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Ferdinand Berthoud - Ferdinand Berthoud’s Oeuvres d’or

Ferdinand Berthoud Ferdinand Berthoud’s Oeuvres d’or

The Ferdinand Berthoud manufacture continues to carve out its path with consistency and close attention to its heritage. The company’s latest “golden masterworks” bear witness to this patrimonial focus.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Ferdinand Berthoud. The sister company to the Chopard group, personally managed down to the smallest details by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, is proceeding steadily along the same path. Today it continues to reap the benefits of its first movement, which drives the FB 1 chronometer. 

Astronomical inspiration

The new versions introduced at the SIHH 2019 are grouped under the title Oeuvres d’or. They are the latest additions to the existing range, which began with a white gold version (FB 1.1), later joined by a rose gold iteration (FB 1.2). Technically, the newest masterworks are very similar to their predecessors, using the same movement and the same materials. Where they differ is in their finishes, which are 100% handcrafted, and inspired by Ferdinand Berthoud’s heritage. They can trace their paternity directly to a timepiece designed by Ferdinand Berthoud, the Astronomical Pocket Watch No. 3, which was assembled and regulated in 1806 in Paris by his apprentice, Jean-Martin. Today, this watch is in the L.U.CEUM collection in Fleurier.

The first Ferdinand Berthoud watch with diamonds

Les « œuvres d’or » de Ferdinand Berthoud

FB 1.1-2 © Ferdinand Berthoud

The first Oeuvre d’or, the FB 1.1-2, brings together a white gold case with a yellow gold dial for the first time. The patina of the dial is created entirely by hand, which gives it a very delicate shimmering texture. This particular shade of gold was chosen to reflect the colour of the original 1806 Astronomical Pocket Watch No. 3.

Les « œuvres d’or » de Ferdinand Berthoud

Sertissage © Ferdinand Berthoud

On the caseback, the new Oeuvre d’or features the company’s signature pyramid motif, which made its modest debut in 2018 on two components of the FB 1R regulators. It is inspired by a design on the plinth of a Ferdinand Berthoud clock now in the L.U.CEUM in Fleurier. Here, the pyramid pattern has been extended to cover the entire back of the movement, which also features two white gold cartouches bearing the legends “Ferdinand Berthoud, Chronomètre Suisse 45 rubis”. This is the first time that La Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud has used invisibly screwed cartouches. It’s also the first time the case has been set with gems in four places; indeed, the new FB 1.1-2 is the first watch in the collection to feature diamonds in place of the sapphire crystal apertures that in the past have given visual access to the key movement components. 

Gold on gold

Les « œuvres d’or » de Ferdinand Berthoud

FB 1.2-1 © Ferdinand Berthoud

The second limited edition, FB 1.2-1, shares most of the same features. The movement, the visible finishes and the dial engravings are similar. However, this is the first time that La Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud has used rose gold for the entire case, plus the lugs, dial, and the bridges visible on the back. Even the hands are made of gold, although they have been blued – a design detail that, being by definition invisible to the naked eye, is emblematic of the extreme attention to detail that this Ferdinand Berthoud creation represents. 

Both watches, each in a limited series of five, are COSC-certified.

Les « œuvres d’or » de Ferdinand Berthoud

FB 1.1-1 © Ferdinand Berthoud

Les « œuvres d’or » de Ferdinand Berthoud

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Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud offers a contemporary take on the work of a master watchmaker. Its exclusive timepieces, developed by today’s master watchmakers, are a tribute to the excellence of yesteryear.

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