Ferdinand Berthoud

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Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud brings a new interpretation of the celebrated master watchmaker's lifework to offer a contemporary vision of excellence. True to his heritage, it produces exclusive watches with the constant objective of pushing back the boundaries of innovation and precision. These modern chronometers are manufactured in Fleurier, in the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud workshops, close to where the master watchmaker was born, with respect for tradition and using the very best in modern technology.


Ferdinand Berthoud was born in 1727 in Val-de-Travers, a region of Switzerland he left while still a young man to complete his training in Paris. His skill as a clockmaker quickly became apparent, and in 1753 he was awarded the title of Master Horologist by special decree of the Council of King Louis XV.Henceforth, Ferdinand Berthoud devoted himself to perfecting his art and to the development of precision clocks, at a time when European courts were in competition to master the calculation of longitude. Instructed by Louis XV, he travelled to London to study Harrison's H1 then H4 marine chronometers, and received the rare distinction of being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1768, two marine chronometers of his making, N°6 and N°8, were taken onboard a vessel of the Royal Navy for trials. Throughout their twelve months at sea, they demonstrated such extraordinary precision for the period that Ferdinand Berthoud was appointed "Clockmaker-Mechanic to the King and the Navy." With his reputation and future now assured, Ferdinand Berthoud could hand over his Paris workshop to his nephews Charles Augustes, then Pierre-Louis Berthoud, who would supply the courts of Europe while he concentrated on perfecting mechanisms and writing numerous scientific reference works through which he shared his knowledge of the making of clocks and marine chronometers. An inspired inventor and horologist, considered to be the father of marine chronometry in France, Ferdinand Berthoud was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by Napoleon I in 1804, and died three years later, age 80. In 2006, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, president of Chopard, acquired the Ferdinand Berthoud name and founded Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, of which he is also president, with the firm intention of paying tribute to this exceptional clockmaker, his impressive body of work, and the values of perfection, precision and innovation that are associated with this prestigious name.

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