Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Monopusher (Hands-On Pics)
Adding a chronograph without even slightly altering the iconic 8-shaped display... Check it out!
There have been multiple complications implemented in the “Grande Seconde” Collection by Jaquet Droz… Think Dual-Time, Date, Dead-Beat Second, Moon Phase or even a Skeleton model. However, how surprising as it may seem, there was one major complication that never made it to the collection, and for the simple reason that it would have ruined the 8-shaped display: the chronograph. Problem solved, with the new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Monopusher Chronograph – and yes, that unique display is fully preserved!
Removing a few original or high-end watches from the equation, a chronograph usually means 2 or 3 sub-counters placed on the dial to display the elapsed times – small seconds, minute counter, hour counter. Implementing such a display on the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde, a collection that has been based on its iconic 8-shaped display for years would have been impossible – or at least, this would have ruined the raison d’être of this collection. So, when the idea of adding this complication to its signature collection Jaquet Droz had to think “outside the box” and create a new display for the chronograph.
The most surprising thing when you look at the new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph is how legit the watch is. In fact, you barely notice at first that there is an additional complication implemented on this watch – and even more, as we’re talking about a chronograph, which means sub-counters and pushers. Well, not here, and that’s the beauty behind this watch.
In order to keep the style and display intact, Jaquet Droz relies on several tricks to make the Grande Seconde Chronograph as coherent with the rest of the collection as possible. First, it is housed in the same 43mm case as other members of the Grande Seconde line-up. Round, highly curved, fully polished, the case is sleek and elegant, despite its rather large proportions (close to 15mm in height). As you might have noticed, there are no additional chronograph pushers in the caseband, as JD chose a monopusher architecture, with the chronograph pusher inserted in the crown. This is combined, on the three steel models, with a hint of originality, as the display and the crown have been slightly angled.
As for the display, Jaquet Droz wanted to keep the highly specific geometry of the Grande Seconde intact. For this reason, the brand has developed a new movement (based on a familiar architecture) and an unprecedented display, which relies on the off-centred hours and minutes on top of the 8-shaped dial. The oversized subsidiary dial is, as always, used for the additional indications.
At 7 o’clock and in a single sub-counter, the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph displays both the chronograph and the date. The chronograph seconds are classically displayed on the centre axle, and read on a peripheral seconds track. The subsidiary dial is used for the 30-minute counter (centrally) and for the date, which is a retrograde complication – as you can see, the date ring doesn’t overlap with the hours/minutes sub-dial.
The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph will be available in three different steel models – there’s also a gold limited edition that we’ll show you later, although its dial and crown are classically positioned. The first model is a classic silver dial with blued hands. The two other colours have, however, never been used by the brand. We have a blue-coloured model and the third is a warm taupe-grey edition. Both of these watches feature rhodium-plated hands. The dial has two layers, the base is sandblasted by hand, while the rings are applied and circular satin-finished.
Inside the case of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph is the calibre 26M5R, an automatic column-wheel chronograph which uses some of the Piguet 1185 architecture, yet heavily modified. The main modifications include the change to a monopusher architecture and the brand new display. This single-barrel movement boasts 40 hours of power reserve. As most modern JD movements, it features a silicon balance spring and pallet horns (anti-magnetic). The view through the sapphire crystal is very pleasant, with radiating Geneva stripes, bevelled bridges and an 18k red gold oscillating weight.
The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph is a truly desirable addition to the collection, and JD has managed to keep the iconic display intact, even with such a complication. Kudos to the team. The watch will be priced at CHF 20,000 (inc. taxes), whatever the colour. More details at www.jaquet-droz.com.