Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2RE: Singapore Price And Review

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2RE

Precision watchmaking at its most elegant and uncompromising.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2RE

Piqued by the work of one of the greatest marine chronometer makers of the 18th century, Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich launched Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud in 2015. A boutique marque of sorts, the Ferdinand Berthoud brand focuses on making only a small number of timepieces a year with the objective of encapsulating the spirit and ingenuity of its namesake inspiration.

Its first watch, the FB1 Chronometer did just that: an impressive technical statement modelled after Berthoud’s antique marine chronometers with tourbillon and fusée-and-chain mechanism. The debuting timepiece went on to win the Aiguille d’Or ‘Golden Hand’ Award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2016. It also spawned several sub-lines that include an artisanal variant (Chronomètre FB 1 'Oeuvre D’or'), regulator display (Chronomètre FB 1R.6-1), and a moonphase complication (Chronomètre FB 1L.4) – all housed in Ferdinand Berthoud’s now-signature octagonal case.

Five years since its launch, and on the 250th anniversary of Berthoud’s royal appointment, the company introduces the Chronomètre FB 2RE, its first round-cased watch that’s deceptively simple and dressy.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2RE

From the front, the Chronomètre FB 2RE’s dual-layer grand feu enamel dial, and classic three-hand display with old-style Roman numerals, railway track and five-minute markers give nothing away. The watch is said to be inspired by Berthoud’s Marine Clock No. 6, a cylindrical-shaped contraption that rests on a gimbal support system, and one can certainly notice the resemblance in the dials of both timekeepers – not to mention their pursuit of precision.

Ferdinand Berthoud HM6Ferdinand Berthoud Marine Clock No.6

Inside the Chronomètre FB 2RE is the beautiful handwound movement, the Calibre FB-RE.FC with fusée-and-chain mechanism and remontoir d’égalité. Aficionados who are familiar with the brand will notice the absence of a tourbillon in the Chronomètre FB 2RE. Though a mainstay of Ferdinand Berthoud’s prior creations, the tourbillon is said to be more than ably replaced by the remontoir d’égalité.

The fusée-and-chain mechanism comprises a system of two cone-shaped pulleys and a connecting chain that ensures constant torque in the movement. Meantime, the remontoir d’égalité is an energy-dispensing system that delivers a small amount of stored energy every second from a secondary hairspring to the regulating system.

Ferdinand Berthoud Calibre FB-RE.FC

To put it simply, the fusée-and-chain system controls the overall transmission of power, while the remontoir d’égalité performs the role of energy gatekeeper at the end of the power supply chain. Together, the two mechanisms combine to ensure that the movement beats at an undulating amplitude throughout the duration of the watch’s power reserve and, as a consequence, delivers highly accurate timekeeping.

Learn about how constant force works HERE.

 

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2RE

The watch’s complex and gorgeous innerworkings are paraded in full via an open caseback. Set against a base of frosted German silver, the aforementioned constant force mechanism takes pride of place. At the bottom half of the movement, the escapement and balance, which whirls at a slow cadence of 18,000 vph, are displayed without gear trains to distract from the watch’s key regulating components. The finishing is top-notch, as to be expected, and the architectural presentation that elevates the movement to the stature of mechanical sculpture, rather than mere engine, is fast becoming a Ferdinand Berthoud trademark.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2RE

Available in limited editions of 10 pieces each in rose gold with black dial, and white gold with white dial, the Chronomètre FB 2RE is, despite all appearances, not your everyday three-hand watch. Made with the kind of intelligent engineering and heartfelt artisanship that recalls horology of yore – and also to justify its princely S$307,500 price tag – it’s also quite possibly the kind of watch that Berthoud would’ve found agreeable if he were around today.

 Case

44mm 18K ethical rose or white gold

 Dial

Black or white grand feu enamel

 Movement

Hand-wound Calibre FB-RE.FC with fusée and chain mechanism and remontoir d’égalité

 Strap 

Leather

 Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds

 Power Reserve

50 hours

 Water Resistance

30m

 Price

S$307,500 

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Editor-In Chief

Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.