Jaquet Droz and the Art of Astonishment
Jaquet Droz has spent more than 250 years perfecting the Grande Seconde timepiece, an icon in the world of haute horlogerie. Each year, the watchmaker takes on the challenge of reinterpreting the classic with a contemporary eye toward innovation. Introducing new complications, finishes, and materials to the Grande Seconde is no easy feat. Whether paring the design down to the core essentials, or embellishing to make a new masterpiece, the Grande Seconde embodies Jaquet Droz’s commitment to harmonizing precision with craftsmanship.
Recently, the watchmaker reached a stylistic turning point with the release of skeleton versions of the Grande Seconde, the Grande Seconde Skelet-One collection. The iconic Grande Seconde dial was picked apart, leaving just the brand’s signature, lucky figure 8. An incredible task for the watchmakers to take on, the skeletonized movement plays with light, bridges, and notably employs five index screws that operate on both a functional and aesthetic level.
The first of the Grande Seconde Skelet-One debut was a 41 mm red gold-encased timepiece with a skeletonized face. The Skelet-One Red Gold features the Jaquet Droz 2663 SQ, self-winding movement, and a sapphire crystal dial, allowing the wearer a clear view into the beauty and precision of its internal workings. The dial remains simple and uncluttered with hours and minutes hands turning around a mixture of Roman and Arabic numerals, and a separate dial for measuring seconds. The use of sapphire crystal on the dial is noteworthy in that the material is second only to the diamond in terms of strength. Nearly indestructible, it is scratch resistant, non-porous, and completely transparent, making it ideal for watch cases, but rarely ever seen on a dial as Jaquet Droz did with this timepiece.
Featuring the same movement and technologies as the Skelet-One Red Gold, the brand also introduced a variation in 18-karat White Gold with blued steel screws. Both timepieces include a 68-hour power reserve, water resistance for up to 3 bars, and a hand-made black alligator strap.
For the third 2018 model, Jaquet Droz introduced the first Grande-Seconde Skelet-One in ceramic. The watch features a black ceramic case and skeletonized dial, which bears black-treated workings and a red gold oscillating weight at its center. The face has two separate dials (one for minutes and hours, and a separate for seconds) with notched markings for every hour, accompanied by a rolled-edge black fabric strap with a black PVD treated stainless steel buckle.
Finally, debuting earlier this year, Jaquet Droz introduced a new ceramic version in black, with white gold and blue details. The ever-so-slightly larger 41.5 mm timepiece captures light in a sapphire dial, where it shines through the white gold and black ceramic cogs and gears of its inner movement to ensure the wearer perfect visibility of its blue-coated hours, minutes, and seconds hands. This edition of the Grande Seconde Skelet-One Ceramic is also powered by a self-winding skeleton mechanical movement and is accompanied by a hand-made blue canvas strap.
The contemporary reimagining of the classic Grande Seconde collection finds harmony between the decorated and negative spaces of the watch’s exposed body, while maintaining a modern, masculine identity.
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