Métiers d’art and natural stones are familiar themes at Jaquet Droz – for instance, onyx has already been used in the past. The brand regularly adds new, rare stones to its decorative repertory. In the frame of its 280th-anniversary celebrations, the brand unveils new limited edition watches with meteorite or stromatolite dials, based on the iconic 8-shaped watch with a twist, the Grande Seconde Off-Centered.
Mystical and rare, meteorites are non-homogeneous and studded with inclusions, creating patterns that give each of them its own identity. It is not the first time that Jaquet Droz creates meteorite dials for its Grande Seconde watches. However, Jaquet Droz adds a further touch of originality, as the meteorite dial is featured on a watch that has its crown positioned at 4 o’clock. Alongside this specificity, the signature figure eight on its dial is tilted by some 30°. This lends the watch its distinctive character, adding a twist. The model is released in three limited editions of 88 pieces each: 39mm pink gold case, 39mm pink gold case set with 256 diamonds or 43mm pink gold case.
Unique pieces based on the same Grande Seconde Off-Centered design are fitted with stromatolite dials. Stromatolites are layered mounds, columns, and sheet-like sedimentary rocks that were originally formed by the growth of layer upon layer of micro-organisms, which explains that a large range of colours and markings can be found. Stromatolite fossils are among the oldest evidence of life on earth.
The beauty of nature’s creations
Crafting hard stone dials is a true challenge. First, the right stones need to be found and selected. The cutting and polishing operations require patience, precision and thorough expertise because at any step the stone can break or crack. But it is indeed worth taking the challenge as the result is truly beautiful. Because they are made of natural material, each dial is unique and will give the watch a personal identity. The final touch is set by the interlacing applied gold rings to form the figure 8. The hands are also fashioned out of 18k pink gold to match the rings.
Inside these limited edition watches is the self-winding calibre JD 2663P. This Jaquet-Droz version of the FP1150 features flat bridges, a silicon hairspring, a personalized balance and silicon pallet horns – overall, an important modification of the Piguet base. Operating at 4 Hz, it can store up to 68 hours of power reserve on two barrels. Visible via the sapphire exhibition case back, the bridges are decorated with sunray stripes radiating from the balance. The openwork rotor is frosted and its angles are bevelled and polished.
All watches are worn on alligator straps with a pin buckle. The retail prices of the meteorite dial limited editions – pictures included in this article – are of CHF 24,550 (39mm version) and CHF 26,700 (43mm version). The stromatolite dial unique pieces retail for CHF 37,800. More information at www.jaquet-droz.com.