Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1.6-3

Ferdinand Berthoud Announces Its First All-Black Watch: The One-Of-A-Kind Chronomètre FB 1.6-3

Ferdinand Berthoud’s new unique piece is the brand’s first all-black watch and its sportiest creation to date, with a portion of the sale proceeds going to charity.

By Steven Rogers

Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud returns to Geneva Watch Days this week with the high-end Swiss brand using the fair to showcase its latest eye-catching creation, the Chronomètre FB 1.6-3.

With its black steel case, black rubber strap and black dial featuring red accents and Super-LumiNova-filled indications, plus a generous use of sapphire both on the dial and within the in-house movement, the Chronomètre FB 1.6-3 stands out for being Ferdinand Berthoud’s sportiest looking watch to date, by a distance.

Only one lucky collector will be able to get their hands on it, however. For, you see, the Chronomètre FB 1.6-3 is a unique piece designed exclusively for ART in TIME, the Monaco-based multi-brand boutique managed by Chopard Group to which Ferdinand Berthoud belongs.

What’s more is: Part of the proceeds from the sale of the watch will be passed on to charity, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which funds initiatives dedicated to protecting the environment and building a sustainable future.

The Brand’s First All-Black Watch

The Chronomètre FB 1 was the first model released by Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud when the distinguished horologist’s name was revived by the Chopard Group and its co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele back in 2015.

In the six years since, we have seen gold, platinum, and titanium editions of the marine chronometer-inspired timepiece that packs a 60-second tourbillon and constant-force mechanism provided by a fusée-and-chain transmission, but never a steel version. Until now, that is.

Not only is the FB 1.6-3 the first time the FB 1 has been presented in this material, but it is also the brand’s first-ever all-black watch. The 44mm sandblasted octagonal case has been treated with black DLC, while the vertically satin-finish dial has been galvanically blackened. A black rubber strap featuring a black DLC-treated 18K white gold pin buckle completes the stealthy ensemble.

All these dark elements form a fine backdrop against which the indications stand out superbly, with the hours sub-dial at 12 o’clock (even numbers are in red), the red central sweep seconds hand, and the red power reserve arrow at 9 o’clock. Meanwhile, the seconds scale and minute circle are in white, a neat nod to ART in TIME’s Monaco roots, where red and white are the House of Grimaldi’s heraldic colors.

Contemporary Materials

The FB 1.6-3’s sporty credentials are enhanced further by the deployment of a number of contemporary materials: Super-LumiNova coats the hour markers, the crown is fitted with a ceramic insert, and the screws fastening the case are in titanium.

Sapphire is also widely used: For the flange, on the dial side, and for viewing the Caliber FB-T.FC-2 movement through the caseback. For the half bridges that enclose the tourbillon carriage – through which the chain of the fusée-and-chain can be glimpsed. And for the portholes on the side of the case. These also offer views of the constant-force mechanism, which, in tandem with the tourbillon, helps to assure chronometer-rated accuracy. Indeed, the timepiece has been COSC-certified.

Scheufele, who is also President of Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, believes this latest creation is further proof that the FB 1 can lend itself seamlessly to a variety of guises.

He said: “Over the past few years, the FB 1 collection has demonstrated its capacity to embody a range of different styles. This unique watch marks a major milestone in our history, and a significant step towards the ultimate customization possibilities opened up by the collection.”

Pricing & Availability

The FB 1.6-3 is available through the ART in TIME boutique. Its price, including Monaco taxes, is €212,000, and, as mentioned, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation will receive an undisclosed proportion of the sale fee.

However, if you are heading to Geneva Watch Days this week, you can check out the FB 1.6-3 in the metal, as well as the complete Ferdinand Berthoud collection. The brand will be exhibiting at the Beau Rivage for the duration of the watch fair, which runs from August 30 thru September 3.

Interview: Three Questions With Karl-Friedrich Scheufele

For more information, visit the Ferdinand Berthoud website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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