Chronomètre FB 1.4-1

Reference# Chronomètre FB 1.4-1
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  • Details
  • Description
  • Limited Edition: 20 pieces
  • Case: titanium
  • Size: 44mm
  • Movement: hand-wound manufacture caliber FB-T.FC-2
  • Function: tourbillon, power reserve, suspended fusée and chain constant-force transmission regulation
  • Power Reserve: approximately 53 hours
  • Water Resistance: 30m
  • Dial: black, galvanized, frosted
  • Caseback: sapphire crystal
  • Strap/Bracelet: hand-sewn alligator leather

With its all-titanium case and bright blue detailing, the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4 ushers Ferdinand Berthoud firmly into the modern era. This demanding and technical metal transfigures a timepiece already exceptional by the quality of its construction, its craftmanship and its complications. This certified chronometer is a lighter version of the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1. Its lightness and its modernity are further reinforced by the choice of chamfered sapphire bridges for its FB-T.FC-2 caliber. Their transparency enables the gaze to plunge into the depths of the entirely rhodium-plated movement, while ensuring smooth visual integration with the titanium case color.

Like the three previous editions of the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1, its movement is endowed with horological complications inspired by Ferdinand Berthoud’s 18th century marine chronometers representing authentic scientific instruments in their own right. The philosophy guiding Ferdinand Berthoud cannot be summed up as a mere tribute, a reproduction or even a reinterpretation. It is far more demanding and involves translating into contemporary watchmaking language the quest for excellence pursued by the master watchmaker who received the title of official Clockmaker and Mechanic by appointment to the French King and Navy. An extremely rare fine watchmaking timepiece, the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4 is designed as a complete work of horology.

The Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4 Chronometer adds modern details to the aesthetic and technical characteristics of the previous versions, respectively crafted in 18-karat white gold (FB 1.1), in 18-karat rose gold (FB 1.2), and in 950 platinum (FB 1.3). It is a 44mm watch, measuring less than 13mm thick, whose case ensures a natural and comfortable fit on the wrist.

Composed of a grade 5 titanium cylinder housing the movement, it comprises two octagonal-shaped sidepieces in polished titanium that contribute to its distinctive shape. The grade 2 titanium lugs are secured to the case middle by two stylized blackened titanium bolts, marking the start of the hand-stitched double-sided alligator leather strap.

For the first time, however, its sides are not pierced with four portholes. The view of caliber FB-T.FC-2 has been shifted to the back. The light floods into the very depths of the mechanism, since the nickel silver bridges have been replaced by three sapphire half-bridges. Their exceptional rigidity enables them to play this structural role. Their transparency reveals the entire movement, particularly the fusee-and-chain transmission system, as well as affording a first ever view of the polished power-reserve cone.

Caliber FB-T.FC-2 is built according to an architectural concept unique in the field of contemporary watchmaking. This hand-wound movement features 15 nickel silver bridges and three sapphire half-bridges framed by polished titanium pillars surrounding the mechanical organs. This construction is typical of 18th century marine chronometers.

This movement is one of the rare examples to feature fusee-and-chain transmission, the oldest historical solution developed to ensure constant force for the escapement. This system acts like an automatic gear box, with the amount of torque delivered to the barrel varying according to the level of winding. When the movement is fully wound (53 hours of power reserve), the chain is entirely coiled around the small end of the fusee and the barrel spring is at maximum power. This force dwindles in the course of time, as the chain coils around the drum, moving from the small to the large end of the spindle-shaped fusee. The variation in the diameter of the fusee compensates for the reduction of the mainspring torque. The escapement thus receives constant energy, thereby equaling out the amplitude of the balance wheel and thereby enhancing the movement’s timekeeping precision.

The distinctive nature of the FB-T.FC-2 lies in the fact that its barrel and fusee are reversed, upside down, and above all suspended – meaning they are held on one side only. This helps save a few precious millimeters and contributes to the overall slimness of the caliber. At just 7.96 mm thick, the movement powering the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.4. is the thinnest in its category.

Ferdinand-Berthoud