WatchTime New York, America’s largest luxury watch show, returns to the Big Apple in October. As we countdown to the big event, taking place at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 26-27, we’ll be previewing many of the new watches that guests will discover there. Today, we’re taking a look at the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One that is noteworthy for being the brand’s first step into the world of skeletonization.
As you probably know, Jaquet Droz, a 280-year old brand made famous by its eponym’s venture into automata production during the mid-to-late 1700s, isn’t one to follow a trend. 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 extensive Grande Seconde line were a recognizable Jaquet Droz motif. 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 and minutes dial. This seconds dial is made from sapphire and is completely transparent other than the Arabic numerals 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 gold oscillating weight is openworked so light extends throughout every crevice and section of the movement. Inside the watch is the Caliber 2663 SQ that has a silicon double barrel, balance spring, and pallet lugs.
Overall, 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 enthusiasts and collectors. It retails for $24,200 in its ceramic iteration and $33,600 in both white gold and red gold.
Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a full hands-on review of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One Ceramic written by Mark Bernardo. Click here for a look at the historical background of Jaquet Droz.
Interested in seeing the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One in person? You can do so at WatchTime New York this October at Gotham Hall in New York City. Get your tickets here.