In 2019 Carl F. Bucherer released two vintage-inspired modern chronographs with annual calendars to its heritage collection, paying a tribute to a chronograph reference from 1956. Initially presented with silver and champagne-colored dials, the Lucerne-based brand has expanded the Bicompax Annual family by adding a new classic-looking black dial variation into the mix.
The dial on the 2021 Bicompax Annual retains the clean and legible dial presentation of its elder siblings. The base dial this time around has been offered in a deep shade of black with a sunburst finish. The twin register setup has been rendered in silver to provide a nice contrast to the black background and lend the watch a “reverse panda” look. Surrounding the registers are Arabic numerals for hours, followed by a printed minute/chronograph seconds track, and finally a tachymeter scale on the outer periphery. The handset comprises syringe-style lume filled hour and minute hands, black tapering batons for the two registers at 3 and 9, and a simple stick-style chronograph hand.
As for the calendar functions, there is a big date display at 12 and a month window that has been tucked away between 4 and 5, which also happens to be my only little gripe about this dial. In my opinion, Carl F. Bucherer could have better placed the month window. Maybe between the hand stack and the branding at 6. But then again, no watch is perfect, and there must be people who like this implementation as well.
The case is milled from stainless steel and has a conventional rounded shape. It is 41mm wide and has a thickness of 14.1mm, which are quite modest dimensions in the realm of modern Chronographs. The finishing looks good with a nice mix of brushed and polished surfaces on display throughout the case. One of my favorite details on this case are the angled chronograph pushers that give the watch a slightly sporty flair.
Turning the watch over reveals the caliber CFB 1972. An automatic chronograph movement, the CFB 1972 is based on the ETA 2894 and features an annual calendar module on top. The movement operates at a frequency of 4 Hz and offers a powers reserve of around 42 hours when fully wound.