History of Ferdinand Berthoud
Ferdinand Berthoud was a Swiss watch and clockmaker, born in 1727 in Val-de-Travers in the Canton of Neuchâtel. In 1745, he moved to Paris to begin practicing his watchmaking skills. He wrote many of his own works and contributed numerous articles in the Encyclopédie. He worked tirelessly on developing marine chronometers: ocean-going voyages stayed on course by calculating the difference between local solar time and a given meridian. The east-west position of ships, their course, and their arrival point depended on these ‘on board’ and ‘departure’ times being accurate. Both France and England were offering substantial awards to the first person to find the solution.