Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud unveils its rarest Chronomètre FB 1 to date since it is in fact one of a kind. Offering a decidedly modern take on the work of the master watchmaker, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud unveils a model paying tribute to Alessandro Malaspina, an explorer who left an indelible imprint on the latter end of the Age of Enlightenment. Two days after it was unveiled to the public, it was designated best watch of the SIAR 2018 in Mexico.
The Chronomètre FB 1 Malaspina Edition measures 44 mm in diameter and is 13 mm thick. Crafted for the first time entirely in 18-carat rose gold, the case is identically shaped to the first three series of this Fine Watchmaking chronometer.
The case flanks featuring four lateral ‘portholes’ provide a chance to admire the operation of this fusee-and-chain mechanism and of the mobile cone-type power-reserve display. These apertures are complemented by a glareproofed sapphire crystal case-back serving to appreciate the quality of the movement finishing. An imposing knurled dynamometric crown in 18-carat rose gold ensures smooth winding of the movement with its 53-hour power reserve.
The design of the hands on the Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 is a reinterpretation of various hand shapes used by Ferdinand Berthoud in his numerous timepieces.
Their complex and original shapes mean that great expertise is required to make them. The hours, minutes and power-reserve hands are crafted in 18-carat gold, while the extremely slender (0.22 mm) and exceptionally long (24.68 mm) seconds hand is made of gilded bronze.
The dagger-shaped hours and minutes hands are finely cut out and facet-polished. The power-reserve indicator features a curved triangular tip, while the slim direct-drive sweep-seconds hand cambered at its far end is fitted with a round counterweight typical of Berthoud regulators.
Designed to match the shade of the dial, these hands ensure perfect legibility of time measurements as well as ensuring an elegantly harmonious overall appearance.
The watch features a dial with a complex structure composed of three distinct elements.
The main plate is made of vertical satin-brushed silver-toned brass. A hollowed 12 o’clock galvanic blue subdial with transferred white Arabic numerals displays the hours and minutes. This offset construction is inspired by the marine chronometers that travelled with Malaspina on his exploratory voyage.
A central dial opening, graced with finely hand-bevelled chamfers, reveals the wheel driving the tourbillon carriage and the fourth (seconds) wheel, both of which are blued.
The seconds are displayed around the dial rim on a blued brass disc, enabling accurate reading of short times recalling that chronometric precision is the very essence of Ferdinand Berthoud timepieces.
The straps of the FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 watches are made in an artisanal manner and hand-sewn from top-quality leather.
These distinctively designed double rolled-edge straps are exceptionally supple yet sturdy thanks to the traditional tanning methods used in preparing the hides.
The finely crafted high-tech FERDINAND BERTHOUD folding clasp in titanium is equipped with a safety mechanism built into the cover and serving to open the clasp by means of two push-buttons so as to avoid inadvertent unbuckling of the strap.
Optimal comfort on the wrist is achieved by adjusting the length of the clasp by means of push-button built into the lower blade.
TRIBUTE TO THE MASTER CLOCKMAKER AND MECHANIC BY APPOINTMENT TO THE FRENCH KING AND THE FRENCH NAVY
This first mechanical hand-wound movement to emerge from Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD in Fleurier is a tribute piece inspired by the exceptional work of the founding father and transcends existing standards in the field of Haute Horlogerie.
Featuring a striking structure and driving exceptionally readable indications, Calibre FB-T.FC-2 is equipped with an exclusive constant-force regulation system with suspended fusée and chain transmission, equipped with a differential winding system. It also has a highly distinctive power-reserve mechanism.
A tourbillon with central seconds hand guarantee the optimal timing adjustment of the movement, whose precision and rate accuracy is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute.
The original fusée and chain mechanism developed by the engineers of Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD occupies an exceptionally small space within the movement thanks to its “suspended” construction.
The barrel and fusée of Calibre FB-T.FC-2 are linked by a chain comprising no less than 474 steel links, including more than 300 pins measuring barely 0.30 mm in diameter and all hand-assembled. The chain measures a total 28 cm long and the maximum tension exercised upon it once in place amounts to three kilos.
When the mainspring is associated with a fusée, the barrel drum turns in one direction when the spring winds down and in the opposite direction when it is wound up, thus causing the chain to wrap around the drum. A distinctive feature of Calibre FB-T.FC lies in the fact that its fusée mechanism has been equipped with an unusually designed differential gear.
Calibre FB-T.FC-2 is equipped with a specific system displaying the movement’s power reserve.
Directly linked to the barrel via a driving wheel, the mechanism uses the winding and letting down motion of the mainspring to make a truncated cone move up and down along a threaded arbor secured to the mainplate, and visible through the caseback and half-bridges.
When the barrel sets the driving wheel into motion, the latter drives the cone by means of two long pegs that push it clockwise when moving upwards and counter-clockwise when travelling downwards, respectively corresponding to the winding and letting down of the mainspring.
A mobile arm tipped with a roller jewel serves as a feeler-spindle in measuring the up-and-down motion of the cone, bringing the arm closer or further away from the centre of rotation. A rake-shaped element along the axis of the arm transmits the movement’s power-reserve level to a hand.
FERDINAND BERTHOUD Calibre FB-T.FC-2 is fitted with a tourbillon organ featuring an innovative direct-drive seconds hand whose performance is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing institute.
Equipped with an aerodynamically shaped oversized variable-inertia balance oscillating at a low frequency (3 Hz), the tourbillon carriage of the Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1 performs one rotation per minute. The balance is made of copper beryllium (CuBE) and equipped with a self-compensating balance-spring made of rust-free alloy.
The terminal curve of the balance-spring is delicately shaped by hand in harmony with the noblest watchmaking traditions. To ensure fine adjustment of its amplitude, the rim (felly) of the balance is fitted with two sets of rhodium-plated nickel silver inertia-blocks, one complete and the other truncated so as to ensure independent adjustment.
The 67-part titanium tourbillon carriage is held in place by a bridge with a single arch and poised by means of two 18-carat blued gold studs. The direct-drive seconds display is enabled by the fact that the direct-drive seconds wheel is identical and co-axial with the wheel driving the tourbillon carriage.
- Mechanical hand-wound Calibre FB-T.FC-2
- 15 ¾ lignes (diameter 35.50 mm – thickness 8.00 mm)
- 46 jewels
- Balance wheel diameter 12 mm
- Tourbillon cage diameter 16.55 mm
- Indications of the hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve
- Suspended fusée and chain constant-force transmission regulation
- 3 Hz low-frequency tourbillon with direct-drive seconds
- 53-hour power reserve
- Movement precision and rate accuracy certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute
- Octagonal case
- Domed, arched and glareproofed sapphire crystal
- Screw-in case-back with glareproofed sapphire crystal
- Crown in rose gold
- Screw-in case-back in 18-carat rose gold fitted with a glareproofed sapphire crystal
- Diameter 44.00 mm, thickness 13.00 mm
- Water-resistant to 30 metres
- Unique piece
- Dial in vertical satin-brushed silver-toned galvanic brass
- Hand-bevelled central dial opening and power-reserve, gilded chamfers
- Offset circular satin-brushed galvanic opaline blue hours and minutes subdial with white Arabic numerals
- Blue railway-track seconds scale
- Power-reserve indication engraved on the mainplate “0_1/4_1/2_3/4_1”
- Autonomy indicated by an 18-carat rose gold arrow pointing to the words “HAUT” (HIGH) and “BAS” (LOW)
- “CHRONOMÈTRE VAL-DE-TRAVERS SUISSE” inscription
- Hand-sewn rolled-edge double-sided alligator leather
- 18-carat white gold length-adjustable safety folding clasp