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Press Release: Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3

The tribute to the great Master Clockmaker Ferdinand Berthoud, now at the third edition, in platinum
by Dan-Andrei Kluska on October 7, 2017

We saluted Chopard and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele for the release of the Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 in 2015.  The dream of reviving the brand in the most traditional way, that Mr Scheufele pursued with tenacity, was awarded the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix award at the 2016’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 was manufactured in 18k white gold case. Following the same line, The FB1.2 was released in a rose gold case, and now, Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud F1.3 was released in platinum.

Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3

Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3 comes with a platinum case and a satin-hand-brushed nickel silver dial.

 

Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3

The limited series of fifty pieces in platinum respects the path led by its predecessors. Using the same case design and a variation of the dial, the brand proposes an exercise of taming the light and time. The watchmakers use haute horlogerie finishes and classic complications inspired by the brand’s marine chronometer heritage to obtain a modern wrist marvel.

The 44mm diameter platinum case has an octagonal shape reminding us of the wooden boxes of the marine chronometers. It features four side portholes fitted with glare-proofed sapphire crystal. The movement and key elements are revealed.

 

Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 case side

The case’s portholes allow a good view to the calibre’s FB-T.FC internal components. From this angle the constant force fusée-and-chain system is clearly visible.

 

The strap uses an ingenious and visually appealing system with grey ceramic lugs fixed with titanium bolts. The same type of ceramic can be found on the platinum crown as a medallion with the brand’s logo as decoration.

Read also:   Review: Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama

The dial is another similarity to the FB1.1 and FB1.2. The finishes of the dial are gorgeous. Under an apparent simplicity, the dial features a series of excellently executed finishes. Manufactured in satin-hand-brushed nickel silver, the dial features the same opening as the previous models. The windows reveal the central second’s wheel and the tourbillon carriage driving wheel. The use of a central seconds display is rare in the tourbillon watches. The seconds’ indication uses a matte translucent sapphire ring, with white printed railway track and numerals, surrounding the dial.

 

Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 dial

The dial features a spectacular hand brushed finish. The cutouts for power reserve and central second’s wheel and the tourbillon carriage driving wheel are chamfered by hand and then black rhodium-plated. The seconds’ chapter ring and the hours and minutes black-lacquered sub-dial bring more volume to the dial.

 

The beautiful power reserve indication is placed at 9 o’clock. The openings revealing the power reserve and the view to the driving wheels are chamfered by hand and then black rhodium-plated. This detail offers a pleasant contrast and balances with the seconds’ track and the black-lacquered subdial of the hours and minutes.

 

Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 back

Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3 is a lovely presence. The combination of the modern materials used, like ceramic and titanium, make an interesting contrast with the traditional horological finishes and complications. Using sapphire crystal on the case’ sides to reveal the beauty of the movement is a great idea and collectors can easily admire the movement construction details and high level of finishes.

 

Under the dial, we see an explosion of horological beauties and spectacular finishes form the Calibre FB-T.FC. The movement has 1,120 constituent parts, from which 790 elements used for the 285mm chain. And yes, the movement uses a constant force fusée-and-chain transmission. The one-minute tourbillon has 67 elements, it is cased in a 16.55mm titanium cage, being fixed with three titanium pillars and poised with two 18k gold studs. The tourbillon uses a 12mm diameter copper-beryllium balance wheel beating with 21,600bph (3Hz). The variable-inertia balance-wheel has two balance weight sets integrated, from a gold-plated nickel-silver material, for a better chronometric setup.  It is important to mention that the calibre FB-T.FC is COSC officially certified.

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Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 back oblique

At 13mm thickness, the platinum case is sized well, especially taking into account the Calibre FB-T.FC pillars construction with a total height of 7.96mm. The combination of platinum, titanium and grey ceramic goes harmoniously with the non-treated German silver plates and titanium pillars and tourbillon cage.

 

The Calibre FB-T.FC has a series of patent-pending innovations like suspended fusée with a differential based winding device, suspended barrel with Maltese cross stop work device, suspended power reserve device with mobile cone and suspended tourbillon with direct-drive seconds.

 

Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 back oblique constant force fusée-and-chain transmission

The constant force fusée-and-chain transmission uses a 790 elements chain, with a total length of 285mm.

 

The movement contains three half bridges and fifteen bridges in non-treated German silver. These will develop in time a beautiful, warm patina. To keep all together are used highly polished titanium pillars. In this way was possible to reveal the fusée via the case side openings.

 

Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 back

The finishes of the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3 are breathtaking. From the choice of materials till the choice of finishes, this wrist mini marine chronometer is equally a classic and a modern piece. Congratulation for Chopard and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele for this magnificent realisation.

 

The movement finishes are top-notch. All elements are well decorated in a harmonic way. The combination of modern materials and technologies with classic marine chronometers building techniques have an astonishing result in the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3.

Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3 Specifications and price

The platinum Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud will retail for S$362,750/ CHF248,000 / EUR 257,000 / USD 260,400.

Movement

Calibre: Calibre FB-T.FC

Read also:   MB&F: LM1 now available in platinum

Type: mechanical winding movement

Dimensions: Ø 35.50mm, 7.96mm height

Jewels: 46

Power reserve: 53 hours

Frequency: 3Hz / 21’600 vph

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve

 

Case

Material: platinum (PT 950) with anthracite grey ceramic lug elements

Dimensions of the case

Diameter: 44mm diameter and 13m thickness

Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating

Crown: platinum, 9mm diameter

Caseback: see-through sapphire

Water resistance: 30m

 

Strap

Material: One-piece hand-sewn rolled-edge black alligator leather strap

Buckle: Double-blade adjustable-length safety folding clasp in platinum. Pin buckle available on request.

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  • Eric B.
    October 7, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    If you’re going to price a watch in the realm of a house, THIS is how you do it. So many manufacturers these days case their piece in gold or platinum, throw a tourbillion in it, and then ask outrageous money for it. But this is a rare case where you’re actually getting what you pay for. The detail is meticulous down to the last screw (or chain link in this case). The windows in the sides of the case are amazing, though you’ll probably still need a loupe to really see what’s going on inside. The open work dial is fascinating and unique, but not overdone. And the view of the movement through the exhibition caseback is simply breathtaking with the chain and fusee sitting proudly above the tourbillion. I love everything about this piece. Think my wife would be upset if I sold the house, bought the watch, and found us an apartment? 😜

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