TIME TRAVELLERS

The Heritage BiCompax Annual Lucerne, by Carl F. Bucherer, is a celebration of a storied vehicle, an enigmatic little metropolis, and a watchmaking dynasty all in one.

The 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Town Sedan and the Heritage BiCompax Annual Lucerne timepiece inspired by it.

The phrase ‘family car’ may for many of us conjure up images of prosaic school-run vehicles and anthropomorphic jalopies in old kids’ movies, but not so the family whose eponymous watch brand was founded in 1888, when Carl Friedrich Bucherer opened a specialist watch and jewellery store in Lucerne with his wife.

It was Carl Eduard Bucherer, the son of the aforementioned founding visionary (one of the first watchmakers, horological trivia buffs, to adopt the watch strap), who brought a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Town Sedan into the family, unaware of the place it would eventually earn in his family’s domestic folklore.

The car made a huge impression on Jörg G. Bucherer, Carl Eduard’s son, who as a 13-year-old watched the Lincoln win the Public Prize at the Concours d’Excellence International in Lucerne in the same year as its purchase. It was sold three years later, but in 2013, several owners later, Jörg tracked down the vehicle, returned it to the roost, and restored it — the body stripped back, the engine rebuilt from scratch — to the condition it was in when it wowed the crowds in Lucerne all those years ago. A fairytale ending to the story came to fruition when it was taken to the Concours d’Excellence International once again in September and put on display at the Swiss Museum of Transport.

Published

October 2021

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