Unveiled with three new dial colors earlier this year, Jaquet Droz describes the Grande Seconde SW Steel as a “subtle mix of cool elegance.” Looking at the watch, however, you’d be hard pressed to find that subtleness, as the dial pops with a gadget-y tech look that recalls a robot’s face and everything other than the understated praise that Jaquet Droz showers the design with.
On the other hand, at 45mm (41mm also available), the watch is a big chunk of steel and has the appropriate looks to go with it. The striped, Omega Aqua Terra-like dial glistens as light strikes it from different angles, and the peculiar shape of the case—especially when viewed from the rear—works better than expected with the rest of the design. Frankly, there’s nothing elegant about it, either, but that’s not the point—the watch is a rare instance where a mishmash of elements come together to form something surprisingly coherent. So yes, although Kyle briefly previewed this watch back in February, I am here to offer a different take on it today, now that it is available in the marketplace.
Powering the watch is Jaquet Droz’ own 2263A-S automatic movement with an 18-karat gold rotor and 68 hours of power reserve; meaning the timepiece will survive a weekend off the wrist and still be churning along when the work week starts back up. And that’s a smart move on Jaquet Droz’ part because power reserves keep increasing as companies release new watches. Competition fosters excellent movements such as this, and we can expect many more in the future, not only from Jaquet Droz, but across the high-end watch industry.
Ultimately, the Grande Seconde SW Steel is an odd bird for company primarily known for elegant timepieces like the Grande Seconde Quantieme Ivory Enamel and the Bird Repeater. But somehow—just somehow—the watch works within Jaquet Droz’ design nomenclature despite being the ugly duckling of the bunch. It’s equally appealing and unattractive at the same time. It’s impossible to look just once.
For more information, head over to Jaquet Droz’ website.
How many watch brands get to celebrate 275 years of history? Not many (understatement of the day!). But Jaquet Droz, first established in 1738, can and is celebrating its 275 years of history this year with a world tour showcasing some of the brand’s most intriguing antique and modern timepieces. The exhibit has already made stops in Moscow, Basel, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau — and now it is the U.S.A.’s turn.
The Jaquet Droz “Enchanted Journey” Exhibit is opening at the end of this month, at The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas. There is a Tourbillon Boutique there, in fact it is the Swatch Group’s largest Tourbillon boutique in the world. Tourbillon Boutiques are a retail concept conceived, developed, and owned by the Swatch Group to showcase its prestige brands (Breguet, Harry Winston, Glashütte Original, et al.).
The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater — A Superlative Piece of Art and Time
Limited Edition 8 pieces ($493,500)
The exhibit opens to the public from September 30 to November 12, and exclusively on the opening day a Jaquet Droz’ master artist will be demonstrating the art of hand engraving and miniature painting on watch dials.
Check out all of my prior coverage of Jaquet Droz, and you’ll see why I think this is definitely worth a visit if you are in Vegas, or looking for a reason to visit. Hope to check it out myself and if I do I’ll be sure to report (as with my last two visits to Vegas, for this, then this)!
This beautiful trio of limited edition watches from Jaquet Droz puts on display the art of paillonné enamelling. What is paillonné enamelling? The Paillonné technique consists in tucking a piece of foil – a “paillon” – between two layers of enamel. In this trio — a 43mm Grande Seconde, a 39mm Petite Heure Minute, and a 50mm pocket watch — the pieces exhibit a deep blue grand feu enamel dial decorated with gold foil (paillons) baked into the enamel, to great visual effect.
The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde is immediately identifiable by its two off-centered dials which form a figure eight; in 2008, Jaquet Droz launched the Grande Seconde SW, a sportier version of the Grande Seconde. This new model being introduced in 2014 is distinguished by an anthracite grey, Côtes de Genève decorated dial. This is not the first time we have seen a dial with Geneva striping from Jaquet Droz (e), but it is less complicated than this Jaquet Droz tourbillon with striped dial, and an all-around good looking watch.