How we made: 1888 by Carl F. Bucherer

Being for a watch brand rather than a travel company, this magazine was an unusual commission for Ink. The magazine was designed to meet a very specific set of challenges for the Carl F. Bucherer brand, and to tie in with an advertising campaign…

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A big part of the challenge for us was to create a general lifestyle magazine, but a very brand-oriented one – that felt like Carl F. Bucherer, but wasn’t just a set of stories about their watches. Their reason for choosing Ink was largely down to our ability to tell great stories from around the world.

CFB has been making watches since 1888, but whilst their watch shops are famous, as a watch brand they don’t have the recognition of similar makers. They want to be seen as a heritage brand, with a strong spiritual link to their birthplace of Lucerne, but a dynamic, modern one. They also want to appeal to different markets, especially the Asian market.

The Carl F. Bucherer colours are black and gold, and with design director Jamie Trendall, we decided that a lot of the identity should come through the photography. We tried to shoot everything with gold elements, or use existing photography that had that palette.

We also decided that the best way to approach the content was through a theme that relates to the Bucherer brand. The first issue was Makers, with the idea being that we’d focus on people who crafted products, from origami pioneers to traditional Venetian mask-makers and the people who make the world’s greatest ballet shoes. We also interviewed Chen Man, the super-cool Beijing photographer who shot Bucherer’s advertising campaign with Chinese film actor Li Bingbing.

The idea was that the non-brand content would merge almost seamlessly into the brand section, which includes a photography-led feature on Lucerne and an interview with the aforementioned Li Bingbing, as well as more service-driven information about watches, stockists and the like.

In terms of the name, we eventually settled on 1888, the year that Carl F. Bucherer founded his watch brand. It has that nod to the heritage, but also somehow felt fresh to us, and benefits from the (lucky) coincidence that the number “eight” is considered lucky in Chinese culture.

Another challenge was that we needed to produce English, French, German and Chinese versions – so the template had to be fairly clean and flexible to allow for versions of stories at different lengths. The design is quite spare – but I think that worked thematically as well as practically.

Using our multimedia Ink Studio, we also produced little videos around the content, so that Bucherer could promote the magazine through their channels. I thought this one, on the Freed of London ballet shoe factory, worked well.

All-in-all, it was an interesting experience to work on something very purely client-driven, without too much commercial pressure. We were pleased with the result, and the client were too. Read the full issue here.

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