/horology An intriguing blend of astronomy and chronometry: Ferdinand Berthoud FB1L Far Side of the Moon Imbued with the scientific spirit of the Enlightenment, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud unveils a new experimental collection, combining the inhouse tourbillon movement with a new display of the age and phases of the moon: the Chronomètre FB 1L. Share with friends 

Available in two ten-piece limited editions – with a case in 18-carat white gold and black ceramic lugs, or in anthracite ceramised titanium & sandblasted 18-carat white gold, this new collection displays the hours and minutes on a dedicated subdial at 12 o’clock, seconds in the centre and the 53-hour power reserve on the back of the movement.

A large hand at 6 o’clock indicates the age and phases of the moon in a continuous back and forth movement. This patent-pending complication, combined with the constant force of the FB-T.FC.L calibre, ensures astronomical precision corresponding to a one-day difference in 577 years of operation.

Truly at the crossroads between astronomy and chronometry, the Chronomètre FB 1L pays tribute to Ferdinand Berthoud’s work on chronometric precision and the calculation of longitude. It was to this end that the master watchmaker designed his famous Marine Chronometers, which inspired the creation of the FB 1L collection.

An intriguing blend of astronomy and chronometry: Ferdinand Berthoud FB1L Far Side of the Moon
Courtesy of Ferdinand Berthoud

The FB 1L Chronometer is a model displaying the age and phases of the moon. Combining chronometric precision and astronomical measurement, it associates these two previously dissociated values which jointly made it possible – almost three centuries ago – to achieve more accurate longitude calculations, a quest at the heart of a large number of Ferdinand Berthoud’s works.

The age and phases of the moon are two separate measurements. The moon phase is the most common in watchmaking. This is the complication that visually indicates the different lunar cycles. The moon phase is divided into four phases: new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter. A lunation or lunar cycle is the time interval between two new moons.

An intriguing blend of astronomy and chronometry: Ferdinand Berthoud FB1L Far Side of the Moon
Courtesy of Ferdinand Berthoud

A symbolic and aesthetic complication, the moon phase does not, however, offer the accuracy necessary for astronomical use. The age of the moon is a more accurate indicator which counts the number of days since the last new moon. This veritable scientific measuring instrument, coupled with the chronometric measurement of time, made it possible to determine longitude at sea with unparalleled accuracy nearly 270 years ago. For the first time, the FB 1L collection combines these two instruments: a chronometer and an indicator of the age and phases of the moon within the same model.

An intriguing blend of astronomy and chronometry: Ferdinand Berthoud FB1L Far Side of the Moon
Courtesy of Ferdinand Berthoud

Two versions of the Chronomètre FB 1L are available. The FB 1L.1 “Near Side of the Moon” model favours a warm and luminous approach reminiscent of the visible face of the Moon and the intensity of the full moon. The piece has a case middle, side elements and crown in 18-carat polished white gold. Its lugs are made of black ceramic.

The FB 1L.4 “Far Side of the Moon” version evokes the dark and mysterious tones of the Moon’s hidden face. This time, its white gold case middle is sandblasted and, in place of ceramic, the lugs and side elements are made of dark grey ceramised titanium. On average four times harder than standard titanium, ceramised titanium is part of the sustainability approach adopted in the making of Ferdinand Berthoud creations, which has already led the Manufacture to develop a carburised steel with similar properties.

Each piece will be issued as a numbered ten-piece limited edition.

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