For five weeks I wore the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelTec watch. I was sad to have to return it. This timepiece is a bold statement in sophistication and Swiss watchmaking. The watch has several great functions – including a chronograph and the ability to tell time in three different zones simultaneously. This latter function I used often, as I had many European interviews during the time I was wearing it, and I had several USA West coast phone appointments. It was wonderful never having to do the math in my head to figure out my time frames for calls. It only required a glance at my wrist.
The generous 46.6mm case – which boasts a complex construction that makes it even more alluring – was a perfect fit for my wrist, as I enjoy a larger watch. The striking blue dial with white subdials and red GMT indicator hand was easy to read and to use. I will admit, when the watch first arrived, I did have to study how to set the second and third time zone indications, but it took just a couple of minutes to get it all down pat.
To set the local time, via the crown, is a snap. The hour hand is actually disengaged from the rest of the gear train and can be moved either forward or backward in one hour increments as needed. Meanwhile, the watch continues to operate so the exact time is maintained while the local times are being set. Setting the second and third zones, read off of the outer 24-hour chapter rings, is amazingly simple thanks to the patent-pending single pushbutton at 10:00 (which moves the rotating bezel forward or backward). There is a bold red hand that indicates the alternate time zones. A small viewing window on the case side displays the single push-button mechanism.
The very functional COSC-certified chronometer is powered by the CFB 1901 caliber. It is all housed in a stainless steel case made of more than 70 parts (together with the switch mechanism) that is water resistant to 50 meters. The water resistance is a good thing because this watch accompanied me into the very cold Atlantic Ocean and into my chlorine pool. The watch was fitted with a stunning blue calfskin strap lined with red for a burst of color that only the wearer knows is there.
In all, for the $10,900 retail that this watch costs ($11,200 if you get it on a bracelet) – it’s a true Swiss-made top-of-the-line timepiece. My only dislikes: the steel hands were a little difficult to read time off of in the glare of the sun despite the anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal; the 42-hour power reserve was just a tad too short for my tastes, as there are some days that I did have to switch off to another timepiece for wardrobe’s sake. That said, this is a watch that definitely gets noticed. I had many people ask me what I was wearing and a few even had me take it off my wrist to show them.