Jaquet Droz ventured down the path of skeletonisation with its sophisticated Grande Seconde model in 2018. Marking a bold new design language for the brand, the elegant figure-eight configuration of the Grande Seconde was reinterpreted in diaphanous materials, and the supporting architecture stripped back to reveal the movement. For 2021, Jaquet Droz proposes three new ceramic versions of the Grande Seconde Skelet-One with colourful accents in green, sky blue and yellow. Still imposing, the dash of colour gives the watch a more casual, everyday appeal.
The Grande Seconde is the cornerstone collection of Jaquet Droz, a refined interpretation of a historic 1748 pocket watch with two intersecting dials that form a graceful figure eight. A design of great purity and elegance, the Grande Seconde has hosted all sorts of complications – from GMTs to chronographs and from moon phases to deadbeat seconds and minute repeaters – and provided a canvas for artistic enamel dials and even dials made from onyx, jade and meteorite.
Since its debut in 2018, the Grande Seconde Skelet-One has appeared in luxurious white and red gold cases and more contemporary high-tech ceramic and plasma ceramic cases. It has even toyed with colour on the Skelet-One Blue; admittedly, a darker shade of blue than the one almost baby blue tone selected for 2021.
If there were degrees of skeletonisation, the Skelet-One would score high, verging on ‘extreme’. Compared to other busier skeleton models on the market, the Skelet-One is practically nude. Suspended in mid-air by a spider-web support system of industrial bridges, the movement can be seen front and back. I wonder if Jaquet Droz has considered a sapphire case to get a lateral view as well? Both intersecting discs on the dial are made from sapphire crystal, and the ‘only’ area of the dial that is not diaphanous is the chapter ring bearing the hour markers.
Two of the new Skelet-One models are cased in black matte high-tech ceramic, while the third Skelet-One comes in a glossy plasma ceramic case that looks closer to metal (the yellow one). Both the high-tech ceramic and plasma ceramic lend the watch a technical, contemporary look and have a 41.5mm diameter and a height of 12.48mm. Plasma ceramic is forged in an oven at incredibly high temperatures transforming white ceramic into a material with a metallic shine. High-tech ceramic and plasma ceramic offer a resilient, lightweight and scratch-resistant surface.
The ‘large seconds’ (grande seconde) appear in the lower half of the figure eight and are displayed on a sapphire crystal disc with a railway track. Six applied gold indices and a long gold hand with a round counterweight varnished in sky blue or green mark the passing seconds (all the hands on the plasma ceramic model are 18k red gold). The two screws securing the seconds disc to the flange are red gold in the yellow model and white gold on the sky blue and green versions. The hours and minutes are displayed on the smaller sapphire crystal disc with varnished hands in sky blue and green.
To enhance legibility, the sapphire crystal of the plasma ceramic model has a white gold base with a grey treatment, while the black ceramic models rely on a black ceramic background. The indices are applied and crafted in red or white gold, as are the three screws that secure the ring to the bridges. A nice detail is that all the screws are aligned, and the railway tracks on both the seconds and hours and minutes discs are picked out in the same colour as the hands.
Calibre JD 2663 SQ
The network of darkened sandblasted bridges add a high-tech, industrial vibe and provide plenty of negative space to allow light to enter the movement. Even the white gold rotor is openworked to offer an unobstructed view of the mechanics. The twin barrels, which you can clearly see in the top half of the movement, provide the automatic JD 2663 SQ calibre with a power reserve of 68 hours. Fitted with a contemporary silicon balance spring and silicon pallet horns, the frequency is 28,800vph/4Hz. There is no casing ring, so the movement fits seamlessly inside the contours of the case.
Casual textile straps
The new Skelet-One models come with matching fabric straps in yellow, green or sky blue, with a steel and ceramic/plasma ceramic folding clasp. The textile straps add a casual, modern touch to the watches to match their high-tech ceramic cases and contemporary skeletonised dials and movement.
Availability & Price
All three Grande Second Skelet-One watches are limited editions of 28 pieces. The retail price has not yet been announced, but expect something in the range of CHF 24,300.
For more information, please visit Jaquet Droz.