With the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time watch, the Swiss watch maker aims to add elegance to the notion of a GMT-style travel watch. Does it work? Let’s find out… For about 15 years now, the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde has been among the more characterful dress watches around and has earned its share of fans and admirers. Aside from a few interesting line extensions such as the Grande Second Tourbillon and a minute repeater, the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde watch collection has more or less remained a time-only set of watches. With that said, over the last coupe of years, that has been changing.
In 2014, Jaquet Droz introduced a new exclusive base movement developed for them by partners in the Swatch Group. This new base movement was not only more attractive and of a higher quality than previous movements used in the Grande Seconde family but, as far as I can tell, also serves as a base upon which to add various complications. Thus, you have the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time which has the time along with the date and a GMT hand.
This addition of complications to the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde began in 2014 as they released the Grande Second Quantieme which simply put in a date indicator hand on the dial. In the scheme of Grande Seconde collection models, that was a big deal, and it was also important because of the availability of a steel model. For 2016, Jaquet Droz adds an additional complication by placing a GMT hand into the mix, which means the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time offers the time, date, and GMT hand – and yes, it all looks rather elegant.
At launch, Jaquet Droz offers three versions of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time with two steel models (silver dial reference J016030240, and onyx dial reference J016030270) and an 18k red gold model (reference J016033200). Visually, these look almost identical to the Grande Seconde Quantieme models, but with the addition of a new hand and additional scale in the lower subdial. Jaquet Droz is, of course, careful to retain the figure-eight-style layout of the face with the two stacked dials.
The good news is that we now have a very elegant travel watch; the less good news is that the GMT indicator hand isn’t super easy to read. The lower subdial now has three hands, and the least easy to read is the GMT hand. Even the date indicator hand has a red tip and a bigger scale. As a GMT watch which is primarily used to know the local time and occasionally used to to reference a second timezone, the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time works fine, but I am not sure how comfortable the watch is when it comes to needing to know two time zones easily. With that said, beauty has value right?
The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time watches are 43mm wide in a larger, yet comfortable case that is all about making a visual statement, even if that statement is an elegant one. The case is further 13.13mm thick but only water-resistant to 30 meters. It does feel as though the case could easily be 50-100 meters water-resistant with minimal changes. Jaquet Droz is always good about complementing the attractively curvaceous case with a fantastic “rolled-edge” alligator strap. I love these because they hide all stitching on the back of the strap which, in my opinion, makes for a superior look.
The 18k red gold version of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time benefits from an ivory-colored grand feu enamel dial – which looks beautiful. The black-dialed steel model has a solid onyx dial – which is gorgeous, but can have legibility issues depending on the light. Probably the most practical model is the steel with silver opaline dial which has a good level of contrast and finishes making for a very legible dial.
Viewable through the sapphire crystal caseback window is the exclusive Jaquet Droz caliber 2663H24 automatic movement with a solid gold rotor. It’s a fine and fitting movement for this application given its technology and attractive decoration. Operating at 4Hz (28,800bph), the movement has a power reserve of 65 hours across two mainspring barrels and further includes silicon parts such as the balance spring and escapement.
Attractive and now with additional utility, Jaquet Droz continues to make its Grande Seconde watch collection more attractive for buyers wanting style, functionality, and value. Collectors demand a lot these days, and it is good to see that Jaquet Droz is offering updates and attractive features both internally and externally in their newest timepieces. Price for the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time is $16,000 for the reference J016030240 in steel with onyx, $17,500 for the reference J016030270 in steel with silver dial, and $26,800 for the reference J016033200 in 18k red gold. jaquet-droz.com