Ferdinand Berthoud’s New Chronomètre FB 3SPC
The new limited edition Chronomètre pays homage to the brand’s inspired history
Written by Theo Baker
December 8, 2022
Introducing the third generation of its Chronomètre collection, Ferdinand Berthoud welcomes the all-new Chronomètre FB 3SPC. A follow-up to the previous FB1 and FB2 collections, the newest release establishes the new FB3 collection, with its design descending from Ferdinand Berthoud, himself, his successor Louis Berthoud, and their shared legacy of marine chronometers in the 18th century. To accomplish this, the watchmaker paid a particular interest to the mechanical elements of the watch, with function deciding form being a key principle in development. In practical effect, the model notably makes use of a rare cylindrical balance spring – being the first chronometer-rated timepiece on the market to do so.
On the wrist, the Chronomètre FB 3SPC is overtly elegant in spite of its ample size, measuring 42.3mm in diameter with a height of 9.43mm. Ferdinand Berthoud offers a choice between two classic variations: one with an 18-carat white gold exterior and another with an 18-carat 5N rose gold case. On the reverse, a glare-proof exhibition caseback is fitted to match either respective case material. Louis Berthoud’s influence on the brand comes to life through the dial, with it aptly left open to reveal a skeletonized configuration that gives way to the watch’s mechanics. Visible through a precise window in the 9 o’clock position are the three main escapement organs, the balance wheel, pallet lever, and escape wheel.
While the skeletonized attributes are the focal point of the dial, the actual time indication is scaled down to the minimum with just a peripheral inner bezel ring for the hours and minutes and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The white gold version is complete with an eggshell-colored peripheral inner bezel ring and subdial, which are both made of sandblasted silver-toned brass. The 5N rose gold takes a darker approach to the design with a black-varnished peripheral inner bezel ring and seconds subdial, both made of sandblasted brass.
CoThe master machine powering the hands is the Ferdinand Berthoud mechanical caliber FB-SPC. The movement makes the aforementioned cylindrical balance spring its focal point, with it featuring “hand-crafted Berthoud terminal curves.” Embodying the watchmaker’s incredible attention to detail, a fine finishing inclusive of chamfered and polished bevels on the escapement components work in tandem with the movement’s sandblasted, matte surfaces, adding visual intrigue throughout. The detailing of each piece is notably a direct result of three years’ worth of research and development conducted by the brand. The movement offers a power reserve of 72 hours and is hand-finished to the highest watchmaking standards.
The Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 3SPC is available in 18-carat white gold (ref. FB 3SPC.1) and 18-carat 5N rose gold (ref. FB 3SPC.2) in a limited edition of 25 pieces per year. Pricing for both variations is marked at $140,000.