, in my opinion, doesn’t quite hit the mark for a watch of this calibre, although it does bring a modern, fun element which no doubt corresponds to the target audience. That it’s made from recycled PET will please customers who are concerned about animal welfare. Should you wish, it’s easily swapped out anyway thanks to a quick release system. It fastens with a pin-buckle folding clasp in steel that feels secure and comfortable on the wrist.
Strong vintage look
Day to day, this is a good-looking watch that boasts a strong vintage vibe, with polished steel, piston-style pushers for the chronograph at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. The box sapphire crystal chimes nicely with the vintage influence, as does the 1950s-style dial architecture. The tachymeter scale around the periphery could certainly be easier to read but we all know its purpose on a modern watch is more decorative than functional.
The vintage aesthetic carries over to the polished case, which I imagine will please younger buyers the most. Again, a matter of taste and target. Contrasting with this, the lugs are brushed on top which introduces a definite modern feel. The combination of the two should guarantee wide appeal.
The 14.45mm height gives presence and is more than acceptable for an automatic chronograph, while the 40mm diameter is ideal for slimmer wrists (such as mine). It wears comfortably and has tactile appeal thanks to the mushroom pushers.
These offer a nice amount of resistance when actuated without feeling too stiff. The start-stop pusher at 2 o’clock has a soft response and produces the “dull” sound that signals a quality chronograph, something collectors appreciate. The pusher for the flyback function at 4 o’clock feels slightly stiffer when pressed, but this adds to the overall impression of quality.
Excellent timekeeping performance
Setting is by the crown, which grips nicely between the fingers thanks to its size and fluting. The date, shown in an aperture at 6 o’clock, is adjusted (in one direction only) when the crown is in first position. The change is almost instantaneous and again produces that much-loved muffled sound. It actually jumps to the new date very slightly before midnight, but that’s being a stickler for detail.
The time is set by pulling the crown into second position. Legibility is good overall. Facetted, rhodium-coloured hour markers lend personality to the dial, while the dauphine hour and minute hands are filled with Super-LumiNova for easy read-off in low light. I would have liked to see a slightly more pronounced texture on the subdials, but the slim border makes a welcome additional touch.
The watch kept excellent time throughout the two weeks of testing. The automatic CFB 1973 calibre uses a Sellita AMT5100 column-wheel chronograph base movement that has been modified for Carl F. Bucherer. It performed impressively well, varying by barely a few seconds over the two-week period. Even at the end of its power reserve – after more than 56 hours – it continued to keep impeccable time. My only regret is the choice of a central oscillating weight which partly obstructs the view of the movement through the sapphire display back. Carl F. Bucherer is one of the pioneers of the peripheral rotor and this innovation would certainly add to the pleasure of the watch. No doubt this is something the Lucerne-based brand will bear in mind when developing its future in-house calibre.
All in all, the Manero Flyback 40mm is a well-executed chronograph that confirms, were it ever needed, Carl F. Bucherer’s place among the top Swiss manufacturers for this in-demand category. Its comes in five colour schemes: blue, green, burgundy, black and white.
SCORE from * to *****
- Young, colourful
- Nice vintage touches
- Perfect size
- More sporty than dressy
- Low perceived quality of the textile strap
- Would be nice to have a peripheral rotor to show off the movement
- Excellent precision. Out by barely a few seconds a day over two weeks
- Full 56-hour power reserve¨
- Recycled PET strap
- Steel, which has a lower environmental impact and a lower carbon footprint than gold
- Automatic movement
- No information on the watch’s carbon footprint
Movement: automatic, CFB 1973, 30.40mm diameter, 7.9mm height, 29 jewels, 56 hours of power reserve.
Functions: flyback chronograph, chronograph minutes and seconds, tachymeter scale, date by aperture, hours, minutes.
Case: steel, box sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment on one side, sapphire display back, water-resistant to 3 bars (30m), 40mm diameter, 14.45mm height.
Dial: sunburst in silver with red, blue or green subdials, silver-white or black, rhodium-colour or pink-gold colour hour markers, dauphine hands with Super-LumiNova.
Strap: textile, recycled material, vegan, quick release system, pin-lock folding clasp in steel. RRP: CHF 6,800 / EUR 6,400