Hands-on Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 “Night Star” for Only Watch 2019

Ferdinand Berthoud’s Chronomètre FB1 goes into stealth monochrome mode for Only Watch 2019.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Xavier Markl | ic_query_builder_black_24px 2 minute read |
Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 Night Star Only Watch 2019

Ferdinand Berthoud was, without doubt, one of the greatest horologists of all times.  The name and spirit of this master watchmaker was resuscitated recently by Karl-Friedrich Schefeule and his team with the presentation of the FB1 Chronometer. This modern, elaborate interpretation of Berthoud’s heritage received numerous industry accolades, including the Aiguille d’Or at the GPHG 2016, the Oscars of watchmaking. In 2019, the brand is supporting Only Watch, the biennial fundraiser for research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for the first time. With the “Night Star”, Ferdinand Berthoud takes its Chronomètre FB1 into new terrain shifting its focus to a more modern, stealth aesthetic. And it looks stunning.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 Night Star Only Watch 2019

Its 44mm case is fashioned out of sandblasted anthracite ceramised titanium in which the surface layer of the titanium case is transformed into ceramic. The result of this high-tech process results in a dark grey case combining exceptional scratch (on average four times harder than titanium), wear and corrosion resistance with the lightness and strength of its titanium core.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 Night Star Only Watch 2019

A frosted black dial matches the dark tone of the case and monochromatic looks of the watch. For the first time for a Ferdinand Berthoud watch, it is paired with luminescent numerals and hands. The brand states that the Super-LumiNova was deliberately chosen white to evoke gleaming stars in the night sky.

The Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Chronomètre FB1 Night Star houses the calibre FB-T.FC-2, the version of the brand’s inaugural movement featuring three sapphire bridges. Together with the sophisticated case construction, these offer a captivating view on the superbly finished mechanism. As for the rest of the watch, FB opted for a dark monochromatic finish, doing away with the traditional blued parts – for instance, screws or the words inked on the sapphire bridges. Two small plates screwed on the fusée bear the caption ‘Only’ and ‘Watch’.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 Night Star Only Watch 2019

Its pillar architecture is a nod to yesteryear marine chronometers. This remarkable movement incorporates over 1,100 parts including a fusée-and-chain to deliver constant torque to the one-minute tourbillon. A Maltese-cross stopwork limits the rotation of the barrel, creating a locking point to prevent any damage from over winding. The power reserve indication is driven by a cone moving up and down along a threaded arbor. As always with Ferdinand Berthoud, the movement is a chronometer whose precision has been controlled by the COSC.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 Night Star Only Watch 2019

The Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Chronomètre FB1 “Night Star” for Only Watch 2019 is worn on a hand-stitched, rolled-edge black alligator strap with alligator lining. It is secured to the wrist by a double-blade ceramised titanium folding clasp.

For more information, www.ferdinandberthoud.ch.


Only Watch is a biennial fundraiser for research on muscular dystrophy – Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies (AMM). Organized under the patronage of HSH Albert II de Monaco, the watches of the 8th edition will be auctioned by Christie’s on Saturday 9 November 2019. More details at www.onlywatch.com. And discover all the Only watch 2019 timepieces here.

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