Watch dials made out of stone can impart an otherworldly look to a watch. Just take a look at these two Piaget Altiplano Flying Tourbillon Stone Marquetry Dial watches, which have malachite and lapis lazuli dials. They have this vivid look about them that you don’t see with plain lacquer or stamped dials. With that in mind, Jaquet Droz has a new version of its Grande Seconde Moon watch, and it has a dial made out of a seldom-seen stone called serpentinite. This is your first look at the new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite watch. Yes, it has a very long name.
There’s not much to say about the case except that it is round, classically styled, and mirror-polished throughout. It’s made out of 18k white-gold. It’s also fairly large by dress watch standards, measuring 43mm across and 13.23mm in height. To ensure wearing comfort, it has short curvaceous lugs that bend downward from the case so that it hugs wrists better. The crystals, both on the front and on the see-through caseback, are sapphire. The crown is onion-shaped and it’s also made out of white-gold. Water resistance is just 30 meters, so be sure to keep it as dry as you can.
The dial is made out of serpentinite, and it looks beautiful. Of course, we’ll reserve final judgment until we see the watch in the flesh. Nevertheless, the press images are promising. They show a dial that has an unusual texture and shade of green that is dark yet luxuriant. Serpentinite gets its name from its texture, which is said to resemble scaly snakeskin. The raw serpentinite is sourced from the foot of Matterhorn, near the mountain hut that is known as the Hörnli Hut.
The time and moon phase display are housed within two subdials that form the number “8,” a signature of Jaquet Droz. Framing these two subdials are applied 18k white-gold rings. The small subdial at 12 o’clock tells the time, while the larger one at 6 o’clock shows the moon phase and date. The hands are all rhodium-plated, and the moon phase disc is also made out of serpentinite. On the disc are moon and star appliques made out of 22k and 18k white-gold, respectively. It’s all exotic and expensive materials on the dial. Finally, at 2 o’clock, you have the limited-edition number of the watch.
Inside beats the in-house-made Jaquet Droz caliber 2660QL3. It’s a self-winding movement that beats at 4 Hz, has a silicon balance spring and pallet horns, and a double barrel for a long power reserve of 68 hours. It’s a technically competent movement with modern features. Unfortunately, the finishing, judging from the press photos, at least, looks industrial and uninteresting.
I have always been a fan of watches with intriguing dial treatments, and it doesn’t get much better than a dial made out of natural stone. However, the execution still matters, and I think Jaquet Droz got it right by its uniform use of serpentinite on the dial and on the moon phase disc. The Piaget Altiplano Meteorite, on the other hand, is an example of how one can get it wrong — a contrasting date wheel is a big no-no. Anyhow, I’m glad to say that this watch suffers from no such glaring design oversight. The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite is limited to 88 pieces and is priced at CHF 18,000. Visit jaquet-droz.com to learn more.