At the 2019 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud presented a new pillar of its FB 1 collection: the Œuvres d’Or. These were two extremely limited five-piece editions, directly inspired by a creation by Ferdinand Berthoud, the Astronomical Pocket Watch No. 3, assembled and adjusted in Paris in 1806.

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

Today, the Œuvre d'Or collection is enriched by a new limited and numbered edition of five watches (ref. FB 1.2-3), combining a rose gold case with a white gold dial and a movement with three half-bridges in 18-carat rose gold.

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3 Case
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

The overall appearance of the model remains faithful to its inspiration. These five models are graced with a prestigious hand-crafted finish applied to the dial and movement. The first, which preserves its broad opening, provides a vast field for artistic expression in entirely hand-patinated 18-carat white gold. This patina is achieved by means of a line-engraving technique that requires great manual dexterity. First of all, the gold is finely grained with a burin. The surface is then crafted at length using a tool called a "rocker”, enabling the light to glide across the dial to the rhythm of the shimmering moiré effect thus created. A symbol of the passing of time and of Ferdinand Berthoud's legacy, this combination of artistic techniques recalls the natural patina of the dial of the astronomical pocket watch No. 3 that inspired the Chronomètre FB 1.

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3 Dial
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

The dial is then hand-engraved with descriptive indications regarding the model, in keeping with 18th and 19th century traditions: "Ferdinand Berthoud - Chronomètre - Val-de-Travers - Suisse", followed by the individual number of the watch "N° X / 5". Opposite these inscriptions is the one indicating the movement’s power reserve.

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3 Movement
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

On the case-back side, this collection picks up the "pyramid" motif across the entire surface of its three 18-carat gold half-bridges. This true feat of craftsmanship demonstrates the expertise of the Manufacture’s engravers: the material is incised freehand using a burin wielded with great precision and strict regularity. This pattern first introduced in 2018 is inspired by the base of a clock by Ferdinand Berthoud, kept at the L.U.CEUM in Fleurier.

Calibre FB-T.FC-3
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

On the movement side, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud has chosen to use its original calibre, chronometer-certified by the COSC. Framed by the emblematic octagonal case with its bevelled edges is the unique pillar-type architecture. This technique of securing bridges to the mainplate lightens the structure of the movement and also provides an integral view of its components and their exceptional hand-crafted finishes.

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

This 100% in-house movement retains its three essential features. First of all, a suspended fusee-and- chain transmission system. The latter serves to deliver constant force to the escapement, a guarantee of isochronism throughout the running time of the movement, from the first turn of the crown through to complete winding and thus ensuring a total 53-hour power reserve. This construction also helps reduce the thickness of the movement to 7.96 mm, making it one of the thinnest in its class.

Ferdinand Berthoud Turbillon
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

Next is the tourbillon with direct-drive seconds in the centre. The tourbillon itself makes it possible to compensate for the variations in rate induced by the different positions to which a wristwatch will be subjected in the course of a day. The direct-drive seconds display is made possible by the correlation between the fourth wheel and the wheel driving the tourbillon carriage, both perfectly identical and visible on the dial side, enabling the seconds to be displayed without any jerking.

The New Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

Finally, the FB-T.FC-3 calibre is equipped with a power-reserve indicator operating in an atypical manner. It rests on a mobile cone which, in association with the rotation of the cylinder, moves up and down according to the state of wind. A jewel-tipped mobile arm (feeler spindle) takes an extremely accurate measurement, which it then transmits to a hand visible on the dial side.

Four patents have been filed for the unique features of the Ferdinand Berthoud movement.

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3 Watch Review
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3

Technical specifications:

Ref. FB 1.2-3

Numbered Five-Piece Limited Edition With Case In 18-Carat Rose Gold And Dial In 18-Carat White Gold


• Octagonal 18-carat rose (5N) gold case

·       Total diameter: 44mm

·       Thickness: 13 mm

·       Water resistance: 30 metres

·       Crown diameter: 9 mm

·       Numbered edition: 1/5 to 5/5

• Dynamometric crown system (uncoupling system) with 18-carat (5N) rose gold medallion • 18-carat (5N) rose gold screw-in exhibition back fitted with a sapphire crystal pane

• 18-carat (5N) rose gold lugs and fastening screws

• Domed and arched sapphire crystal, glareproofed on both sides


• 18-carat white gold dial, engraved and patinated by hand

• Hand-bevelled dial centre and power-reserve indicator, rhodium-plated chamfers

• Offset gold hours and minutes subdial, black Arabic numerals

• Gold seconds track

• Power-reserve indication engraved on the mainplate: “0_1/4_1/2_3/4_1”

• Autonomy indicated by an arrow pointing to the words “HAUT” (high) and “BAS” (low)

• Hand-engraved inscriptions: “Ferdinand Berthoud” “Chronomètre Val-de-Travers Suisse” and the limited edition number


• Blued (CVD) 18-carat gold dagger-shaped facetted cut-out hours and minutes hands • Blued (CVD) 18-carat gold arrow-shaped power-reserve pointer

• Blued (CVD) bronze central seconds hand

Strap And Buckle:

• Hand-stitched rolled-edge alligator leather made from a single piece of leather (115 x 75 mm, with a 20 mm buckle)

• 18-carat rose gold pin buckle

Indications: Hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve


·       Mechanical manual-winding: Calibre FB-T.FC-3

·       Diameter: 35.50 mm

·       Thickness: 7.96 mm

·       Lignes: 15 3⁄4

·       Jewels: 45

·       Frequency: 21,600vph(3Hz)

·       Power reserve: 53 hours

Technical Characteristics:

• Tourbillon with fusee-and-chain (constant-force) transmission device

·       Suspended fusée – differential winding system (PATENT)

·       Suspended barrel – Maltese cross stopwork system (PATENT)

·       Suspended power reserve – mobile cone system (PATENT)

·       Tourbillon with direct-drive seconds (PATENT)

• Variable-inertia balance wheel featuring four gold-plated nickel silver inertia blocks

• Balance spring with hand-crafted steel Phillips outer terminal curve (overcoil)

• Swiss lever escapement

• Three chamfered and engraved 18-carat (5N) rose gold half-bridges, hand-engraved with the ‘pyramid’ motif, fitted on stylised titanium pillars

• Hand finishing in keeping with the highest watchmaking standards

·       Components: 1,119(includingthechain)

·       Chain: 790 components

·       Lengthofthechain: 285mm

·       Half-bridges: 18 including three in 18-carat (5N) rose gold

·       Pillars: six


Rotation: 1 /minute

Components: 67

Tourbillon carriage: Ø16.55mm(titanium)

Tourbillon carriage fixed to: Three polished titanium pillars

Tourbillon carriage poised by: Two18-caratgoldinertiablocks

Balance wheel: Ø 12 mm in copper-beryllium

Officially chronometer-certified by the COSC

The price for the Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 "ŒUVRE D'OR" Ref. FB 1.2-3 is CHF 263,500.

For more information visit Ferdinand Berthoud Online.