Ferdinand Berthoud, 18.3.1727-20.6.1807
He was born on March 18, 1727 to a family of distinguished clock- and watchmakers in Plancemont in the heart of the Val-de-Travers region of the canton Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
On 16 April 1745, aged 18, he moved to Paris, where he continued to hone his skills as a clockmaker. He employed his talents as a journeyman for the Parisian community of master watchmakers.
In 1752, Ferdinand Berthoud submitted to the French Royal Academy of Sciences an equation clock marking leap years. Later on he attained improvements of the oscillation results of the hairspring balance and the chronometer rate. For this reason, Berthoud was appointed purveyor to the court of King Louis XV and his grandson and successor Louis XVI.
In 1770, following the success of the sea trials in 1768-1769 of Marine Clocks No. 6 and No. 8, Ferdinand Berthoud was awarded the title of “Clockmaker and Mechanic by appointment to the French King and Navy” under Louis XV and received a royal commission for 20 Marine Clocks which were to be used during the numerous cartographic and hydrographic surveys that were undertaken in the late 18th century. In 1795, he was elected a member of the Académie des sciences.