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Ferdinand Berthoud, Chronometry and the FB1-R Regulator

Ferdinand Berthoud, Chronometry and the FB1-R Regulator

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Resurrecting the Ferdinand Berthoud name, a famous eighteenth century horologist, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (co-president of Chopard) and his group have shown a significant ability to surprise and astonish us. The specialty, top of the line brand has presented several creations that are nostalgic products as well as modern wristwatches. These are nonetheless faithful to the tradition of the name Berthoud. In particular, the brand’s first modern creation, the Chronomètre FB1 was awarded the Aiguille d’Or at the GPHG 2016, the Oscars of watchmaking. 

Ferdinand Berthoud was born in 1727 near Neuchatel, Switzerland however moved to Paris to practice his trade. He abandoned a remarkable inheritance and a broad group of work, in particular in the field of marine chronometers as watchmaker-specialist to the French King and the Navy (Horloger Mécanicien du Roi et de la Marine).

Reviving his name, chronometry has come to possess a very unique spot. In light of a similar caliber architecture, all modern Ferdinand Berthoud watches incorporate several instruments to upgrade precision. Until this point, these are totally regulated by a tourbillon that is driven by a steady force system, a fusée-and-chain. This was the situation for the FB1 , the FB1-R or the FB1-L .

The period of wavering of a watch balance wheel is influenced by the variation of the driving force delivered by the barrel. This drove watchmakers to plan systems to compensate for the variations in torque of the mainspring. A fusée comprises of a cone-formed pulley, connected to a chain looped around the barrel. The fusée features a spiral thread to receive the chain. Because of the increasing circumference of the thread, the reducing force of the mainspring is compensated (very similar as the gearing of a bike). As the mainspring loosens up, the chain rolls on the barrel and off the fusée. The increasing leverage of the fusée compensates for the fading torque of the barrel.

The fusée-and-chain features a Maltese cross stop-work. Fitted on the drum of the barrel, it restricts its turn, creating a locking point to prevent any harm from overwinding. It additionally improves a steady delivery of power, utilizing the mainspring ideal range just and staying away from the low and high torque extremes.

All Ferdinand Berthoud watches are chronometers and are certified by the COSC (the Official Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) after completing 15 days of testing. In the event that this is the least you would anticipate from a watch fitted with a tourbillon regulator, not such countless brands are really experiencing COSC certification. What is significantly more impressive, Ferdinand Berthoud recently communicated the results of the 15 calibers of its regulator-type Chronomètre FB 1R that have been submitted to the COSC. These are expressed with two variables:

  • 1.66 seconds of every day variation in rate, in six different positions. This is the average deviation showed by the model in every day wear. The COSC requirements are between – 4 sec to +6 sec per day.
  • 0.35 seconds/day in restart mode. This variable measures the precision of the watch throughout its power reserve. In other words, it should be as accurate when it is 100% injury as toward the finish of its power reserve or while resuming operation. This illustrates the productivity of consistent force mechanisms.

Besides the specialized requests, the brand devotes rich thoughtfulness regarding the manufacturing and completing of its watches and developments. The pillar-type architecture of the development is another gesture to yesteryear marine chronometers. In view of traditional procedures and broad hand-work, the decoration is impressive. To ensure an immaculate completion, the brand’s craftsmen check their work under a x10 amplifying glass!

Ferdinand Berthoud has recently released a series of recordings to present the core expertise of the brand. Notwithstanding the first one on the fusée-and-chain system, the accompanying one shows the route watchmakers at Berthoud decorate a development, the traditional way.

More subtleties at and at the brand’s YouTube channel , for more excellent videos.