Jaquet Droz introduces a black jade dial version of its Grande Seconde Off-Centered model, the watch with the elegant figure eight on the dial that forms the core collection of the brand. The Grande Seconde Off-Centered is an offshoot of the original Grande Seconde and gives the classic figure-eight configuration a twist by nudging the two sub-dials by 30 degrees. Housed in a 43mm red gold case, the black jade dial provides a bewitching background for the graceful arrangement on the dial.
Inspired by the layout of a pocket watch built by Pierre Jaquet Droz in the late 18th century, the Grande Seconde is characterised by two intersecting sub-dials that form a figure ‘8’. The smaller off-centred hours and minutes counter is intersected by a large seconds (grande seconde) sub-dial. A design of great purity and elegance, the Grande Seconde was launched in 2002. In 2016, the off-centred version with the sub-dials placed on a slightly slanted axis from 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock was launched, initially in 43mm and soon joined by models in 39mm.
Hard Stone Dials
Jaquet Droz is renowned for its use of hard stone dials using a wide variety of rocks, crystals and minerals found on Earth and even from outer space. The expansive dial of the Grande Seconde and its minimalism provide the perfect canvas for these unusual elements. Onyx, meteorite and stromatolite are some of the unusual stones that have materialised on the dials of the Grande Second Off-Centered.
Working with hard stones is a challenge. First, the right stones need to be sourced. The cutting and polishing operations require patience, precision and thorough expertise because at any step the stone can break or crack. In this case, artisans had to work with a sheet of black Australian jade just 1mm thick. Because the dials are made of natural material, each dial is unique.
Black magic jade
Most of us are familiar with green jade but black jade is far rarer. In China, black jade is considered a treasure, a symbol of nobility, perfection and immortality and widely used as an amulet. Beyond its talismanic properties, black jade is a variety of nephrite jade and sometimes known as ink jade. Sourced from Australia, black jade is an extremely hard stone, thanks to the presence of metal in its composition. It requires lengthy polishing to reveal the tiny silver inclusions that are its hidden secret. Almost imperceptible to the naked eye, they enrich black jade with a unique reflection that distinguishes this stone from onyx.
The slightly gritty surface of the black jade contrasts with the refined polish and warmth of the red gold elements. Both sub-dials are framed by red gold rings with discreet markers and the hands of the hours, minutes and small seconds are also made from red gold. The 43mm polished red gold case has a height of 12mm and features an off-centred crown at 4 o’clock, a characteristic of all the models of the Grande Seconde Off-Centered family.
This Grande Seconde Off-Centered model is fitted with the automatic Jaquet Droz calibre 2663A.P with flat bridges, a silicon hairspring, a personalised red gold balance and silicon pallet horns. Operating at 28,800vph/4Hz, it can store up to 68 hours of power reserve on two barrels. Visible via the sapphire exhibition caseback, the bridges are decorated with sunray stripes radiating from the balance. The openwork rotor is frosted and its angles are bevelled and polished. The individual serial number /88 is engraved on the caseback.
Availability, strap and price
The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Black Jade (Ref. J006033275) is presented with a handmade black alligator strap and attached to the wrist with a red gold ardillon buckle. A limited-edition of 88 pieces worldwide, it retails for USD 25,900.
More information at jaquet-droz.com.