You can’t help falling in love with the new Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.3-1 “Sapphire Blue” Chronometre
Ferdinand Berthoud closed 2019 on a high with their new release, the FB 1.3-1 “Sapphire Blue” Chronometre.
It is a new version of the already existing FB 1 Chronometer — the series and company La Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud were launched back in 2015 by Chopard — but has a more sporty and contemporary look thanks to the silky blue translucent dial and the unique combination of a platinum body & mounted grey ceramic lugs.
Ferdinand Berthoud was one of the most well-known clockmakers of marine chronometers, and this watch collection pays homage to that bit of history. The new version comes as a result of Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud now producing all-new variations to its existing collections.
The Movement of the FB 1.3-1 “Sapphire Blue” Chronometre
The heart used — Calibre FB-T.FC-2 — is a COSC chronometer-certified mechanical manual winding movement featuring a tourbillon with fusee-and-chain (constant-force) transmission beating at the frequency of 3 Hz (21’600 V/h), featuring a water resistance of 30m (3 ATM) and 53 hours power reserve.
The movement also features four patents:
- Suspended fusée – differential winding system
- Suspended barrel – Maltese cross stop-work system
- Suspended power reserve – mobile cone system
- Tourbillon with direct-drive seconds
All this is encased inside an overall bold and big octagonal watch made from platinum (PT 950) with anthracite grey ceramic lugs that measures in at: diameter 44mm x thickness 13mm.
- Dynamometric crown (uncoupling system) in platinum (PT 950) with anthracite grey ceramic medallion
- Octagonal case fitted with four watertight portholes — subtle nod to the maritime history — in glare-proofed sapphire crystal
- Screw-in exhibition case-back fitted with a glare-proofed sapphire crystal pane
- Domed “chevée” sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides
- The watch comes on a hand-stitched rolled-edge alligator leather strap made from a single piece of leather (115 x 75 mm, with a 20 mm buckle). It features a double-blade length-adjustable folding clasp in platinum (PT 950) while collectors can also request for a pin buckle option as well.
It is surprisingly legible and almost has a quirky fun side to it.
The dial shows the following indications:
- Open dial centre with autonomy indicated by an arrow pointing to the words “HAUT” (high) and “BAS”(low)
- A sunken power reserve indicator — engraved on the main-plate: “0, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1” — that is hand-bevelled with rhodium-plated chamfers at 9’o clock
- Offset white hours and minutes sub-dial at 12’o clock with black Arabic numerals
- Translucent sapphire seconds track
- Central seconds
- Tourbillon at 6’o clock
- “Chronomètre Val-de-Travers Suisse” inscription on the lower end of the dial
The beautifully bold yet understated translucent blue dial with vertical satin finishings has a lot going on.
It’s almost a maze of functions yet Ferdinand Berthoud has managed to show restraint on the dial.
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?
Overall, the FB 1.3-1 “Sapphire Blue” Chronometre gets top marks for creating a complicated tourbillon with the simplicity of a traditional dress watch.
To us, one of the best aspects is that the hands and markers lend further to the readability of this dial.
The 18-carat blued gold dagger-shaped and facetted cut-out hours and minutes hands simply shine on a white background while the 18-carat blued gold arrow-shaped power-reserve hand plays hide-and-seek at 6’o clock.
The rhodium-plated bronze central seconds hand while not exceptionally contrasting does work well with the blue dial base.
Even if we looking at faults with a microscope, we would come out empty handed. Reserved for collectors with ultra exclusive tastes, this is one stunner of a watch.
Available only in a limited edition run of five (5) pieces, the new FB 1.3-1 “Sapphire Blue” Chronometre presses a hard case for not liking it. The inside architecture of the FB-T.FC-2 calibre is unique and the look on the outside is stunning in blue and grey tones.
It’s just a nice piece of horology that you can’t help falling in love with.
For more information on this watch and other Ferdinand Berthoud watches, head to their website here.