The SIAR (Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria) watch exhibition in Mexico has grown in stature over the last few years as Latin America’s premier trade show. More haute horlogerie brands made an appearance and Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud unveiled its rarest Chronomètre FB 1 to date.
As it is a one-of-a-kind piece, that’s as rare as it gets!
Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1 Malaspina Edition
The Chronomètre FB 1 Malaspina Edition is encased in rose gold around a vertical satin-brushed silver-toned, blue-accented dial. The Fine Watchmaking movement version features sapphire half-bridges, highlighting the exceptional finishing and pillar-type structure of a movement equipped with tourbillon and constant-force transmission.
Offering a decidedly contemporary interpretation of the work of the master watchmaker, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud unveiled a model paying tribute to Alessandro Malaspina, an explorer who left an indelible imprint on the latter end of the Age of Enlightenment. It stems from a judicious and passionate approach governed by the most demanding quality standards.
The Chronomètre FB 1 Malaspina Edition belongs to the now well-established lineage of Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud special editions and pays homage to the expedition undertaken by Captain Alessandro Malaspina. This expedition launched in 1788 with a scientific, political and cultural mission is now recognised as one of the most daring and rigorously executed that could possibly have been undertaken at the time. Aboard their two brand-new frigates, the captains were entirely dependent on navigating instruments such as the sextant, the compass, and above all – marine chronometers – the only devices capable of determining longitude at sea.
By offering a modern take on the quest for excellence of the Master Watchmaker-Mechanic by appointment to the French King and Navy, Chronomètrie Ferdinand Berthoud highlights the progress in terms of science, time measurement and knowledge of the world to which Alessandro made an exemplary contribution – aided and abetted by Ferdinand Berthoud’s Marine Clocks Nos. 10 and 13.
The Chronomètre FB 1 Malaspina Edition measures 44 mm in diameter and is 13 mm thick. Crafted for the first time entirely in 18-carat rose gold, the case is identically shaped to the first three series of this Fine Watchmaking chronometer.
The case flanks featuring four lateral ‘portholes’ provide a chance to admire the operation of this fusee-and-chain mechanism and of the mobile cone-type power-reserve display. These apertures are complemented by a glareproofed sapphire crystal case-back serving to appreciate the quality of the movement finishing. An imposing knurled dynamometric crown in 18-carat rose gold ensures smooth winding of the movement with its 53-hour power reserve.
Calibre FB-T.FC-2 is a hand-wound movement built with a unique architectural concept for the contemporary watchmaking scene, with 15 nickel silver bridges and three sapphire half-bridges, held up by polished titanium pillars surrounding the mechanical bits.
This construction is typical of 18th century marine chronometers and this demanding architectural blueprint is reflected in the design of all components, with symmetrical visual identity of the main movement sections.
Calibre FB-T.FC-2 is one of the rare movements to feature fusee-and-chain transmission, the oldest solution for supplying constant force to the escapement. It acts like an automatic gearbox, since the torque delivered by the barrel varies according to the level of wind. The escapement thus receives a constant supply of energy, thereby equalising out the amplitude of the balance wheel and improving precision.
By presenting this piece unique timepiece, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud reinforces its legitimacy as a haut de gamme atelier, creating chronometric masterpieces.
It also supports the credentials of SIAR as a horological exhibition serving a region with increasing collectors and sales potential.
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Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).