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Introducing The Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1L

Introducing The Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1L

Snappy Take

Ferdinand Berthoud (the brand is an individual from the Chopard Group, alongside Chopard itself, just as Fleurier Ebauches, SA) was initially dispatched in 2015, when its first watch, the succinctly named FB 1, was presented. That watch was roused by the plan, just as a portion of the specialized highlights, of marine chronometers and it included, notwithstanding a surprising focal seconds hand straightforwardly determined by the tourbillon confine, a chain-and-fusee system for giving unvarying force all through the running season of the watch (a standard element in boxed marine chronometers) just as various other intriguing highlights, incorporate a conelike power hold marker. The case was motivated by the gimbaled boxes in which marine chronometers were housed on board the boats which utilized them as fundamental route instruments, and the general plan appeared to be agreeably amicable – my initial introduction of the watch was that for all its complexity, it was shockingly simple to wear, and that impression was fortify in 2017, when I at long last had a chance to wear one for A Week On The Wrist.

FB 1L, in white gold, with display for the age and period of the Moon.

The number of watches created every year at Ferdinand Berthoud is very low, with the first FB 1 delivered in a restricted run of 50 pieces in either white gold or titanium, and correspondingly little numbers for follow-ups. The first FB 1 was basically very well gotten, winning the “Aiguille d’Or” (first prize for best watch of the year) at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Ensuing minor departure from the FB 1 take a similar essential development and plan as a beginning stage, however present new plan components; the FB 1.4, for instance, overlooks the sapphire windows incorporated into the case flanks of prior adaptations, yet adds development spans made of sapphire, which allow the owner to all the more likely appreciate the complexity of the instrument, and to all the more effectively see the connection between the different thought process components, including the fusee, barrel, and the tourbillon itself.

FB 1L, development side; the selector switch, lower left, allow the client to set either the moonphase and age sign, or the time.

The FB 1L is the primary Ferdinand Berthoud watch to include a complication (carefully talking, things like fusees and tourbillons are not, in any event on the off chance that you are a persnickety conservative about watch wording, complications, however are rather viewed as controlling gadgets). The FB 1L shows the age and period of the Moon – the two terms are connected however particular; the period of the Moon is characterized as the state of the sunlit segment of the lunar circle, while the age is the quantity of days since the last New Moon. 

Moonphase and age indication.

These two snippets of data are show by a hand that focuses to an area on the dial that shows the current moonphase, and which additionally checks up the quantity of days since the last New Moon (up to 14) and afterward tallies down once more. The hand is driven by a rack-and-stuff framework (a “antenna axle” as FB calls it) with the nose of the rack riding against a cam the width of the whole dial – the display is incredibly exact, gathering just one day’s mistake in 577 years. To keep away from disarray regarding whether the moon is waxing or waning, a second window on the dial, situated between 4:00 and 5:00 (roughly) which allows you effectively to check whether the moonphase hand is rising or returning. The watch will be made in two adaptations – the Far Side Of The Moon rendition (FB 1.L4) shows the most distant side of the Moon on the dial, and is made of sand-shot white gold, with carries and side components of ceramised titanium. The Near Side Of The Moon (FB 1L.1)  is in white gold, with dark fired carries, and shows the side of the Moon obvious from Earth (as the Moon is tidally secured its circle, a similar side always faces us). 

Starting Thoughts

Waxing and waning sign (the full Moon has recently passed and the Moon is waning, towards the following New Moon) “Far Side of The Moon” version.

For a company which takes its motivation from the life and work of the renowned French chronometer pioneer, Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807) the moonphase complication appears to be a characteristic one to investigate. During Berthoud’s lifetime various frameworks for ascertaining longitude were attempted, and one was the arrangement of “lunar distances” which depended on utilizing perceptions of the rakish distance between the Moon, and another divine object. 

Making such perceptions precisely was a huge test (I actually recollect battling, one warm summer evening on another person’s boat a few years prior, to figure out how to utilize a sextant) and one instrument used to refine the accuracy of such perceptions was a twofold telescope device known as a rehashing circle – once in a while called a Cercle de Borda, after Jean-Charles de Borda (1733-1799) the French mathematician, researcher, and route pioneer who developed it. De Borda was a contemporary of Berthoud’s and utilized his chronometers, most prominently during a journey on the frigate La Flore, in 1777. The arrangement of lunar distances was ultimately supplanted as marine chronometers turned out to be an ever increasing number of exact, however the two strategies existed together for a long time and pilots were required to know both, as the exactness of a marine chronometer could be checked against the lunar distances strategy, which could likewise work as a back-up arrangement of route should the chronometer quit working or otherwise malfunction.

Berthoud chronometer, 1793, with decimal time sign, made for the de Borda, with spring detent chronometer escapement, and loser focus seconds.

The association between Berthoud and de Borda is something the company, Ferdinand Berthoud, made a big deal about on the arrival of the FB 1L, but it’s a consistent association with make in case you’re going the noteworthy motivation course at all and I give the company a ton of credit for taking care of the complication in a thought about design. A standard moonphase display, however exact, essentially doesn’t feel especially exact – or maybe I should say, to be more exact, that it doesn’t arrange you as for the patterns of the lunar circle in an especially natural style. With this form of the moonphase display (for which Ferdinand Berthoud has a patent) you get, whenever you’ve acclimated to perusing the display, an immediate feeling of where the Moon is in its cycles and in its circles around the Earth. It’s substantially more detailed than a traditional display (or a round moonphase) yet at that point, this sort of fits the thought of utilizing lunar distances to compute the longitude, which was hypothetically as exact, yet significantly more troublesome and complex, than simply utilizing a precise ocean clock to ascertain the rakish separation from Greenwich.

Moonphase and age cam, being introduced on the dial side of the movement.

It is likewise, in its execution, especially a festival of the joy watch devotees, and admirers of mechanics when all is said in done, take in mechanics as an end in itself. The cam, rack, and stuff framework is pleasant to watch in activity, surprising, and planned in a way especially in agreement with the remainder of the watch and like the tourbillon, the immediate drive place seconds, and the chain-and-fusee framework, it is both superfluous and astute simultaneously, just as an unmistakable association with out of date yet at the same time intriguing practices with regards to route. What’s more, notwithstanding the complexity of the watch, Ferdinand Berthoud perceives that a watch should not to be uncomfortable to wear, at any rate at times – while the 44mm measurement appears to be somewhat overwhelming as a raw number, the  watch is still moderately level for a watch with a chain-and-fusee, at 13.95mm (this is mostly because of the “hanging” fountainhead barrel and fusee cone, which like a flying tourbillon are joined uniquely to the mainplate, with no extra extension to add thickness to the watch). 

The late George Daniels once wrote of Ferdinand Berthoud that he, ” … respected his own work,” (Watchmaking, 2011 release, p. 203; to be reasonable in the event that it was valid for Berthoud, was surely valid for a significant number of his peers – the enduring writings of John Harrison absolutely don’t give an impression of an individual who accepts that the mild will acquire everything of importance). However, for this situation, I figure he would have likewise respected the work of his namesake company – from a materials and innovation point of view, yet from a plan and specialty viewpoint as well. 

The Basics

Brand: Ferdinand Berthoud

Model: FB 1L

 Diameter: 44mm

Thickness: 13.95mm

Case Material: white gold with sapphire windows on the off chance that flank; ceramic haul elements

Dial: rhodium-plated metal; Moon plate in rhodium-plated sandblasted brass

Water Resistance: 30 meters

Strap/Bracelet: hand-sewed moved edge croc calfskin, white gold twofold collapsing catch (pin clasp accessible on request).

“Near Side Of The Moon” version.

The Movement

Caliber: FB-T.FC.L
Functions: hours, minutes, focus seconds; age and period of the Moon
Diameter: 37.30mm
Thickness: 9.38mm
Power Reserve: 53 hours
Winding: manual
Frequency: 21,600 vph
Jewels: 55
Chronometer Certified: yes; COSC
Additional Details: “suspended” fusee cone and heart barrel; one moment tourbillon with titanium carriage, ready with 18k gold inactivity blocks; direct drive community seconds driven off the tourbillon confine; flexible mass, freesprung offset with Phillips external terminal bend (overcoil). Power save on the back of the development; Swiss switch escapement; rhodium-plated German silver half-spans on titanium pillars.

Evaluating & Availability

Price: CHF 265,000 (FB 1L.1, white gold); CHF 250,000 (FB 1L.4, titanium)

Availability: Not yet announced

Limited Edition: 10 pieces in each metal

For more visit ferdinandberthoud.ch.

The antenna shaft and its bridge.

Bridge conveying the power reserve.

Moonphase cam.

Moonphase cam being introduced in the movement.

Feeler shaft being installed. 

Assembled development, with hanging/suspended fusee cone and origin barrel.

Sapphire window showing the fusee chain (285mm long, 790 parts). 

Mounting the moonphase hand.

FB 1L.1; the waxing Moon is almost full.

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