Jaquet Droz’s first ever Grande Seconde monopusher Chronograph is a cut above the rest

Jaquet Droz’s first ever Grande Seconde monopusher Chronograph is a cut above the rest

The 2019 Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel in 18-karat red gold is a beauty. For the brand to incorporate a monopusher chronograph within the Grande Seconde collection, and to blend it so perfectly with their existing design language, is truly a notable work of art.

The new collection

The Grande Seconde collection is very dressy in its aesthetic codes but this chronograph adds a sportiness to the watch without taking over the sense from a Grande Seconde collection watch.

The 2019 Grande Seconde Chronograph collection marks the introduction of Jaquet Droz’s first ever Grande Seconde monopusher Chronograph. The collection is split into two versions: a limited —88– edition red gold version with a Grand Feu ivory enamel dial that is a homage to the earliest pocket watches by Pierre Jaquet-Droz. 

The second version has three permanent additions to the collection reviewed separately here.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel
Image courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

The movement

The Grande Seconde watch features a calibre 26M5R movement which happens to be a modified Piaget movement that is a self-winding mechanical movement monopusher chronograph.

It allows for a decent 40 hour power reserve and beats at the frequency of 3Hz (21’600 A/h). 

For first time readers and new watch enthusiast converts, frequency here means that if you were to hear the ticks of the watch, they would be 6 times per second. The higher the frequency, the more accurate the watch can get, but it also means that the parts are more liable to wear out faster due to higher friction generated between parts. Given the frequency here is only 3Hz, this one shouldn’t in theory need servicing that often, making it a more reliable watch to keep for longer. 

We aren’t saying that the accuracy is not spot on in this one. 

Another way to understand this is by breaking down the accuracy in terms of what fraction of second this can calculate. Given this is a chronograph with 3Hz frequency, technically the watch could have been designed to show the  accuracy up-to 1/6th of a second. You do have to realise that not all watches will have a chronograph option that will have markings for sub-seconds, and not everyone needs to measure the fraction of a second, but if you wanted to, the option could have been there. In a nutshell, the watch is accurate to 1/6th of a second. 

The dial

There are a few aspects about this watch that we really dig. 

The pointer-type retrograde date display at 6 o’clock is very appealing and a bit different than the usual window date displays for most brands.

The 18 karat gold date hand has a lacquered red tip which we think is a very nice detail, given it stands out and works well with the red ’31’ date and limited number — 8/88 in the picture below.

The Jaquet Droz logo and branding stand out at 9’o clock and add a text symmetry to the overall symmetric dial. 

The outer chronograph minute track and the inner seconds track at 6’o clock are both in blue Petit Feu enamel that again for legibility work really well along with the blued steel hands.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel
Image courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

Another bit of detail which might annoy some but we appreciate in the mixture of Arabic and roman numerals in Petit Feu enamel. It is a very usual Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde design language that we have come to love.

Then the off-centered hours and minutes dial at 12’o clock bring a certain sense of quirkiness to the dial and while the overall watch is very elegant, bring a playful sense to the watch face. 

The multi-level ivory Grand Feu enamel dial is a thing of beauty in itself. There is a fair amount of depth perception and 3D play to the dial that makes sure that we can’t just dismiss it for another simple dial. The sub-dials counters are recessed while the central discs are raised.

Figure 8

The signature ‘8’ design in the middle of the dial created by 2 sub-dials is very Jaquet Droz and for someone looking to wear a watch that’s instantly recognisable, this is a added advantage.

The figure 8 for Jaquet Droz could symbolise a fair few things:

  • Brings the brand’s numerological reference to its design language that unifies the tone;
  • In some cases it is the rarity of limited editions — for instance in this case it is 88;
  • In other cases it forms as a symbol of infinity and eternity. 
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel
Image courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

Added details

Another added detail around the off-centered hours and minutes dial at 12’o clock is the addition of a dotted ring with black indices. It’s like Jaquet Droz whispering, ‘no matter what option you prefer, indices, Roman numerals or Arabic numerals, we got you covered’. 

The crown is a bit oversized and really stands out. Given the watch is a monopusher, the overall look is that of a pocket watch which we admire.

The absence of other pusher-pieces that are usually needed to stop, start or reset the chronograph helps Jaquet Droz maintain its design language of preserving the lines and purity of the case.

Suggestions

The low water resistance — only 30m, so no swimming or showering but you can wash you hands comfortably with it on — is a damper though but this watch is still great for people who are not deep into the world of paying sports.

Personally we would prefer this watch in a smaller size, say 38 to 40mm range —39mm is something that the brand does offer in other designs — and also on a thinner case with increased water resistance to 50m or more.

#WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt assessment 

The 2019 Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel is a good looking dress watch release. It’s got a unique style of date display that is retro in feel and the red tip is a great added detail. It is classically built in a very dressy manner but also has an added chronograph feature.

The 18-karat red gold version makes for a more exclusive status and the limited edition part makes it coveted. The size of 43mm does come off as bit big especially for anyone under 16.5cm wrist size.

Overall, it’s a great looking limited edition watch from Jaquet Droz, and is certainly a class apart from standard run-of-the-mill chronographs.

If you wish to purchase this watch to add to your collection, we would say that’s a good idea.

The Jaquet Droz 2019 Grande Seconde Chronograph Ivory Enamel in 18-karat red gold is a stunner of watch, with lots of smaller details to keep a watch enthusiast mesmerised. 

Rate-a-Mate: 1000

Fusion Friday: Yes

His+Her: No

Grail-o-meter: High

If you simply peruse the technical specifications, please head here to our Sneak Peek review.

Alternatively you can also check out our cool Infographic on this watch here.

To find out more about this and other Jaquet Droz watches, visit the Jaquet Droz website here.