A Closer Look At The Ferdinand Berthoud Régulateur Squelette FB 2RS.2 In Red Gold
Watchonista goes hands-on with the high-end brand’s skeletonized, constant-force timepiece in a precious metal case, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Earlier this year, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud released the Régulateur Squelette FB 1RS.6 featuring the FB-T.FC-RC, the manufacture’s first skeletonized calibre, and a fantastic fusée-chain movement that forms the backdrop to an impressive regulator style dial.
At the time of its launch, the Watchonista team was lucky enough to get our hands on the octagonal, carburized steel edition. Now, we have been able to repeat the pleasure by going hands-on with the round-cased 18K red gold version.
Even More Eye-Catching
Understandably, the combination of noble red gold and a more conventional case shape gives the Régulateur Squelette FB 2RS.2 a slightly more traditional, sophisticated look compared to the angular steel iteration.
At the same time, this 44mm red gold edition is arguably even more eye-catching, as the gold case and the gilded dial and movement accents really pop against the black PVD-treated, skeletonized German silver movement plates.
While the regulator dial plate and movement plates all bear a dark aesthetic, they manage to stand out next to each other thanks to varying, well-executed finishes: polished, matte, satin-brushed, and sandblasted.
And now that the plates are openworked, the resulting structures feature a staggering 124 sharp, internal angles that have been beveled and polished by hand using a steel file and locally sourced gentian wood.
Mesmerizing Regulator Dial
The skeletonized movement forms the perfect backdrop to the regulator dial layout that sees minutes displayed on a sub-dial at 12 o’clock, hours on a sapphire disc at 2 o’clock, an arrow-headed power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock, and a central sweep seconds.
The pared-back plates mean that a number of moving parts can be admired dial side, including the rest of the hour disc, the spiral spring and support arm of the power reserve indicator, and gilded gear trains, both at 12 o’clock and from the center of the dial down to the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
Supported by a V-shaped bridge that has also been extensively decorated, the tourbillon cage measures a very large 16.55mm. And at 12mm in diameter, the beryllium-copper balance wheel is also notable for its size.
A Display Caseback To Admire
Turning over the watch, a triangulation of elements catches the eye through the display caseback: The base of the inverted fusée that forms half of Ferdinand Berthoud’s fusée-and-chain system, the mainspring barrel, and the underside of the tourbillon and balance, supported by a finely finished, arrow-shaped bridge. And to the right of this triangulation of elements (more precisely, the tourbillon) is a truncated cone that delivers the state-of-wind information to the power reserve indicator on the face of the watch.
Additionally, on the side of the gold case at 10 o’clock is a cool design touch: A steampunk style porthole, through which you can see the 790-component chain – the other half of the fusée-and-chain – wrapping around the barrel.
The fusée-and-chain helps to deliver constant force by compensating for the diminishing torque of the mainspring over the course of the 53-hour power reserve. Meanwhile, the tourbillon averages out positional errors due to gravity.
That double boost to timekeeping precision has given Ferdinand Berthoud the confidence to have each movement certified by the COSC institute. Moreover, each finished timepiece has been subjected to the Fleuritest to assess its accuracy in conditions replicating daily use of the watch.
Pricing & Availability
The interesting thing about the Régulateur Squelette FB 2RS.2 is that we know from the outset that this watch is going to be rare: Only 20 movements will be produced by the brand at its Fleurier manufacture.
Thereafter, customers will be able to choose between this round case in precious 18K red gold – priced at CHF 244,000 including the Swiss VAT rate of eight percent – or an octagonal case in carburized steel, priced at CHF 235,000, also including Swiss VAT. What’s more, there is room for customizing dial colors and other details, with the brand open to studying all client requests.