Horology picks: Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel
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Horology picks: Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel

Horology picks: Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel

A chronograph makes its way into Jaquet Droz’s Grande Seconde collection for the very first time

Jaquet Droz

At 282 years old, you’d assume that a brand might be going through the motions without really rocking the boat. That assumption doesn’t apply to Jaquet Droz.

A few months ago, it debuted its very first Grande Seconde collection with a chronograph complication. The Grande Seconde collection – one that is easily recognizable by the figure 8 on the dial, with an oversized seconds sub-dial – already featured timepieces with complications like a dual-time, date, deadbeat second, a moonphase model and even a particularly striking skeleton model.

The challenge wasn’t designing a chronograph movement – that’s something that Jaquet Droz has plenty of experience with. Instead, it was introducing the complication and ensuring that the defining characteristics of the collection – a minimalistic dress-watch visual aesthetic – of the Grande Seconde collection is maintained when introducing a sporty function like a chronograph.

To its credit, Jaquet Droz pulled off a coup with this new watch. There are four chronograph models within the collection including three steel-cased models that will be a part of its permanent collection and one limited-edition 18k-red gold version (pictured here) that’s limited to 88 models.

The limited-edition model and the steel versions too feature an openworked 18k gold oscillating mass

The limited-edition timepiece features a delicate grand feu enamel dial. The sub-dial at the top is an hour-minute display, while the one at the bottom is the 30-minute chronograph counter which also has a red-tipped hand used to indicate the retrograde date display. The seconds-chronograph hand is pivoted in the centre of the dial and the display is arranged along the periphery of the dial.

Instead of multiple pushers on the case to start, stop or reset the chronograph, there is a monopusher mechanism integrated into the crown itself, thereby ensuring that the red-gold case silhouette retains the charac-teristic minimalist styling of the Grande Seconde collection.

The three steel models meanwhile have a slightly different dial layout. The hour-minutes sub-dial is off-centred at 2 o’clock and the 30-minute chronograph and date sub-dial is also off-centred at 7 o’clock. The dial of the steel versions are available in three options: sand-blasted silver, blue or taupe grey.

Flip it over and you’ll get a clear view of the automatic movement used in this new line, the calibre 26MR, which is a monopusher column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch and which is finished with radiating sunburst-pattern stripes. Like most of the recent Jaquet Droz movements, this one too features silicon balance springs which reduce the shock on the movement and enhances accuracy, a crucial task on a chronograph.

Interestingly, the limited-edition model and the steel versions too feature an openworked 18k gold oscillating mass.

The Middle East in general, and the UAE in specific, is no stranger to the Grande Seconde collection. Last year, the brand unveiled a special Grande Seconde Moon Limited Edition Dubai timepiece in which the moon and stars within the lower sub-dial were displayed in gold, against a background of a special green stone called Blood Stone that paid tribute to the flag of the UAE.

And while the brand’s elaborate automatons are its calling card, the Grande Seconde collection nonetheless is emblematic of its design restraint, discreet positioning and under-the-radar appeal to a very select group of collectors and enthusiasts. This Grande Seconde Chronograph is another example of a timepiece targeted to those in the know.

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