The saga of incredible timepieces by Ferdinand Berthoud continues with the presentation of the extraordinary new Chronometre FB 1L, an experimental collection presented to Basel, which combines the in-house tourbillon movement with a new function of the lunar age and its phases, and does so in a way never seen before.
The new Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1L (where the “L” stands for Lune) has an octagonal shaped case with modular construction. Despite its large diameter of 44mm, the watch is much more compact than one might imagine.
From the perspective of the dial, the typical indications with large central seconds and off-center hours and minutes are arranged as in the other models and the dial retains the unique style, appearing both ancient and modern.
The "Moon" version of the watch will be available in two different versions. The first, the Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1L.1 it will be made of 18k white gold with inserts made of black ceramic and limited to just 10 pieces at the price of 265.000 EURO. This version features a satin and rhodium-plated brass dial, combined with blued hands.
The second more contemporary version of this watch is the Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1L.4, whose case combines a central part and a sandblasted 18-karat gold bezel, to which side elements and inserts in ceramic-coated black titanium are attached. The dial follows the same pattern, and is made on a satin brass base with black PVD coating and rhodium-plated hands, so as to create a warm - cold contrast. Always limited to just 10 units, this model will be available for 250.000 EURO.
As mentioned, the main indications are still where they were in the past, but the tourbillon is no longer visible through the dial. Another novelty is the addition of not one, but two complications related to the Moon: one for the age and one for the phase. The moon phase is the most common in horology and visually indicates the different lunar cycles, divided into four phases: new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter. The moon phase is indicated on the dial, between 4 and 5 o'clock. Show which is the phase of the Moon, waxing or waning, by pointing a semicircular window in which a disc is running. The age of the moon, on the other hand, is a more precise measurement. It counts the number of days that have passed since the last new moon (this indication allowed the calculation of longitude almost 3 centuries ago), and is technically more complex, since a linear segment transmits a precise angle to a hand that indicates the age of the Moon on an arcuate trace, graduated from 1 to 14. This indication is bidirectional, which means that once it reaches 14, the hand will slowly return to its original place, thus indicating a waxing or waning Moon.
The Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1L pays homage to the "Cercle de Borda" (the Borda circle made it possible to pass from the octant, which had an accuracy of 150 nautical miles, to the sextant, which was accurate instead 0,2 miles), an invention that made it possible to calculate a more precise position of the moon and, therefore, of the longitude.