Tribute to the Ferdinand Berthoud Marine Clocks
Miniaturisation is one of the direct consequences of the technical watchmaking advances made possible by the endeavours of Ferdinand Berthoud.
His first creations in the domain of maritime horology are impressively large, with the Marine Clock No. 1 measuring a full 115 cm high. He also worked on Marine Clocks and Longitude Watches featuring similar construction elements, such as the pillar-type architecture interpreted on a considerably smaller scale.
The FB 1 chronometer, the first model introduced by Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, takes up the technical challenge of incorporating a pillar-type structure into a wristwatch. It is thus entirely in line with the work begun by Ferdinand Berthoud in 1754 with his research on maritime horology and perpetuates a construction tradition foreshadowing a new design trend giving pride of place to functional aesthetics.
Chronometric precision as a fundamental value
Chronometric precision, a major concern to which Ferdinand Berthoud devoted his life, was the guiding principle behind the creation of the first Ferdinand Berthoud chronometer.
It all began with the need to deliver constant force to the escapement so as to ensure the most regular possible rate. As Ferdinand Berthoud had already established, the fusée and chain mechanism asserted itself as the best solution in this quest for mechanical regularity.
Calibre FB-T.FC is thus naturally equipped with a fusée and chain mechanism developed in an original and contemporary manner, with the system suspended so as to achieve the thinnest possible movement despite the presence of the fusée that normally occupies a generous space due to its helical shape. In addition to the technological feat embodied by this unparalleled construction, the visual effect created by the barrel and the suspended chain is truly remarkable, since no bridge obstructs the view of the steady movement of the ensemble during winding and unwinding.
The reliable and robust Calibre FB-T.FC is endowed with a precision and regularity confirmed by the granting of a chronometry certificate individually issued by the laboratories of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute after 16 days of demanding tests.
The supremely sophisticated construction of the tourbillon with central seconds
Calibre FB-T.FC also incorporates a tourbillon with high-precision direct-drive seconds. Secured by a bridge evoking the structure of a robust yet sleek arch, it features a design inspired by the creations of the master watchmaker.
Visible through the dial opening, the motion of the wheel and pinion driving the tourbillon carriage in the opposite direction to the fourth wheel is a mesmerising sight equalled only by the magnificent show that can be admired through the case-back.
The strikingly beautiful movement of the FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 chronometer draws the gaze to its refined elegance. It speaks as much to novices as to those in the know by revealing its stunning complexity highlighted by a design focusing on pure, flowing lines and transparency.
A full review by Watch-Test
The history of the master watchmaker Ferdinand Berthoud and the birth of the first creation of Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud along with an in-depth explanation of the FB 1 Chronometer and its exclusive calibre FB-T.FC by Watch-Test.