Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic
The synthesis of about three centuries of history coupled to the best possible technological dress
Is it really possible to combine tradition and innovation? Today, this is the most used – if even not the most abused – catch-phrase you can hear throughout the industrial world, it stands at the basis of the continuous research efforts to come up with the latest technology, without losing sight of the concept of tradition; something of extreme importance in the sector of haute-horlogerie. Exactly in this area and in the last few years, this catch-phrase has become something you cannot really do without; it is a central element of distinction in the market and the result of a strategy, in which the typical customer is constantly evolving from a geographical point of view too. Catch-phrases apart, this idea still remains the main focus of this article; how do these two concepts blend in together when it comes to haute-horlogerie? There are many ways to do this, and each brand gives its own interpretation, but when you start dealing with a classic brand with a rich story behind it, you need to be particularly careful.
At Jaquet Droz, watchmakers are quite aware of this requirement and there is exactly where the fusion of the two above-mentioned concepts shaped in and gave birth to the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic; a timepiece that, using a single phrase also, I would define as "the synthesis of about three centuries of history married to the best possible technological dress". Watch-making features quite a lot of technology already and much of this is not even visible at first sight. On this occasion, technology is quite tangible and is well-featured on the round ceramic case that replaced the metal one of a standard Grande Seconde. Jaquet Droz could have opted for a DLC-treated metal case, but that would have affected the purity of the brand, its mission and the collection itself. From the technological point of view, it is an in-house-created technology as the brand could find it in the experience of a group that, undoubtedly, has the widest expertise in this field and also features the biggest worldwide range of watches with cases made of zirconium dioxide.
From an aesthetic point of view, the glossy ceramic case does not alter the personality of the Great Seconde by an ounce; its circular symmetry perfectly matches the glossy black colour of the ceramic, while the style of the dial perfectly suits the style of a stainless-steel Grande Seconde, on which the dials of the big hours and of the seconds are of the same tone as the dial of the watch. On the sides of the number 8, you can find a thick Clous de Paris pattern that has the double effect of enriching the dial and reinforcing its particular shape, which is not embossed but is rather flush-mount with the dial. On the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic version with power-reserve (one of the three new references that Jaquet Droz launched this year - the third is completely white -) you can spot a small applied ring in the shape of a number 8 that makes the look of the hours, the minutes, and the second even more evident; most of all when you look at these from a three-quarter view with a lateral light and a specific angle (commonly referred to as "the ghost picture"), under which the number eight seems to float on the Clous de Paris decoration.
Jaquet Droz also repeated the same motif on the fabric strap with a folding buckle. Of the two existing black versions, the version with the power-reserve deserves a further mention; both versions feature contrasting red gold hands, but when it comes to the power-reserve version, that counter adds in a touch of romanticism and a gold and glossy comma that stands out on the finely worked matte black dial. This is an accent of particularly rich and intense style.
All the new versions feature a 44mm diameter case and a low weight combined with a scratch resistance that no metal could ever boast and that makes a Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic even more sporty-looking and long-lasting with the passing of time. Each of the three new versions of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic will come in only 28 pieces; rather than a limited edition, we should say that this is a non-traditional collector’s item; a timepiece for those of you, whose brain is 50% geared towards tradition and a 50% geared towards novelty.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®