Ferdinand Berthoud : At the heart of the movement

Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4

CASE : titanium

DIAMETER : 44 mm

MOVEMENT : mechanical manual-winding, Caliber FB-T.FC-2, tourbillon, 53h power reserve, COSC-certified

DIAL : black or silver-toned

FUNCTIONS : hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve

CASEBACK : sapphire crystal

STRAP : black alligator leather



In the wake of 18th century marine chronometers, the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4 embodies the ultimate quest for precision. Its chronometer-type caliber with tourbillon and constant force encompasses a wealth of technical details. We take a closer look at an approach entirely geared towards excellence.

How would Ferdinand Berthoud, back in his own time and given the demand for extreme precision involved in sailing across great distances, have imagined and devised this timepiece ? What what he have thought of it, and which technical developments would he have sought to pursue ? Like a symbolic framework, these questions consistently accompany the technical and aesthetic developments of Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud. The heritage of this official Clockmaker and Mechanic by appointment to the French King and the Navy, a brilliant inventor and a talented author, was a perpetual source of inspiration in the creation of the movement housed in its 44mm titanium case and setting the pace for the Chronométre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4. Like the movements of 18th century marine chronometers, the latter features a wealth of technical details.

Visible through the transparent back of the octagonal case, the manual-winding movement reveals its unique architecture characteristic of the era of Ferdinand Berthoud himself, with its 15 nickel silver bridges and its three sapphire half-bridges framed by polished titanium pillars surrounding the mechanical organs. The machining of the sapphire bridges ensures a transparency enabling the observer to literally plunge into the heart of the components, whose finishing is entirely performed by hand using traditional tools. The eye notes the polished cone of the power-reserve – a rare device – along with the fusee-and-chain transmission mechanism, notably the original upside down and suspended construction of the barrel and the fusee. On the dial side, the performance of the caliber is embodied by the tourbillon coupled with a seconds hand. Composed of 67 elements fitted in a 16.55mm-diameter titanium carriage, it plays a key role in obtaining COSC chronometer certification – a guarantee of precision for this Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4 presented in two 20-piece limited editions that prolong the lifework of the great watchmaker, both technically and symbolically.

Journaliste spécialisée en horlogerie, la plume de Marie présente les nouveautés tout en s'occupant de la rubrique Architecture.

Review overview