The Grande Seconde is to Jaquet Droz what the Lange One is to A. Lange & Söhne as the brand's flagship collection and signature look. The name and company Jaquet Droz were acquired by the Swatch Group at the turn of the millennium, and two years later, it launched the Grande Seconde, which was inspired by an old Jaquet Droz pocket watch from the 18th century. It is a simple but pleasing design, consisting of a subdial that tells the main hour at 12 o’clock and a larger overlapping subdial at 6 o’clock that shows the running seconds - hence the name Grande Seconde. Now, Jaquet Droz has added three new models to its Grande Seconde lineup, all of which have ceramic cases and clous de Paris dials with the new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic Clous de Paris watches.
The new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic comes in three variants. There are two that come in a black ceramic case and one that comes in a white ceramic case. Let’s talk about the lone white ceramic model first, which is simply called the Grande Seconde Ceramic watch. It features a pristine white ceramic case that measures 44mm wide and is 12.23mm in height. That tells you that it is intended as a men's watch, even though white ceramic watches - especially with gold accents such as this - are often strongly associated with women's watches. The main dial itself is elaborately decorated with white clous de Paris guilloche, while the overlapping subdials that tell the time and running seconds are made out of white ceramic.
On the ceramic white subdials are black printouts that mark out the hours and tens of seconds. Both subdials also have a railroad-style track around the periphery to aid in legibility. The hour and minute hands, as well as the large running seconds hands, are all made out of 18k red gold. For a dash of color, the crown is also made out of 18k red gold. What’s also really cool is that the watch will come with a matching rolled-edge hand-made fabric strap. It looks really nice from the press photos, though being white, I’m worried it might get stained easily.
There’s also a black ceramic version of the above-mentioned model called the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Black Ceramic Clous de Paris. In place of a pure white ceramic case, we have a black ceramic case. The dial is also black and also decorated with clous de Paris guilloche. The overlapping subdials for the time and running seconds are, as you might have guessed, in black ceramic. Like the white model, the hour, minute and seconds hands are made out of 18k red gold, which contrasts strongly against the black dial. The crown, however, is black ceramic and not 18k red gold like the white ceramic version. The watch also comes with a matching roll-edged hand-made black fabric strap.
These two models are powered by the self-winding Jaquet Droz 2663A, which beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 68 hours. The movement looks to be fairly handsomely decorated with traditional finishing techniques like côtes de Genève, circular graining, and polished surfaces. On the black ceramic model, the movement is treated with ruthenium to give it a dark look. In addition, its rotor has also been coated with black PVD so that it complements the black ceramic case.
Finally, we have the Grande Seconde Power Reserve Ceramic Clous de Paris. This comes in a 44mm black ceramic case, but it is slightly thicker at 13.03mm because of its movement. It is mostly similar to the Grande Seconde Black Ceramic Clous de Paris watch, except that it has a power reserve indicator on the dial at 9 o’clock. Like the Grande Seconde Black Ceramic Clous de Paris watch, the Grande Seconde Power Reserve Ceramic Clous de Paris watch has a black dial decorated with Clous de Paris guilloche, and 18k red gold hands for the hours, minutes, and seconds. The power reserve scale is smartly marked using red gold, while the hand for the power reserve indicator is black-colored gold. Overall, the power reserve indicator has been cleanly and neatly implemented. Oh, this model has the same black fabric strap that echoes the dial texture as it does on each watch. Nice.
The Grande Seconde Power Reserve Ceramic Clous de Paris is powered by the self-winding Jaquet Droz 4063D-S, which also beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 68 hours. The movement is treated with ruthenium and has a black PVD rotor to give it a dark look to match the black ceramic case.
All things considered, these new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic watches are pretty interesting in that they pair the classic and understated design of the original Grande Seconde watch with modern ceramic material. The end result, judging from the press photos at least, looks rather nice to me. Certainly, these ceramic models will be significantly more scratch resistant than the non-ceramic variants that are in stainless steel or gold. The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde White and Black Ceramic Clous de Paris are both priced at $14,600 each. The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Power Reserve Ceramic Clous de Paris, on the other hand, is $16,800. Each is limited to 28 pieces. jaquet-droz.com