Chopard resurrects Ferdinand Berthoud with the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 – Review with history, live photos, specs & price

In the watchmaking business, there are not many famous names. Contemporary ones like Philippe Dufour or François-Paul Journe , yet chiefly some old however exceptionally famous names like Abraham-Louis Breguet. Another may be marginally less known yet his working life also conducted to genuine developments and a few show-stoppers: Ferdinand Berthoud. This long-lasting failed to remember name is going to live once more, as Chopard Group (that possesses it for a couple of years at ...

Chopard resurrects Ferdinand Berthoud with the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 – Review with history, live photos, specs & price

In the watchmaking business, there are not many famous names. Contemporary ones like Philippe Dufour or François-Paul Journe , yet chiefly some old however exceptionally famous names like Abraham-Louis Breguet. Another may be marginally less known yet his working life also conducted to genuine developments and a few show-stoppers: Ferdinand Berthoud. This long-lasting failed to remember name is going to live once more, as Chopard Group (that possesses it for a couple of years at this point) just chose to revive the idea and the creation of watches branded “Ferdinand Berthoud”, with a noteworthy first watch, the Chronomètre FB1. Overview.

When it comes to the utilization of old names in present day watchmaking, we will in general be, from the outset, wary. We’ve seen such countless fascinating names, adulated by vintage watches collectors, dug up from the past with results that tend to be… questionable. Utilizing a celebrated name or brand, only for showcasing reasons, with modest quartz watches is, lamentably, very common. Be that as it may, now and again, acclaimed old names are utilized with incredible consideration and imprinted on the dial of intriguing watches. Take for example Pierre Jaquet-Droz, revived by Swatch Group with the advanced Jaquet Droz watches . Same goes for John Arnold, a name that goes through another existence with the complicated and greatly completed Arnold and Son watches . This could likewise work for Breguet , which Swatch Group completely redeveloped since its repurchase in 1999 (regardless of whether the brand was not dead and was in the hands of Chaumet during the 1970s and the 1980s).

With these models at the top of the priority list, we are before two situations: historical names again and again utilized by indelicate individuals with no regard of customs and history or, a couple of achievement that show the significance of being devoted to a rich past. This is the reason, when Choaprd Group reported the re-birth of an incredible name like Ferdinand Berthoud, we were loaded with questions – and this, regardless of whether we have an immense regard for the creation of Chopard and particularly the L.U.C assortment. It could well be a absolute achievement or an unadulterated fall flat. However, that’s going to be the second piece of this article, when we’ll have a more intensive gander at the Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Chronomètre. In the first place, we need to understand who was Berthoud and what are his achievements.

A take a gander at the historical backdrop of Ferdinand Berthoud

Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807) truly became famous in 1753, when he officially procured the title of Master Clockmaker –  probably the apex of his career. Ferdinand Berthoud was brought into the world in Val-de-Travers (in the genuine Neuchâtel canton, Switzerland) however he immediately moved to Paris, France, at 18 years old, to examine clockmaking and horology. Following quite a while of preparing and grant, he was perceive as a genuinely skilled watchmaker. in 1752, he introduced to the Academy a longcase condition clock, considered exceptionally clever. This was the beginning stage of his profession as a researcher. At the age of 26, in 1753, the French King requested that he be named a maître (ace), a title that permitted him to open his own workshop in Paris.

In 1754, Ferdinand Berthoud by and by presented his creations to the Academy. One was his first marine clock project. The others, inspected and affirmed by the scholastics, were additionally condition systems. Berthoud had clear expectations. Not just he needed to be an innovator and a watchmaker however he additionally wanted to be a researcher with the wish to send his thoughts. He composed a few essays, treatises and books, with some being some having an advancement wish (like L’Art de conduire et de régler les pendules et les montres. A l’usage de ceux qui n’ont aucune connaissance d’horlogerie – The specialty of working and changing timekeepers and watches. To be utilized by those with no information on watchmaking).

Alongside this researcher and exploration life, Ferdinand Berthoud additionally kept on making timekeepers and pocket watches. He made a few Marine Clocks (marine chronometers N° 6 and N° 8) that accomplished in measuring longitudes to inside not exactly a large portion of a degree, on board of a few French boats. After fruitful ocean preliminaries of the marine chronometers N° 6 and N° 8, Ferdinand Berthoud was commissioned as “Horloger Mécanicien du Roi et de la Marine” – Horologist-repairman to the King and the Navy – and got a regal command for 20 marine chronometers for the French admiralty.

Marine clock M.M. n° 6, dated 1777 and kept in the Chopard L.U.CEUM exhibition hall in Fleurier (that you can see on the photograph above) was the gazing point for the revival of the name “Ferdinand Berthoud” and an extraordinary wellspring of motivation for the further assortment to come (and for the Chronomètre FB1). This reestablishment of the name is the activity of Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who obtained the name in 2006. In any case, it took some effort to the group of Chopard Group to dispatch this name once more, as the Scheufele family (proprietor of Chopard since 1963) needed to remain nearby to the first soul and to regard the set of experiences and legacy of such a name. With the new assortment, the objective was to envision the watches that Berthoud might have considered in 2015 and not to reproduce similar timekeepers/watches once more. Nonetheless, such a discourse is very normal – we’ve heard such countless brands saying that they introduce a assortment that an old name might have made with present day apparatuses or as though the individual was still alive… The questions are first to perceive what the new Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 resembles and then to know whether it is worthy of the name that takes cover behind the brand?

A more critical glance at the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1

At first sight, the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 is appropriately astonishing. An octagonal shape, a huge width, a mix of collectible and present day configuration hints. Notwithstanding, the activity behind it is somewhat more complex and very much idea. Obviously, there is some designer’s work or some promoting behind the watch (actually straightforward: they must be sold…) yet not just. It happens that Chopard Group – indeed Mister Scheufele and a little devoted group – set aside the effort to imagine something intelligent and suitable – and the outcome is a complex watch, with an ideal (no doubt) development and some intriguing features.

Let’s first discussion about this plan – why this huge octagonal case with a round dial? As stepped with the name Berthoud on the dial, this Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 unmistakably must be roused by Marine chronometers (this is the situation for the development and the presentation) just as Marine as a rule (for the general thought and the plan). Two motivations can be seen. The first appears to be common (and as of now head at PP or AP, not to name them…): portholes (the openings on the sides of a military boat). The subsequent one is more unobtrusive yet straightforwardly alludes to crafted by Berthoud. The FB1 is enlivened by the marine chronometers created by the Swiss expert watchmaker, and specifically their gimbal suspension framework normal of boat’s chronometers, where the development container is hold set up by an enemy of stun/against move gadget that had (contingent upon the tickers) a round or an octagonal shape.

In the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1, the development and the dial are first cased in a focal waterproof compartment. At that point, a few modules are added, as two screwed-on gold components on the flanks and pieces in the drags, to bring about this octagonal shape. These octagonal extra sides open onto four parallel sapphire portholes (you have the second motivation now) that permit a view on a few pieces of the movement.

The Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 estimates an enormous 44mm x 13mm. It is accessible in two versions, one in 18k pink gold, with dark dial and dark artistic additions between the hauls or in 18k white gold, with ruthenium grey dial and titanium inserts between the drags. In spite of the measurements, the FB1 is simple on the wrist and never felt enormous or meddlesome while I had it with me. The incorporation of the carries and the arrangement of the tie assists with adjusting it on the wrist. The second astonishing perspective is the way that this octagonal shape becomes auxiliary once on the wrist, as the round bezel predominates. It is absolutely a striking and uncommon watch, with an immense presence and some character, yet then again it stays unpretentious enough.

Moving to the display now. The Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 highlights 3 distinct indications (with two of them having an exceptional specialized significance). The spotlight is obviously made on the second hand, which proudly happens, alone, in the center of the dial. Don’t fail to remember that the motivation is marine tickers and consequently exactness, clarifying the requirement for a larger than average second hand and more modest hours and minutes signs, both set in a topsy turvy sub-dial at 12. This combination of a larger than usual second hand and more modest time sign is common in marine-themed watches. The brushed dial at long last shows a third sign: the force hold (and like the second hand, it conceals an intriguing specialized element). This pointer is straightforwardly engraved on the principle plate of the movement.

The hands are, contingent upon the release picked, made in pink gold (on the pink gold/dark version) or blued (on the white gold/titanium release). All are utilizing customary Ferdinand Berthoud shapes, with bolts and long stabilizers, yet in a more present day approach. All the engravings on the dial are printed or engraved with a similar unique textual style – a serious rich one to be valid. The internal rib that shows the second is made of sapphire precious stone and sports antique-like graduations, where the numerals are isolated with a line (like a large portion of the marine chronometers).

As said previously, two of these signs are connected to intriguing mechanical highlights, which drives us to the significant part: the development, for the sake of the FB-T.FC type. This type is a long way from being a straightforward one, as it highlights several complications and chronometric gadgets, similar to a consistent power “flying” fusée-chain, a tourbillon, a straightforwardly determined second hand, an inventive force hold and a particular design, mixing old fashioned development with present day technology.

The entire FB-T.FC type comprises 1,120 components (the greater part of them are in the chain) inside a 35.50 mm measurement and a reasonable 8 mm thickness. It shows a particular design called “pillar construction” (something utilized in classical clock and that is as yet utilized by a couple of German makes). Rather than having plates and scaffolds machined with hollows to help the mechanical components (like the barrels, the stuff train or the various wheels), the principle plate and the extensions are here level and isolated by titanium columns tying down the extensions to the primary plate. The moving pieces of the development are set in the middle of these two flat plates, guaranteeing a strong and solid development. At that point, you can see the warm shade of the scaffolds, that are made of maillechort – additionally called German silver, regardless of whether it isn’t made of silver – again an oldie but a goodie, as the majority of the developments are currently made in rhodium-plated brass.

The finish of the development, just as the general plan, is made with extraordinary consideration. The format is adjusted and even, with the fusée and the barrel on the top and the tourbillon confine in the lower-half. All the parts are done by hand, with cleaned slanted points, straight graining, perlage on the fundamental plate or dark cleaned steel parts (take a gander at the super-sharp bolt like extension of the tourbillon). The enclosure of the tourbillon is additionally great, as extremely opened and light, just as very large.

Let’s get into the details:

  • the fusée-chain

The utilization of a fusée-chain isn’t regular in our advanced period. A couple of watches are coming with this kind of complicated and fragile instrument. It requires a conic fusée, around which a chain is wrapped. On account of the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1, the chain estimates 28cm and comprises 474 steel joins and 316 pins, all completed and amassed by hands. The upside of a fusée-tie is to give (hypothetically) a steady power to the stuff train, as the barrel delivers its force with a more prominent linearity compared to a traditional barrel. The barrel itself is connected to the Maltese cross stopwork gadget that serves to restrict the quantity of twisting turns of the fountainhead and to guarantee pre-decided, consistent power transmission during the letting down process. The development brags a force hold 53 hours.

In the instance of the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1, this fusée-chain is very explicit as its a flying one – suspended to be valid. Much the same as a flying tourbillon that is just hold on one side of the development, the barrel and the fusée are not encased between two extensions yet simply fixed to the development on the principle plate, making an intriguing perspective when taking a gander at the development and saving some space.

  • A one-minute tourbillon and the straightforwardly determined second hand

On the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1, the tourbillon is hold in a titanium confine and beats at a somewhat lethargic 3hz recurrence. It is furnished with a variable-latency balance, with anti-attractive self-compensating balance spring. The balance features 4 inertia-blocks in gold for a micrometric change of its abundancy. The principle particularity is that this tourbillon straightforwardly drives the second hand, not by the stuff train but rather with a solitary coaxial wheel in the focal point of the movement.

  • An interesting power-save mechanism

On the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1, the force save is very strange and inspired by an instrument created by the well known British watchmaker Georges Daniels (the designer of the coaxial escapement). This component, straightforwardly connected to the barrel by a driving wheel, utilizes the winding and letting down movement of the origin to make a shortened cone go all over along an arbor got to the mainplate. A portable arm tipped with a roller gem fills in as a sensor shaft in estimating the movement of the cone and communicating the development’s force save level to the devoted hand.

This wonderful and truly complex development is besides guaranteed chronometer by COSC and amassed by a little committed group of profoundly prepared watchmaker in Fleurier (beforehand part of the L.U.C Chopard team).


After a nearer see, it is troublesome not to view at the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 as an exceptionally great watch, both for its plan, both strong and controlled simultaneously, and for its development, specialized, very much completed and precisely intriguing. Almost certainly to have, we’re before very Haute Horlogerie, a (major) above and beyond compared to the watches made by Chopard Group with the L.U.C Collection (that are now very amazing). Quality-wise, the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 is dynamite. From my perspective, it is a plan achievement and I wanted to have it on my wrist – something that stays abstract, and everybody will have his own assessment. Actually, it’s noteworthy, even if Chopard might have pushed a smidgen more by having the Quality Fleurier certificate (I’m basic here, I know…).

However, if there’s no uncertainty about the actual watch, stays the central issue about the option to have a name like Ferdinand Berthoud on the dial. Does this FB1 is deserving of the inheritance, legacy and history of this incredible watch-ace. All things considered, if the watch being referred to would have been fueled by an ETA development, my answer would have been straightforwardly NO… which isn’t the situation here. It’s consistently hard to suppose somebody would concede to a creation dependent on his name however isolated by over 2 centuries. In the event that we investigate Berthoud and his way for accuracy, the magnificence of the developments made, the imaginativeness and now comparing it the real Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1, I would say that, indeed, this watch (and I trust the assortment to come) are in the vein of the name imprinted on the dial. The work made by Chopard Group and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is amazing, the watch is great and the entire thought is noteworthy (and intelligent with the soul and legacy of Berthoud). As far as I might be concerned, it’s a successful first attempt.

The Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 is a restricted release of multiple times 50 pieces (for every version) and it is priced at 220,000 Euros. .