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Ferdinand Berthoud

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.


Ferdinand Berthoud was born in 1727 in Switzerland’s Val-de-Travers. As soon as he could, he left his birthplace to go and live in Paris, where he completed his training as a clockmaker. His superlative skills very quickly earned him recognition, and in 1753 he was awarded the title of Master Horologer by special decree of King Louis XV. 

From that time on, Ferdinand Berthoud would devote his life to perfecting the art of horology and developing precision clocks. It was a time when the courts of Europe were vying to be the first to master the measurement of longitude. He was sent to London by the King to examine Harrison’s H1 and H4 marine chronometers, and earned the unusual distinction of being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

On his return, he designed two marine chronometers, the No. 6 and the No. 8, which in 1768 accompanied a navy vessel on a 12-month voyage. The results were exceptionally accurate for the time, and Ferdinand Berthoud was rewarded with the title “Horologist-Mechanic by Appointment to the King and the Navy”.

With his reputation and future assured, Ferdinand Berthoud was able to entrust his Parisian workshop to his nephews Henry and Louis Berthoud, who supplied the courts of Europe while Ferdinand concentrated on perfecting his clock mechanisms and writing a number of reference works, which helped to disseminate his knowledge of clockmaking and marine chronometers.

Ferdinand Berthoud, a gifted inventor and clockmaker, and the first in a line of clockmakers, was honoured with the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by Napoleon in 1804, and died three years later at the age of eighty.

In 2006 Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, president of Chopard, acquired the rights to the name and created Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, of which he is also president. His aim was to pay tribute to an exceptionally gifted clockmaker, his impressive body of work and the values of perfection, precision and innovation with which his name is associated.

Ferdinand Berthoud is awarded the title of Master Horologer by King Louis XV’s council.
Marine chronometer No. 8 is able to establish longitude at sea to an accuracy of half a degree.
Publication of Histoire de la mesure du temps par les horloges (History of time measurement with clocks).
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele creates Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud.
The FB1 model and its manufacture calibre FB-T.FC are unveiled in Paris.

Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud has reinterpreted the legacy of the famous master horologer to offer a contemporary vision of excellence. Remaining faithful to the output of its namesake, it offers exclusive watches imbued with the spirit of innovation and the ceaseless quest for precision.

These modern chronometers are produced in the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud workshops in Fleurier, near to where the master was born, according to a process steeped in tradition but using the best of modern technology. Like their illustrious predecessors, these timepieces are an invitation to travel.


FB1 chronometer

The FB1 is the first chronometer of a new era, directly inspired by historic timepieces. Its resolutely contemporary openworked case reveals a constant force tourbillon movement with fusée-and-chain mechanism.