Two years after launching its sensational horology creation FB 1, the Swiss luxury watch brand Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD presents this year a new and highly exclusive timepiece FB 1.3, that follows the same footsteps of the FB 1.1 chronometer that won the “Aiguille d’or” Grand Prix award at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, and the FB 1.2.
Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD, who since 2006 has been patiently putting together a major collection of objects relating to time measurement in the L.U.CEUM: the in-house museum based in Fleurier and showcasing a number of remarkable works by Ferdinand Berthoud.
The way the FB-T.FC calibre is built is a truly unique phenomenon on the contemporary watchmaking scene. This hand-wound movement features 15 bridges and three half-bridges in nickel silver, framed by polished titanium pillars surrounding the mechanical organs. This construction is typical of 18th century marine chronometers, and enables the portholes of the Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 to reveal the interior of the watch. Equally high aesthetic standards apply to the design of all components, and especially to the symmetrical visual balance characterising the various sets of components.
When the mainspring is associated with a fusee, the barrel drum turns in one direction while the spring is unwinding, and in the other during winding, thus serving to coil the chain.
During the winding of this type of mechanism, the movement generally stops running. To counteract this effect, the FB-T.FC is equipped with a distinctively designed differential gear, enabling the balance-wheel to continue oscillating even during winding and thus preserving the movement’s precision timekeeping properties. Another patent has also been filed for this device.
The winding mechanism fitted with a pinion featuring cone-shaped toothing, together with a large-diameter knurled crown, enables smooth winding of the movement – a gentle motion that naturally enhances the quality of the rapport established between the watch and its owner, which plays an essential role in the case of a hand-wound watch.
As typically found on fusee-and-chain mechanisms, the barrel of Calibre FB-T.FC is equipped with a “Maltese Cross” stopwork device. The latter serves to limit the number of winding turns of the mainspring to around six, and to use only the most stable portion of this spring – thereby breaking free of its far ends. This device also servers as a buffer when the barrel is fully wound. At that point, the mainspring torque exerts a 3 kg force, which is considerable for components measuring just a few millimetres.
To perfect the security of the movement, the engineers at Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD have endowed the crown with a dynamometric function serving to avoid any damage to the movement that might be caused by excessive winding.
Teamed with the seconds wheel and pinion, the tourbillon of Calibre FB-T.FC comprises 67 components assembled within a titanium carriage measuring 16.55 mm in diameter, and fixed to an arrow-shaped steel arch whose tip points towards the space between the barrel and the fusee. A large variable-inertia balance-wheel is regulated and balanced by four gilded nickel silver inertia-blocks. It is coupled with a self-compensating regulating balance-spring in a stainless alloy, featuring a Phillips outer terminal curve (overcoil) manually shaped by the expert hands of the women serving as balance-spring fitters at Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD. To poise the escapement’s unbalance, two 18-carat gold inertia-blocks ensure the uniformity of the weights of this large-size tourbillon. This tourbillon contributes to earning Calibre FB-T.FC its chronometer title awarded by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). One particular characteristic makes this tourbillon extremely distinctive: although it performs one rotation per minute, it does not display the seconds. The Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 is one of the rare tourbillon models to have a central sweep-seconds hand. The latter is extremely long, slim and made of bronze, displaying the seconds with extreme accuracy and in a remarkably stable manner.
Within the traditional approach to watchmaking, construction and mechanical structure are inseparable from the choice of materials and the quality of the finishing. In this respect, the movement of the Chronomètre FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3 is in a league of its own. The bridges of Calibre FB-T.FC are made of non-treated German silver: a copper, zinc and nickel alloy that is particularly brilliant when polished, yet also extremely fragile. Any imperfection is irreparable and the part must be discarded. Nickel silver is also distinguished by its warm grey colour easily recognised by connoisseurs.
The stainless steel arrow-shaped tourbillon bridge is decorated with the utmost care: the upper side is specular polished, the flanks are straight-grained, the angles are polished and the underside is circular-grained and smooth polished. All levels of the tourbillon carriage, with its titanium components, are entirely chamfered. Some surfaces are polished, others circular satin-brushed, sandblasted or smooth polished. The lever bridge is entirely chamfered, while its visible side features a specular-polished finish and its invisible side is straight-grained. Further up in the gear train, the power-reserve cone is mirror-polished across its inner surface, while the upper and undersides are circular satin-brushed. Two small steel plates are screwed to the cover of the barrel drum: one bears the watch’s limited-edition number, while the other is left blank to be engraved with the initials of its future owner. The 790-part chain measuring 285 mm long is also entirely hand-finished. The sides and studs are satin-brushed and the flat surfaces are polished.
Model: FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB 1.3
REF. FB 1.3, Platinum and ceramicb50-piece limited and numbered edition
Bimetallic in platinum (PT 950) with anthracite grey ceramic lug elements
Total diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Water resistance: 30 metres
Crown diameter: 9 mm
Numbered edition: 01/50 to 50/50
Dynamometric crown (uncoupling device) in platinum (PT 950) with anthracite grey ceramic medallion
Octagonal case fitted with four watertight portholes in glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Mounting bolts in titanium
Screw-in case-back with glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Domed, arched and glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Vertical satin-finish dial made of solid nickel silver material
Cut-out centre and power reserve chamfered by hand and black rhodium-plated
Off-set hours and minutes in matte black-lacquered subdial, white Arabic numerals
Seconds scale in matte translucent sapphire surrounding the dial
Power-reserve scale engraved on the main plate “0_1/4_1/2_3/4_1”
Degree of autonomy indicated by an arrow pointing to the French words “HAUT” (high) and “BAS” (low)
Inscription: “CHRONOMÈTRE VAL-DE-TRAVERS SUISSE”
18-carat white gold dagger-shaped hours and minutes hands, open-worked and facetted
18-carat gold black nickel-plated dagger-shaped power-reserve hand with curved triangular tip
Bronze black nickel-plated central sweep-seconds hand
Hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve
Mechanical hand-wound Calibre FB-T.FC
Diameter: 35.50 mm
Thickness: 7.96 mm
Lines: 15 ¾
Frequency: 21,600 v/h (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 53 hours
• Tourbillon with fusee-and-chain transmission (constant-force device)
Suspended fusee with differential based winding device (PATENT PENDING)
Suspended barrel with Maltese cross stop work device (PATENT PENDING)
Suspended power reserve device with mobile cone (PATENT PENDING)
Suspended tourbillon with direct-drive seconds (PATENT PENDING)
• Variable-inertia balance-wheel integrating 2 balance weights sets (gold-plated nickel-silver material)
• Balance spring with hand-shaped Philips terminal curve (steel material)
• Swiss lever escapement
• Nickel-silver half-bridges supported by stylised titanium pillars
•Hand-finished to the highest standards
Parts: 1120 (incl. the chain)
Chain: 790 elements
Chain length: 285 mm
Rotation: 1 /minute
Carriage: Ø 16.55 mm (titanium material)
Tourbillon carriage fixed by: Three polished titanium pillars.
Tourbillon carriage poised by: Two 18-carat gold studs
Balance wheel: Ø 12 mm (copper-beryllium)
Officially chronometer-certified by the COSC
One-piece hand-sewn rolled-edge black alligator leather strap (115 x 75 mm, buckle 20 mm) (Different sizes available on request)
Double-blade adjustable-length safety folding clasp in platinum (PT 950) (Pin buckle available on request)
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