Fancy a well-rounded monopusher chronograph collection? Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph collection is the answer

Fancy a well-rounded monopusher chronograph collection? Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph collection is the answer

The Jaquet Droz 2019 Grande Seconde Chronograph in stainless steel is a new permanent monopusher chronograph watch within the Grande Seconde collection, and it blends perfectly with their existing design language.

The 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 essence of a Grande Seconde collection watch.

This 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 (reviewed here).

The second version has three permanent additions to the collection that is reviewed in this article.

The Movement

All three of these colour variations feature a calibre 26M5R movement that is a self-winding mechanical movement.

It allows for a decent 40 hour power reserve and beats at the frequency of 3Hz (21’600 A/h). Given it’s a low frequency of 3Hz, in theory this watches will require less frequent servicing of parts and should be accurate up-to 1/6th of a second.

The calibre 26M5R makes use of a silicon balance spring that guarantees resistance to magnetic fields and temperature variations.

If you look at the beautifully decorated Geneva Striped movement case-back, the oscillating weight is bared down to a minimum to reveal the beauty of the hand-assembled manufacture movement.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph collection
©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

“True to the legacy of the historic Jaquet Droz collections, the movement continues in the vein of the brand’s Grande Seconde Deadbeat –a genuine Fine Watchmaking complication that was created in the 18th century to literally beat the seconds and thus facilitate the measurement and reading of shorter durations of time. This chronometric focus gave rise some years later to the chronograph as we know it today. The inventor of the deadbeat seconds was none other than Jean-Moyse Pouzait, a friend of the Jaquet-Droz family. The Grande Seconde Chronograph presented is heir to this chronograph tradition.”

Courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

Key features

The key features of these watches are: 

  • Off-centered hours and minutes at 1 o’clock;
  • Centered chronograph seconds;
  • Mono-pusher chronograph 30-minute sub-dial at 7 o’clock;
  • And pointer-type retrograde date display at 7 o’clock retrograde date display at 7 o’clock.

Stand out ‘8’ design

Going into more detail, there are a few aspects about this watch that really stand out.

The diagonally off-centered 8 to us looks like a racetrack. On the limited edition of 88, this 8 design is straight, which while works to make it look distinctively Jaquet Droz, doesn’t have this extra sporty feel to it.

But this diagonal 8 look, which complements the crown now shifted to 4 o’clock, adds that extra bit of pizzazz to the watch face. 

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph collection
©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

The Dial

If you inspect the dial closely, various other details present themselves. 

The overall 8 is one uniform bit carved in the middle of the dial, even if the sub-dials are dividing it. This visually gives it a much better feel as it looks uniform and not broken up into two. 

The hands of hours and minutes are sword shaped and are distinctively different from the chronograph minutes and seconds hands. I think this is for the better as having too many hands that look the same could hamper the readability of this dial. 

The sub-dials

The off-centered sub-dial at 1’o clock again has both Roman & Arabic numerals (a Grande Seconde norm) that add a flair of eccentricity to the dial.

Worth noting is the ‘6,7 & 8’ are as Arabic numerals in this version while the limited edition version has it as ‘5,6 & 7’. The outer ring if this inner sub-dial is also different from the limited edition version and has a railroad minute track. 

The other sub-dial at 7’o clock has the added details of ’31’ in date being red and the end tip of the date marker matching that colour.

©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

Suggestions

We feel that Jaquet Droz has dipped their feet in colour here but then decided against it. While I love that red has been introduced on the dial, it appears to be more of a half-planned effort. It would perhaps have worked better if the Jaquet Droz branding and logo were in that colour too, or the peripheral ring was in red, or even the ‘Manufacture EN SUISSE’ was in red. A balance of this colouring is missing in my opinion. 

Textures

The interplay of textures on the dials and sub-dials is noteworthy.

The raised central discs have a grain texture to them while the recessed sub-dial counters have a sun-ray effect to them. These central discs have the same grain effect as that of the remainder of the watch face, as this grain-sun-ray-grain look works wonders for legibility of the dial.

This nice grain effect has been achieved as it is finished by hand using a dry sand-blasting technique that differs from the conventional wet sand-blasting methods. This technique is new to the Grande Seconde Chronograph model and this finish really accentuates the depth of the graining.

Another detail we noted and it could just be coincidence here, but the hold at the bottom of the minute chronograph hand seems to be the same diameter as the bottom of the seconds chronograph hand, but if this is indeed the case, it’s a great way of balancing the watch dial. 

The steel watch with the sand-blasted silver dial — a very similar colour as the limited edition ivory — is our favourite, simply because Jaquet Droz has introduced colour play here with the use of blued steel hands for both minutes and hours and chronograph minutes and seconds. The blue steeled seconds hand with the red end tip looks extremely sporty and stands out from a distance.  

The dial with the blue face is our second favourite watch, and the taupe gray one comes in last for this trio. There is just something so dull about this one — even though the new blue and warm gray tones have never previously been used by Jaquet Droz — that is simply loses all elements of sportiness about it and the chronograph feels like an afterthought. 

©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.
©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

#WatchYaGonnaDoABoutIt charts

The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph collection hits a home run.

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 sporty feature.

These steel versions make this a much more affordable watch and the non-limited edition part makes it widely accessible. The size of 43mm does come off as bit big especially for anyone below 16.5cm wrist size but regardless these watches have a true place in our Fusion Friday list.

The blue version is sportier in feel because of the colour and can even pass off as a sports watch with a formal look to it. It would pair well with just jeans and t-shirt or even with a shirt and tie. The one with the sand-blasted silver dial is a standout from this collection and can transcend easily from a boardroom to a ballroom. It’s got everything a daily watch could need, and then some.

The low water resistance — only 30m, so no swimming or showering but you can wash you hands comfortably with it on — in a damper though but this watch is still great for people who are not deep into the world of playing sports. The only list it doesn’t make is our His+Her list as a 43mm size and 14.83mm thickness is a traditionally no go area for women. 

Overall, it’s a great looking watch from Jaquet Droz, and is certainly one of the better looking dressy chronographs out there. 

I think Jaquet Droz has made a smart move by launching these in steel variants as well, to capture more of the market. So if you wish to purchase this watch to add to your collection, we would say that’s a good idea, but we would recommend this more as an addition to a watch collection and not a grail or the only watch someone should have.

The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph collection is well rounded and has something for almost everyone.

Rate-a-Mate: 800

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.