The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon, my Grail Grande Seconde
Dual Time, complete Calendar, and Deadbeat to name just three examples, yet there was still a complication missing in the Grande Seconde collection catalogue. The complication, however, arrived at Baselworld 2017, during the presentation of the new Jaquet Droz models; the moon-phase-complication. The Grande Seconde collection has a natural talent, it is like a chameleon that can transform itself without betraying its original architecture and the big number eight drawn on the dial that makes it a unique luxury watch, instantly recognizable, almost snobbish in the world of haute-horlogerie.
The designers at Jaquet Droz added the moon-phase-complication and created the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon that is not a simple variation of a Grande Seconde but rather a new timepiece altogether, which is equipped with the 2660QL3 calibre. We are dealing with a particularly advanced version of this complication here that usually accumulates an error of one day in about 2 years, 7 months and 20 days.
Jaquet Droz, however, developed a complication for its Grande Seconde Moon that requires a correction every 122 years and 46 days (the correction is performed using a stylus that comes with the watch and by pressing a small hole placed on the case and located at 8 o’clock). It is quite easy to talk about a moon-phase-complication, but it is a completely different thing to come up with one that can integrate with the existing movement and that is so advanced; there are only very few brands that are able to craft such a technically refined complication and you can actually count them on the fingers of one hand.
Aesthetically speaking, this complication is particularly delicate and refined; the window of the moon phase is inserted inside the big register of the continuous seconds, where it occupies the upper part and has a different personality depending on the three versions that Jaquet Droz created. Two versions are made of steel with a silver and onyx dial (the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Silver and Onyx respectively), the third version is made of red gold and is simply amazing; this is the Jaquet Droz that I immediately pointed at during the presentation of new watches and it is probably the most beautiful Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde that the manufacturer has ever crafted so far in my opinion.
The dial made of Grand Feu enamel with the gold 18-carat applied date ring and the entirely hand-decorated moon create a momentum of unique warmth and, above all, a very emotional overall, where the formal "rigor" of the Grande Seconde is interrupted by the romantic moment of the moon phases.
The same effect is evident, but to a lesser extent, on the steel version also, where, however, you do not perceive the same color jump due to the type of dial and the material of the case. The disk of the moon is made of steel on the silver dial and the red gold versions, it is light blue in colour. The disc is black onyx on the version with the onyx dial, while the moon and the stars are made of 22-carat gold and 18-carat gold, respectively (white, on silver and onyx, or red).
What I would probably re-edit is aesthetic in nature and it concerns the winding rotor that would deserve a style, as I have suggested in the past already, that is closer to that of a watch playing around with the concept of circular symmetry and a clear historical reference to the great pocket watches of the late 19th century. The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon in stainless steel is priced at 15800 euro and the red gold version (namely the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Ivory Enamel) retails for 30000 euro. Is this the brand's first step towards the release of a Perpetual Calendar? Perhaps it is or, more easily, it represent a more romantic version that, thanks to a faithful reproduction of the moon cycle, has given life to the warmest Grande Seconde ever conceived.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®