The Swatch Group decided to forgo Baselworld in 2019 and have its 12 exhibiting brands release their latest novelties on their own terms. While we’ve seen a number of releases slowly trickle out over the past six months, it’s all led up to this week for the Swiss conglomerate. WatchTime was one of the select few American publications invited to attend the inaugural “Time to Move” event that took place over the past four days in Switzerland. We spent that time meeting with six of the Swatch Group’s most prestigious marques — Breguet, Blancpain, Jaquet Droz, Glashütte Original, Harry Winston, and Omega — to view the watches that would be defining the rest of the year. Here are the highlights so far.
In 2018, Jaquet Droz veered into uncharted territory for the normally sober-minded and dress watch-focused brand with the Grande Seconde Skelet-One (which my colleague Mark Bernardo reviewed here). This year, Jaquet Droz has continued to build out its tentpole range in unexpected ways with the addition of a monopusher chronograph to the Grande Seconde collection.
The new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph lineup consists of four new timepieces with three iterations being added to the permanent collection and a single limited-edition release to celebrate the new appearance for the Grande Seconde. Utilizing the same figure-eight design that the range is known for, the new chronograph uses the upper dial for the traditional hour and minutes in Roman numerals, while the lower circle contains the chronograph timing display functions in Arabic numerals in addition to a date ring. To achieve the chronograph’s unique design, Jaquet Droz designed a new column-wheel chronograph movement with a silicon balance spring that will remain exclusive to the brand moving forward.
The limited-edition version of the Grande Seconde Chronograph will only be produced in a run of 88 pieces and comes in red gold with a Grand Feu enamel dial that references early pocket watches built by Pierre Jaquet-Droz. The Arabic and Romain numerals were produced using the Petite Feu enamel firing technique. The hour, minute, and date hands are in red gold, while the chronograph seconds and minute hands contrast in blued steel. The minute and second displays on the chronograph are in blue Petite Feu enamel to maximize legibility. The crown, with pusher, is located at 3 o’clock.
The three variations to the Grande Seconde Chronograph that will make out the greater collection are available in a 43-mm, stainless-steel case with a choice of either a sand-blasted silver, blue, or taupe gray dial. Each of these dials are finished by hand using a dry sand-blasting technique. Compared to the traditional Grande Seconde design, the unlimited edition of the chronograph will use an off-center figure-eight for the two time displays. In accordance with this change in dial orientation, the crown has shifted slightly to 4 o’clock.
The price and availability at retail were unavailable at press time.