BASELWORLD 2018:

Jaquet Droz Strips Down for its First-Ever Skeletonized Watch (with Macro Shots)


Jaquet Droz — a brand made famous by its eponym’s venture into automata production during the mid-to-late 1700s — isn’t one to follow a trend. That’s why the decision to release the brand’s first skeletonized watch was a surprise highlight for many of my colleagues and myself at this year’s Baselworld fair. Since its revival by the Swatch Group in 2000, Jaquet Droz has leaned toward the conservative side of Swiss watchmaking. There is nothing wrong with that; in fact, its ability to captivate the industry through the continued use and development of automata, and time-only dress watches, creating a fascinating play between the worlds of horology and craftsmanship as a whole. And it’s not like the watches weren’t distinct in their own right, the off-centered dials of the large Grande Seconde line were a recognizable Jaquet Droz creation. So, as you might expect, if CEO Christian Lattmann had decided to move forward with a skeletonized watch, it was going to have to be a showstopper.

The Grande Seconde Skelet-One keeps the same dual-dial structure that the line is known for. There’s a medium-sized dial displaying hours and minutes (Roman numerals) starting around where 12 o’clock would be on a normal dial layout and stopping around the center of the dial. A larger subdial shows the seconds and runs slightly over the hours/minutes dial. This seconds dial is made from sapphire and is actually totally transparent other than the numerals (Arabic) and logo. The upper dial is also made from sapphire but features a gold base set slightly underneath the dial. Other than the two dials and the bridges that extend outwards, the watch is clear, creating an illusion that it’s floating.

All of this is made possible by five indexed screws that support the dials and the movement. This is the first time such a technique has been used by the brand. It was developed from an existing armory system and adapted by Jaquet Droz’s R&D team. The oscillating weight in gold has also been openworked to let light diffuse freely into the heart of the movement. Inside the watch is the Caliber 2663 SQ that has a silicon double barrel, balance spring, and pallet lugs.

Whether or not Jaquet Droz succeeded in creating a timepiece that will alter the brand’s place among enthusiasts is debatable, but in my opinion, the Grande Seconde Skelet-One does an excellent job of retaining the Droz DNA while adding in a drop of sex appeal that could possibly draw in a whole new crowd of collectors.

The 41 mm Grande Seconde Skelet-One is available in three different case materials: red gold, white gold, and ceramic. The prices are not yet available.

 

One Response to “Jaquet Droz Strips Down for its First-Ever Skeletonized Watch (with Macro Shots)”

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  1. Fraser Petrick

    When a review mentions “…prices are not yet available.”. it means that the watch maker’s calculator has gone up in a puff of smoke. A bad sign for us country church mice?

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