It’s anniversary time at Jaquet Droz again, this one coinciding with the 300th anniversary of the birth of the legendary watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz. Born on 28th July 1721 on a small farm in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Jaquet-Droz’s talent and formidable creativity led to the production of clocks animated with music and automata to the delight of royal patrons around the world. Acquired by Swatch Group in 2000, one of the insignia collections of Jaquet Droz today is the elegant Grande Seconde. Inspired by a 1785 pocket watch, the signature of the Grande Seconde is the graceful figure-eight design on the dial with a smaller sub-dial for hours and minutes at noon intersected by a larger sub-dial for the seconds below. To celebrate the founder’s 300th anniversary, Jaquet Droz introduces two exclusive editions of the Grande Seconde Moon: one in keeping with the traditional watchmaking spirit of the Maison with a Grande Feu enamel dial, the second a more contemporary and darker vision of the Grande Seconde Moon. The other novelty is that both pieces are now offered in a new 41mm case size, complementing the existing 39 and 43mm models in collection.
Grande Seconde Moon
The Grande Seconde made its debut in 2002. Thanks to the design of the dial, the large ‘grande seconde’ sub-dial can host all manner of complications: date, chronograph, dual time, power reserve, seconde morte (deadbeat seconds) and even fascinating automata. In 2017, the brand added the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon to the collection using the interior of the large seconds counter to host the waxing and waning of our celestial neighbour. With about ten Grande Seconde Moon models in the current collection, with case sizes of 39 and 43mm, Jaquet Droz decided to distinguish the latest anniversary models with a new 41mm case size (height 12.9mm), both crafted in 18k red gold.
Grande Seconde Moon Ivory Enamel
This model is the quintessential Grande Seconde Moon showcasing the brand’s artisanal credentials in the field of Grand Feu enamel. The gorgeous ivory enamel dial is a tribute to the brand’s rich heritage and serves as a background to the hallmark figure-eight display. Underscoring its classical temperament, the smaller hours and minutes sub-dial at noon features black printed Roman numerals and a peripheral minute track with dots.
The larger dial for the seconds, which gently intersects the hours and minutes at 6 o’clock, displays black printed Arabic numerals with the poetic moon phase complication in its centre. Framed by an 18k red gold ring applied on top of the enamel base, the ring is a pointer date inscribed with odd numerals from 1 – 31 and indicated with a short gold hand with a red lacquered tip placed on the same axis as the longer gold hand to indicate the small seconds. Set against a midnight blue sky, the realistic moon, complete with craters and surrounded by 18k red gold stars, completes its cycle.
Grande Seconde Moon Matte Black
With its dark matte black dial, this anniversary model is a contemporary take on the Grande Seconde Moon, closer in spirit to the Anthracite model we saw last year with its matte grey sandblasted dial. However, this anniversary piece marks the first time in this model’s history that the Roman numerals on the hours and minutes sub-dial and the Arabic numerals on the large seconds counter are replaced with red gold indices. The contrast between the slightly grainy light-absorbing black surface and the gleaming red gold is bold and dynamic. To recreate the uneven surface of the Moon, the craters are handmade. Set against a pitch-black night sky, the golden moon and applied red gold stars go through their different phases.
Both models are presented with rolled-edge handmade leather straps and an 18k red gold ardillon buckle. The Grande Seconde Moon Ivory Enamel (Ref. J007523200) model comes with a dark blue alligator strap, while the Grande Seconde Moon Matte Black (J007523340) is presented with a matching black calfskin leather strap.
Automatic calibre 2660QL4
The automatic movement, the calibre 2660QL4, is equipped with a modern silicon balance spring and pallet horns (insensitive to magnetic fields and temperature variations). The astronomical moon phase complication (known as Mechanism 135) will require just one correction every 122 years. To obtain this level of precision, the calibre relies on a 135-tooth wheel that replicates the true lunar revolution as close as possible. Most conventional moon phase models depend on a 59-tooth wheel that accumulates a one-day error every 2 years, 7 months and 20 days. The 18k red gold oscillating weight is semi-openworked to offer a better view of the movement and the refined Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges. Running at 28,800vph, the twin barrels can store up to 68 hours of power reserve. Each version is hand-engraved with “Pierre Jaquet-Droz, 300ème Anniversaire” on the caseback.
Prices for these new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon 300th Anniversary 41mm remain to be confirmed but should be around EUR 30,000. For more information, please visit www.jaquet-droz.com.