Ferdinand Berthoud does not do things the easy way.rolex replica
Since its rebirth, Ferdinand Berthoud has released two award-winning watches, the FB1 (winner of the best-in-show Aiguille d’Or at the 2015 GPHG) and the FB2 (which took home the Chronometry prize at both the 2019 and the 2020 editions of the GPHG), quickly earning it pole position as one of the more prestigious and exclusive high-end watchmaking operations in the world.
And now, as of last week, there’s a third contemporary Ferdinand Berthoud creation to discuss: the Chronomètre FB3 SPC.
The all-new Chronomètre FB3 SPC is the most wearable and accessibly priced Ferdinand Berthoud watch yet, despite it retaining a 42.30mm × 9.43mm case in precious metal (either 18k white or pink gold) and a six-figure price tag (CHF 140,000). As the name suggests, it is a full-fledged chronometer – as certified by COSC, to the ISO 3159 standard – but the real focal point of the new release is the watch’s regulating organ.
Visible on the watch’s left side is a cylindrical hairspring, a three-dimensional concentric balance spring that provides enhanced precision as well as key historical relevance for the Ferdinand fake watches Berthoud brand.
You’ll notice that Ferdinand Berthoud opted not to turn the regulating organ into a full-blown tourbillon – there’s a reason for that.
In its most conventional format, the vertical coil structure that is inherent to the cylindrical design will open the hairspring up to potential precision-altering variations when the movement is placed in a horizontal position.
But when the cylindrical balance spring is placed inside a tourbillon, the rotation of the carriage naturally compensates for those variations. That’s why it’s actually far more difficult for a watchmaker to maintain precision when a cylindrical hairspring is used in a wristwatch sans tourbillon, which is the task the Ferdinand Berthoud watchmakers chose to work on.
The only way the Ferdinand Berthoud team was able to manage it is by physically curving the hairspring by hand, with a profile projector, in two key places: where the spring attaches to the balance wheel, and where it meets the pin of the balance cock. All together, it took a total of two years of work for Ferdinand Berthoud’s watchmakers to perfect the design of the cylindrical hairspring and ensure its ability to meet the COSC standard of precision.
It carries a price of CHF 140,000 in both implementations.
What We Think
Ferdinand Berthoud’s newest creation is a fascinating display of precision-obsessed watchmaking with a dash of horological steampunk. We last saw the use of a cylindrical balance (also known as a helical or spherical hairspring) inside the H. Moser & Cie. Cylindrical Tourbillon that debuted at Watches & Wonders 2022.
It’s rather interesting that we’ve now seen two very different examples of the cylindrical regulating organ inside one calendar year. In fact, in the past decade or so, I can count on one hand how many other companies have attempted it, including in wristwatches by Montblanc/Minerva, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Vacheron Constantin, and the clocks created by Miki Eleta.
But I don’t think it’s worth comparing Ferdinand Berthoud’s new release to the H. Moser watch or any other recent timepiece with a cylindrical balance spring, if only for the sole reason that Ferdinand Berthoud went the extra mile of regulating and testing each example of the FB3 SPC to a chronometer-grade specification.
Those ultra-precise timekeeping devices represented the peak of horology in their era, and to translate that task into wristwatch form seems like a herculean task.
The actual time display takes the form of an inner ring with a minute track placed on the periphery of the front-facing dial, with a suspended small seconds sub-dial at six o’clock and a power reserve display near the traditional two o’clock position.
The decoration of the 230-component movement requires over 100 hours of work in total, and it’s fairly straightforward to discern all the various finishing techniques and elements that are visible.
3 astronomical watch, while the bridge supporting the mainspring barrel (at 12 o’clock) references a quarter-repeater watch made by Louis Berthoud with a unique bridge featuring a 120° angle.
The Ferdinand Berthoud watchmakers took the extra step of adding in a stopwork mechanism to enable hacking seconds, and there’s even a small sapphire crystal window located in the caseband of the watch at nine o’clock to allow for a side view of the hairspring as it breathes in and out. Simply grab a loupe and pull out the extra-large crown at three o’clock and you can explore the intricate detailing of the now-paused three-dimensional hairspring in all its grandeur.