June 19, 2019
Shoot for the moon
In 2015, Chopard’s Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele introduced the world to his pet project, an ‘independent’ boutique brand named for Ferdinand Berthoud (1727–1807), a visionary Swiss maker of marine chronometers. For the last four years, Scheufele has been the patron of a new ultra-luxurious micro brand, naturally with limited production, as these watches are very complicated, expensive, and laborious to make. Indeed, the dedicated team housed within the Chopard Manufacture factory in Fleurier, Switzerland is only able to complete three to four of these refined beauties each month.
The dial asymmetry, octagonal case elements and a lack of lugs – which keeps the case size relatively svelte despite the pillar construction of the movement it houses – all remain visible on the brand-new FB 1L Chronometer, which displays the age and phases of the moon taken as two measurements to enable this watch to offer the moon-age accuracy needed for actual astronomical use. Shown in a sector indication marked 1 through 14, when the first 14-day session going from new moon to full moon has passed, the hand begins to head back down the arc for the next 14 days where it then begins all over again. The moon phase indicator located between 4 and 5 o’clock tells the observer whether the celestial body is waxing or waning, therefore making it possible at a glance to understand whether the moon-age hand is heading towards a full or a new moon. This patented mechanism was inspired by an equation-of-time system developed by Ferdinand Berthoud in 1752 based on a feeler spindle following the equation cam. Here, however, it is an age-of-the-moon cam. The moon phase is so accurate that it would only deviate by one full day after 577 years of operation.
The technical moon indications stand alongside a tourbillon with patented direct-drive seconds and a regulator-style indication of the seconds, while the movement is certified for chronometer accuracy by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (C.O.S.C.). A selector switch on the case allows the crown to both set the age of the moon and the time.
The new FB 1L Chronometer is available in two 10-piece limited editions: Near Side of the Moon is warm and luminous within its 44 x 13.95-mm 18-karat white gold and ceramic case, while Far Side of the Moon is dark and mysterious in a ceramized titanium case in white gold and dark grey.
Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud SA
Hall & Stand
- 1.0 | L13