Ferdinand Berthoud has revealed its latest novelty for this year, and what a watch it is. The new Régulateur Squelette FS RS is a stunning addition to the brand’s collection, offering a new movement, two case options, and a whole heap to classy coolness.

In 2015, The Chopard Group launched Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, along with its first watches. The watches were inspired by the newly formed brand’s namesake, Ferdinand Berthoud, who was one of the fathers of the marine chronometer in the 1700s. The brand’s watches come in two case options: round or the more signature octagonal. To date, customers have not had a choice of which case shape the model was offered in. For the new Régulateur Squelette FS RS, customers can make that choice.

Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud Régulateur Squelette

A brand new movement from Ferdinand Berthoud

Three centuries ago, it would have been unthinkable for someone to purchase a pocket watch or clock that was not custom-built to their personal taste. Over time, this began to change, replaced by standardization as watches were produced in larger quantities for a more mainstream audience. Nonetheless, this approach does not correspond to the spirit of Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud or the zeitgeist of the watch industry of the 1700s.

It also features a tourbillon, visible at 6 o’clock, and a fusee-and-chain transmission system.

While the cases are not new designs, the new movement is something special — the FB-T.FC-RS calibre is the first skeleton movement produced by Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud. A bit of a mouthful, the calibre name is an abbreviation of “Ferdinand Berthoud-Tourbillon.Fusee Chain-Régulateur Squelette”. As the name suggests, this is a skeletonized, regulator-type chronometer movement. It also features a tourbillon, visible at 6 o’clock, and a fusee-and-chain transmission system. A sapphire disc indicates the hours through the small opening at 2 o’clock, while minutes are read off on the small dial at 12 o’clock. A central seconds hand displays the running seconds.

Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud Régulateur Squelette

Patently obvious

The new movement contains a whopping four new patents for Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud. Firstly and secondly, the movement features a pillar-type structure in which both the barrel and the reverse fusee are suspended. Ferdinand Berthoud’s original marine chronometers provide the fusee-and-chain transmission system. It ensures the distribution of energy by delivering a “constant force” to the tourbillon with its direct-drive seconds. This construction marks the third patent.

…it’s on the inside where it gets rather interesting.

Finally, the fourth patent is concerning the power reserve indicator. At first glance, it looks pretty standard from the dial side, but it’s on the inside where it gets rather interesting. A suspended truncated cone, visible on the case-back side, moves up and down along an arbor connected to the barrel. A feeler spindle in the form of a mobile arm tipped with a watch jewel reflects the barrel’s state of wind thanks to its position on the cone. It transmits the information to the power-reserve hand on the dial side utilizing flat levers and a spiral spring.

Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud Régulateur Squelette

You are gold!

As previously mentioned, customers will be able to choose the case shape for their FS RS: firstly, the FB 1RS.6 with an octagonal case in carburized stainless steel. The carburized steel has had its molecular structure reinforced with carbon, making its surface extremely resistant to scratches and corrosion. The other option is the FB 2RS.2 with a round case in 18-carat rose gold. It’s a funny one because I absolutely love the octagon cases, and traditionally, I have never been a massive fan of any type of gold. That said, of the two watches FB RS models, I would probably choose the FB 2RS.2. I’m not sure why the combination of the round case and rose gold has won me over, but the two complement one another wonderfully.

…it’s kind of an exciting concept.

You may have noticed in the title that I mentioned the watch is a limited edition. It technically is, but it’s the movement that is the actual limited edition here. Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud is only making 20 examples of the movement. This means that the exact weighting of FB 1RS.6 to FB 2RS.2 is yet undefined. It could mean that if 19 customers chose one variation, the other variation would essentially be a unique piece. While very unlikely to end up this way, it’s kind of an exciting concept.

Interested parties can find out more about the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud Régulateur Squelette on the brand’s website here.