The FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 Chronometer honoured by the “Aiguille d’Or” at the 2016 GRAND PRIX D’HORLOGERIE DE GENEVE
At the first presentation of the FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 Chronometer, held in Paris on September 15 at the Yacht Club de France, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele had spoken of his desire to orchestrate the renewal of the eminent individual who served as Watchmaker-Mechanic to the King and Navy during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI as well as under the Napoleonic Empire.
During the GPHG award ceremony, he expressed his gratitude to the jury members for this prize that represents an incredible token of recognition for a youthful brand with time-honoured historical roots. An accolade that means a great deal to someone who had set himself the goal of paying tribute to Ferdinand Berthoud.
Connoisseurs will enjoy a chance to admire the FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 Chronometer with its tourbillon and suspended fusée-chain device next week (November 15th to 19th 2016), at the Dubai Watch Week – an event organised by our partner, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
Our exclusive retailers will also be delighted to present this exceptional chronometer in their boutiques and to share our excitement about this unexpected first prize that comes just one year after its official launch.
This history has placed the bar rather high for the development of the first watch paying tribute to the illustrious name, and the team of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has pulled it off very nicely with the development of a spectacular and architectural movement. This caliber uses the intricate chain and fusée mechanism for releasing energy stored in its spring barrel, an element typical of marine chronometers of the time. Furthermore, this watch’s escapement consists of a very large tourbillon beating at 3Hz and high-precision direct drive seconds, which can be admired from the case-back. This watch has a power reserve of 53 hours with an indicator on the dial side.
When it comes to its design, this watch has a lot of personality. Here again the idea was to link it with the world of marine chronometers and very specifically to some watches designed at the time by Berthoud himself. In addition to its octagonal shape, one of the original aspects of the case is the small windows on the side that allows the observer to see and enjoy inner workings of the movement – like the chain and fusée.
The FB1 comes in two versions: housed in white gold or rose gold.
We do so because this name has been brought back to life and the eponym brand has recently introduced a rather impressive timepiece inspired by marine chronometers and their characteristic “fusée chaine” mechanism.
This watch is the FB1, a tourbillon watch and the movement is simply gorgeous to look at. But before getting there, we thought it would be useful to place back in history who was this great man who from the start wanted to share his watchmaking knowledge and influenced others.
The first evening of the SIAR 2016 high-end watch and jewellery show in Madrid featured an exclusive presentation of a first timepiece from Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD.
The discerning collectors attending the dinner were able to admire two versions of the Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1, while rediscovering 18th century watchmaking techniques. They were fascinated by the story of Ferdinand Berthoud and the reasons that led the Spanish government to order no less than eight longitude clocks from Ferdinand Berthoud that were produced between 1774 and 1776 in its Louvre-based workshops.
For this third Madrid edition of the SIAR, the organisers had chosen a remarkable exhibition setting within a luxurious mansion, the Palacete Fernando El Santo, built in the second half of the 19th century by the famous architect and town-planner Carlos María de Castro.
Thirteen watch brands presented more than 600 models to an attentive audience. For the first time in Spain, Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD was presenting the Chronomètre FB 1, which stirred keen interest among Haute Horlogerie connoisseurs and specialised journalists.
The three-day exhibition closed with a prize-giving ceremony honouring the finest watches on show at the Salon. The Spanish debut of the Chronomètre FB 1 earned it the highest distinction awarded by the jury: the “Mejor Reloj” (best watch) prize, thereby confirming its considerable success among SIAR visitors.
Exhibited for the very first time in Spain, the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 was awarded the price for “Mejor Reloj” during the SIAR in Madrid.
Ferdinand Berthoud, supplier to the King of Spain
Ferdinand VI of Spain (1713-1759), third member of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty, made the development of economic trade in the colonies a priority. The King relied on his prime minister Zenón de Somodevilla, Marqués de la Ensenada (1702-1781) to reorganise the Spanish Armada with the aim of competing against France and England for the conquest of new territories while protecting Spanish maritime trading.
In 1759, the success of Harrison’s fourth marine timekeeper H4 in accurately measuring longitude at sea, followed by the development of accurate chronometers by John Arnold and Thomas Earnshaw – produced in relatively large quantities – secured a leading position for England.
However, this success did not entirely win over the Spanish scientist and naval officer Jorge Juan y Santacilia (1713 – 1773), who reported to the Marqués de la Ensenada his concerns with buying chronometers from Harrison.
In 1757, he founded the “Real Observatorio de Madrid”, after participating in the famous Spanish-French Geodesic Mission in 1735, which resulted in the measurement of the arc and size of Earth at the Equator in Ecuador. His observation of the French researchers led him to report positively to Ensenada on the successful trial at sea on 1768 of the Ferdinand Berthoud Marine Clock n° 8.
Consequently, between 1774 and 1776, the Spanish government purchased eight longitude clocks from Ferdinand Berthoud. N° 7 to 16 inclusive were the first to be used by the Spanish Armada. They played a prominent role in the hydrographic and cartographic explorations conducted by Spain during the second-half of the 18th century.
The mathematician Vincente Tofiño de San Miguel (1732-1795) used Ferdinand Berthoud Marine Clocks n° 10 and 13 between 1783 and 1788 to achieve the detailed survey of the coast of Spain and North Africa, leading to the publication of his famous “Atlas marítimo de España, Madrid, 1789”.
These same Ferdinand Berthoud Marine Clocks were later used by Alessandro Malaspina (1754- 1810) during his second scientific exploration throughout the Pacific Ocean from 1789 to 1794, allowing the creation of maps of the west coast of the Americas , the Philippines, the New Zealand and Australia.
Ferdinand Berthoud did not stop at providing accurate timekeepers to Spain. He also proposed to the Spanish government to train local watchmakers, with the goal not simply of repairing and maintaining his clocks, but also of enabling their production directly in Spain.
Indeed, in 1788, most of the Berthoud timekeepers belonging to the Armada had to be sent back to Paris for servicing. Cayetano Santchez, a young student at the “Escuela de Relojeria de Madrid” who was recommended by the Count of Floridablanca (1728 – 1808), was sent to the master watchmaker’s workshop in Paris to learn the art of building marine timekeepers.
Sanchez returned to Spain in 1793 where he took over the maintenance of marine chronometers at the “Real Observatorio de la Armada, San Fernando (Cádiz)”. He was granted the title of “clockmaker to his Majesty” in 1798.
Even today, Spain remains an important destination to visit some of the most important marine clocks signed by Ferdinand Berthoud. We are therefore delighted to embark on this new journey that will allow Ferdinand Berthoud to revisit an intricate history of maritime conquest and all of its implications after the 18th century.
The SIAR in Madrid will be held from 16 to 18 June 2016. www.siareuropa.com
Within the framework of its highly selective distribution network, Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD is delighted to announce an exclusive partnership in Switzerland with Les Ambassadeurs.
A leading specialist in the field of Haute Horlogerie, Les Ambassadeurs is active in cities that enjoy global renown for their appeal in this realm.
Alongside a strong historical presence in Geneva where Les Ambassadeurs was founded more than 50 years ago, it also has stores on the world-famous “Bahnhofstrasse” in Zurich, in Lugano as well as St. Moritz. More recently, Les Ambassadeurs has also brought its expertise to Lucerne.
The characteristically elegant and architectural style of Les Ambassadeurs is reflected in each of their Boutiques, all of which were created by Bollinger Architektur & Design. The core element and hallmark of Les Ambassadeurs is the Espace Connaisseur, a unique place showcasing exceptional watches and exclusive limited editions. Watchmaking aficionados greatly appreciate this area where they can share opinions and discover new products. The in-house watchmakers, whom one can admire at work on the most sought-after mechanisms, are also available to answer any questions and to provide useful explanations on the horological techniques involved.
Local and international clients alike are immersed into the very heart of watchmaking and its deepest secrets are revealed to them.
Through this partnership, Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD is ensuring that its message strongly rooted in watchmaking passion is passed on with the same enthusiasm while maintaining full respect for the tradition and expertise that led to the creation of the Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1, a contemporary timepiece paying tribute to the work of the 18th century master-watchmaker.
Les Ambassadeurs have a strong historical presence in Geneva where they were founded more than 50 years ago.
Paris, known as the City of Light, provides a splendid setting for the launch of Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD, the new watch Manufacture paying tribute to the eponymous watchmaker from the Age of Enlightenment when the French capital acquired this name.
An exceptional location for an exceptional watchmaker
What can one say of the Place Vendôme? A place where Ferdinand Berthoud frequently exercised his finest skills in the service of the King of France. His workshop was situated on the Rue de Harlay on the Île de la Cité, between the Quai des Orfèvres and the Quai de l’Horloge. He is known to have spent a lot of time on the Place Vendôme, particularly in the pursuit of his scientific research. This place symbolising the inimitable French ‘art of living’ is an inspirational location that is a magnet for the world’s greatest luxury brands.
A shared passion
The passion for fine watchmaking cultivated by two families, united on the initiative of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele along with Pierre and Patrice Dubail, enables us to announce with great pride the arrival on the Place Vendôme of the two first treasures from Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD.
How better to mark this milestone than to showcase the Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 in white gold, engraved with the inscription 1/50 signifying its status as the first in this exclusive 50-piece series?
This first model, conveying a wealth of history and dynastic tradition, is stirring considerable interest among the many collectors who have grasped the sheer scope of the task that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is seeking to accomplish. As usual, his endeavours are governed by rigorous discipline and high standards, values naturally shared by the Dubail family.
The Dubail Boutique
Over the past 35 years, the name of Dubail has achieved international renown and become synonymous with prestige, uniqueness and success. In this must-see venue that attracts a demanding international clientele, the Dubail family consistently offers the rarest and most sought-after pieces designed to delight its prestigious visitors.
In 2013, Dubail celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Vendôme Boutique. Today, with the arrival of the very first model from Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD, the Maison is welcoming the arrival of a momentous landmark in international watchmaking history.
In 2013, Dubail celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Vendôme Boutique.
This year’s guest of honour was Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, President of la Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud and Co-President of the Chopard Group. Nicholas Coleridge presented Mr Scheufele with the special honour of the ‘GQ Lifetime Achievement Award’ to commemorate his outstanding contribution to the watch industry.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is known for his love of chronometry and fascination for the history of watchmaking. Born in Pforzheim in 1958, Scheufele was educated in Geneva before joining Chopard, the family company, in 1985. During his tenure as Co-President, he has transformed the company’s men’s watchmaking operation into one of the most respected manufacturers in Switzerland. Mr Scheufele’s latest outstanding achievement includes reviving the name of Ferdinand Berthoud. The brand comes in addition to the watch manufacturer in Fleurier, which produces the L.U.C. collection of Haute Horlogerie.
Held at the Neo-gothic Elisabethenkirche in Basel, the GQ Baselworld Cocktail Party saw over 400 guests gather to celebrate the opening of the biggest industry event in the watches and jewellery calendar, an event which has become a mainstay of the evening programme during Baselworld.
GQ has a gross international readership of over 5.4 million, with over 22 million monthly users across its websites. International watch supplements, including British GQ’s Watch Guide and GQ Germany’s Uhren, as well as dedicated watch channels on the international GQ websites, featuring the work of the leading style journalists.
On November 25th 1768, the Count of Fleurieu, explorer and hydrographer, set out on a maritime expedition aboard the frigate commissioned by King Louis XV. His mission was to test the Ferdinand Berthoud marine clocks Nos. 6 and 8 on a voyage from Rochefort to Santo Domingo and back.
November 25th 2015 saw the official inauguration of the Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD. The new Manufacture, created at the instigation of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, intends to pay tribute to this exceptional heritage by offering exceptional timepieces worthy of Ferdinand Berthoud’s horological genius.
The inauguration was graced with the presence of State Councillor Jean-Nathanaël Karakash who assisted Karl-Friedrich Scheufele in the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Chronométrie workshop is located in a delightfully wooded area facing the “Chapeau de Napoléon”, a hill perched above the village of Fleurier and nicknamed after its evocative shape reminiscent of the Emperor’s two-cornered hat. Its privileged location in this tranquil setting instils a sense of peace and serenity provides a perfect working environment for the watchmakers in the exercise of their craft.
The atmosphere is one of intense concentration: there is nothing simple about creating a movement equipped with a tourbillon powered by a fusée and chain transmission system whose precision is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute. It embodies the fundamental principle of chronometric precision governing the brand and featured in its name. The result is a distillation of innovations that have been incorporated into the Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Chronometer, equipped with an FB-T.FC calibre for which four patents have been filed.
The evening continued with the Rencontres du L.U.CEUM and a lecture by watchmaking expert Arnaud Tellier, who gave a fascinating presentation on the exceptional heritage of the 19th century master watchmaker. The enthusiasm shown for this initiative that revives a proud history augurs well for a promising future in which passion is dedicated to the service of the watchmaking art.
The inauguration was graced with the presence of State Councillor Jean-Nathanaël Karakash who assisted Karl-Friedrich Scheufele in the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Ferdinand Berthoud, born in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland in 1727, led a brilliant career as a horologist-mechanic in Paris. His work is notable for his particular passion for the question of how to determine longitude at sea – which previously remained unsolved – and which had kept the most brilliant minds of Europe busy since the publication in England of the Longitude Act of 1714.
His research would naturally lead him temporarily to London to study the work of Sir John Harrison. Sir Thomas Mudge and other prominent members of the Royal Society then tried by any means available to keep him in London, going so far as to have him appointed a “foreign associate member” of the Royal Society.
However Ferdinand Berthoud returned to France to pursue his research, and following the successful trials at sea of his marine clocks n°6 and n°8 which allowed the calculation of longitude to within half a degree, he attained the most respected position of his time.
In 1770, he was appointed Horologist-Mechanic to the King and the Navy by Louis XV. From this moment on, France would be able to rival England in its quest for naval supremacy and the building of its empire.
Today, the Chronométrie pursues her voyage in the wake of Ferdinand Berthoud, truly inspired by the great master’s mesmerizing marine chronometers and guided by his spirit of precision and innovation.
We would be delighted to welcome you on the second floor of SalonQP from November 12 to 14 at the Saatchi Gallery, London, for the discovery of our seductive homage to Ferdinand Berthoud.
The exhibition will take place at SalonQP 2015 at the Saatchi Gallery, London, from November 12 to 14.
For more information please visit www.salonqp.com