With a warm grand feu enamel dial and an appealing presentation of time, the new Grand Second Deadbeat from Jaquet Droz is not a watch one comes across every day. Of course its most distinguishing feature — as its name clearly notes — is the incorporation of a “dead beat” seconds into the mechanics. What this means is that the seconds hand “ticks” in one second increments – yes, imitating the action of an analog quartz watch, of all things. So rather than sweeping smoothly as would typically be seen with an automatic mechanical movement, the seconds hand uses some clever mechanics to give it unique appeal.
Inspired by the Pocket Watch created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1784, the Grande Seconde is one of Jaquet Droz’s core collections. In this collection the seconds subdial sits in the lower half of the dial centered along the 6 o’clock line. It is noticeably larger than the hour+minute dial, also set off center just off of 12 o’clock — hence the “Grande Seconde” name. However in this latest model, the seconds hand is center-set and sweeps the entire circumference of the dial rather than being a subdial. On top is the hours+minutes (note the use of “5 6 7” numerals in tandem with the Romans — unusual for sure, but it works), and down below is a date hand. It all comes together quite nicely.