Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time Silver 2019
Is this the best Grande Seconde Dual Time ever? How the Grande Seconde for frequent travellers changed in 2019.
The unveiling of the 2019 Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time confirms my guessing during the celebrations for the 280th Anniversary of Jaquet Droz; Back then, Jaquet Droz not only introduced commemorative collections and new watches geared towards the most demanding watch collectors, like the Grande Seconde Skelet-One and the Tropical Bird Repeater, to name a few, they took this chance instead to pave the way for their future collections.
As a follow-up to those celebrations, a series of new products featuring greater appeal and improved performances are hitting the stores in 2019, and they generally enhance the specifications of all the Grande Seconde product offering, adding in most cases that decorative touch that made the brand's "Les Ateliers d'Art" unique in the "Haute Horlogerie" scenario.
The day that followed the official photo-shooting of the 2019 Grande Seconde Dual Time Silver, I spent an hour comparing old (yet not outgoing) and new versions; they are both listed in the current catalog and nonetheless share the same base architecture; today, first and last Jaquet Droz watches to date we have reviewed so far are pictured in our magazine.
The timepiece's layout, showcasing a 43mm large case and a 65-hour maximum power reserve, is unchanged: that size confirms what I have seldom emphasized, but should be highlighted once again instead: among the classic looking timepieces, a Grande Seconde is the only one to not abide by the 40mm (in some cases, 41) wide case golden rule, thanks to a unique design where the running seconds hand is the most relevant information, prominently standing out against hours and minutes hands placed in the upper part of the dial.
The brand's designers and watchmakers put effort into emphasizing the running seconds' register, that includes the home time visualization, by adding the map of a globe, depicted as you would see it while sitting atop the North Pole, according to the so-called "polar azimuthal position."
Holding true to a pedigree that sees Jaquet Droz lead the way in decorative art and miniature painting, designers from the "King of Automatons" adopted the little known yet exclusive "poudré" technique, that adds a remarkable three-dimensional effect: the continents are therefore embossed on a black surface, as it is with the Silver version depicted in this article. An exciting new feature is the addition of a 24-hour day-and-night disc, to help the wearer check home time comprehensively at a glance, something that is missing on the "old" Dual Time, where the association of the home and local times is not as readable and romantic as it is with this latest iteration.
The 2019 Grande Seconde Dual Time Silver confirms once again why is the Grande Seconde collection such a winner: there's no date window at all, replaced within this sub-collection by a pointer-date full analog display. It is the only luxury watch brand to date to offer an entire collection of watches whose dials are clean and perfectly symmetrical along a vertical axis passing through both rotating axes. The local time display, placed in the upper half, comes in one-hour increments and all the adjustments are made via the crown; the case sides are therefore clean and polished with no additional tiny buttons or unwanted levers; the only exception to this rule being the Grande Seconde Minute Repeater, where a sliding mechanism is necessary and was inserted to activate the minute repeating function.
The package is refined and compliant, with a minor letdown represented by the little effort the wearer needs to make when wrapping the Grande Seconde Dual Time Silver around the wrist, especially in the early days of ownership, when the strap is new and stiff; aesthetically, the combination between blue alligator leather and triple folding buckle is stunning, and the craftsmanship is top-notch, as we were used to with other Grande Seconde watches already.
I would have gone for a pin-buckle equipped strap as it allows any watch to get fastened perfectly to any wrist. The chosen option requires more effort during the adjustment phase than anywhere else, and we're all aware that effortlessly and quickly wrapping a new timepiece around the wrist is among the key winning factors. The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time Silver retails for 15,200 Swiss Francs. Additional information on the Jaquet Droz official website.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori per Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®