The graceful figure eight on the dial of the Grande Second has made it the most recognisable face of Jaquet Droz. Inspired by a 1785 pocket watch attributed to Pierre Jaquet Droz, the intertwined sub-dials with the large seconds counter have been interpreted in multiple iterations. One of the more classic interpretations has been the Grande Seconde Moon, a delightful moon phase and pointer date introduced in 2017. The latest member to join the family is the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Anthracite, with a steel case and a more contemporary matte dial with blued steel touches.
The beauty of the Grande Seconde’s iconic figure-eight dial is its versatility. Like the original 1785 gold pocket watch, the design of the Grande Seconde is composed of a graceful figure eight (a lucky number in Asia) formed by two overlapping circles; the larger sub-dial at the bottom indicates the “grande seconde” or large seconds, and the smaller counter at the top is for the hours and minutes. By maintaining the basic timekeeping functions of the top dial, the lower dial can be used to house all manner of complications: date, chronograph (monopusher), dual time, power reserve, seconde morte (deadbeat seconds) and even fascinating automata. The large minimalist canvas also means that the Grande Seconde looks good in just about any finish, from radical skeletonised models to classic models with enamel dials.
Since its debut in 2017, we’ve covered the Grande Seconde Moon in various guises over the years, in sleek black enamel and with a stone dial made from serpentinite, a dark scaly-looking stone extracted from the slopes of the Matterhorn.
The latest version of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon nudges the poetic moon phase model into more contemporary territory with a grey sandblasted dial that is strikingly close to the surface colour and texture of the Moon. It follows the modern style introduced earlier this year, with the new Grande Seconde Quantième Collection. Housed in a practical 43mm stainless steel case, the contrast between the gleaming polished surfaces and the light-absorbing matte anthracite dial is elegant and modern. Another touch that gives the watch its sharper features is the intense blue background of the moon phase indicator complementing the blued steel hands.
The six stars in the blue night sky and the Moon are made from white gold. To recreate the uneven surface of the Moon, the craters and features were drawn by hand. Framing the waxing and waning of the Moon is a slightly recessed disc with the date. Bearing the odd numbers of the month with number 31 in red, the pointer date has a blue steeled hand with a red lacquered tip. The seconds are also indicated by a blued steel hand with a circular counterweight and are printed in white on a railway-style track. The hours and minutes follow suit with white Roman numerals and blued steel hands.
The astronomical moon phase complication will require just one correction every 122 years and 46 days. 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 automatic movement – calibre 2660QL3 – is equipped with a modern silicon balance spring and pallet horns (insensitive to magnetic fields and temperature variations) and the heavy metal 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 double barrel can store up to 68 hours of power reserve.
The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Anthracite comes on a dark blue hand-rolled alligator strap with a matte finish, and with a stainless steel folding clasp. It will retail for CHF 15,700.
More information at jaquet-droz.