Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud has unveiled a second collection: two 10-piece limited editions, with red or white gold case (44 mm), grand feu enamel dial, manual-winding calibre FB-RE.FC, officially chronometer-certified by the COSC. 1,200 components (including the chain).
In 1770, Ferdinand Berthoud was awarded the title of “Clockmaker and Mechanic by appointment to the French King and Navy”. Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud is celebrating this 250th anniversary by unveiling a new collection inspired by the Marine Clock No.6: the Chronomètre FB 2RE.
This new timepiece reinterprets the architecture and design of this Marine Clock. Fitted along its middle with a large panoramic window, the round 18-carat gold case frames a grand feu enamel dial with a complex two-tiered construction.
Beneath this traditional, uncluttered display lies an exceptional mechanism: the new Chronomètre FB 2RE combines the emblematic fusee-and-chain transmission with a one-second remontoir d’égalité mechanism. A model charting a course towards a new world of mechanical precision entirely in keeping with the lifework of Ferdinand Berthoud.
A new modular case
The case of the Chronomètre FB 2RE picks up the shape of the Marine Clocks and the modular construction. The movement is installed in a cylindrical container made of 18-carat gold and water-resistant to 30 metres. Short, tapering all-of-piece lugs are solidly secured to the case by stylised bolts and ensure the Chronomètre FB 2RE smoothly moulds the contours of the wrist. A large panoramic window appears at 10 o’clock along the case middle in a screw-down frame and reveals the movement’s pillar-type architecture, as well as the barrel and its chain.
The round case, 44 mm in diameter and 14 mm thick, is enhanced by a curved bezel fitted with a strongly domed “chevée” glareproofed sapphire crystal. The caseback is also fitted with a sapphire crystal enabling one to admire the incomparable beauty of the movement.
A traditional enamel dial
In order to facilitate reading off the hours and minutes during sea voyages, Ferdinand Berthoud had designed a two-tiered dial with two types of graduations for his Marine Clock No. 6: in the centre, the hours indications in Roman numerals stand out from the minutes circle in Arabic numerals appearing on the circumference.
The dial construction of the Chronomètre FB 2RE follows this same principle, while adding an additional degree of complexity by opting to craft it in grand feu enamel. This dial is thus composed of two elements: one is domed, located on the periphery and designed to bear the graduated scale; while the second, positioned centrally and slightly lower, is a flat medallion. Both are made of grand feu enamel, which requires numerous firings in a special kiln at a temperature of 800°C. Their base is made of non-magnetic steel, a choice that requires perfect compliance with the required temperatures and extremely precise firing times in order to avoid any distortion, while also preventing the excess thickness resulting from the traditional counter-enamel.
Bridges and pillars
The FB-RE.FC calibre is built according to an architecture unique in contemporary watchmaking and specific to Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud. Its organs are symmetrically positioned, legible and clear, as if the order reigning in its operation were expressed through the elegance of its visual balance. This mechanical movement with manual winding comprises 26 bridges held by 10 steel pillars, surrounding the mechanical parts. This construction is characteristic of 18th century Ferdinand Berthoud marine chronometers.
Fusee-and-chain transmission and remontoir d’égalité
The FB-RE.FC calibre is one of the rare examples to feature fusee-and-chain transmission, serving to ensure constant force for the escapement. It acts like an infinitely variable automatic reduction gearbox.
Exceptionally, the FB-RE.FC calibre, in addition to the constant-force mechanism, is equipped with a one-second remontoire visible on the back of the movement. It is one of the most complex torque regulation systems in the history of time measurement.
The Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 2RE with remontoir d’égalité is available in two 10-piece limited and numbered editions: one in 18-carat rose gold with a black enamel dial and the other in 18-carat white gold with a white enamel dial.
The gold used in the manufacture of FB 2RE chronometers comes from the ethical sourcing system set up by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele – President and founder of Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud – at Chopard, of which he is also Co-President.
Price: 220,500 USD
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