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Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Watch

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Watch Watch Releases

Over the past year or two, I have found dial configurations that purposely have things a bit off-kilter catching my eye. Do not get me wrong, I still have great love for a highly symmetrical dial. It is just that, sometimes, you want to mix things up a bit and have your familiar watch wrangled into something slightly different. That is where watches like the just-announced Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered come into play.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Watch Watch Releases

I will admit that, at first, I thought I was seeing a watch that was coming from fellow Swatch Group brand Glashütte Original, given their design language sometimes includes having overlapping dials as well (as shown on the Panoreserve reviewed here). While not a bad mental association to have, especially as it is all within the family, this is decidedly a Jaquet Droz piece, as it is very much a dress watch. I was struck by how it maintained a clean simplicity while still giving off that air of refinement and luxury. In other words, while this watch is stripped down to its barest elements, it was done so to make it understated, not to be a loud proclamation of sterility. While that comes from the initial impression, you really start to see refinement shining when you look into the materials used.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Watch Watch Releases

I appreciate the use stainless steel on the 43mm case of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered watch, and though it is not what you might expect, I like the idea of dress watches showing up in steel. Sure, precious metals are nice, but they lift the price without offering much over steel in terms of what you get for day-to-day wear. That is not to say the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered is devoid of any gold. To the contrary – the rings surrounding the two sub-dials are made of polished white gold, which will no doubt catch the light quite nicely. How do you get indices here without interrupting the clean lines? It’s simple – you just notch them into the rings themselves.

The most intriguing individual aspect of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered watch, for me, is what those gold rings are set into. In this case, it is a cut and polished piece of onyx. I have seen a few dials here and there made of stone or minerals, and they always seem to bring something unique to the equation. Here, with the black onyx, it gives the impression that the rings are floating in a dark pond, it is so liquid-like.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Watch Watch Releases

The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered watch features the Jacquet Droz 2663A.P self-winding movement which features a silicon balance spring and pallet horns, double barrel, flat bridges, and heavy metal oscillating weight. It operates at 28,800bph and has a power reserve of 68 hours.

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Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Watch Watch Releases

For me, it truly is the design of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered that sells the watch. It takes that overlapping figure-eight that the brand is known for, distills it down into its essence, and then puts such a coat of polish on it that it all but begs you to pull out a tuxedo to wear with the watch. This even allows me to get past my general dislike of watches that put the main timekeeping (hours and minutes) in a subordinate position on the watch, literally or figuratively. Yes, the sub-seconds are less useful on a daily basis, but you could look at this as almost the antithesis of a one-handed watch. You are acutely and easily aware of each second ticking away. If you are watching the time go, you might as well watch it in an highly-polished and refined package. Price for the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered watch is expected to be CHF 10,200. jaquet-droz.com

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  • cluedog12

    A very nice work of design and no apparent faults. It’s ginormous and will wear even more ginormously for a formal piece, but that ship has sailed. It has the look of an award winner, but lacks the versatility of a best-seller.

    We must be in a watch recession. That price is entirely reasonable.

    • Beefalope

      Yeah, 43mm is simply too large for a dress watch.

      • JimBob

        Eh… it’s probably OK, but that’s going to look like a lot of black. Wrist shot would be nice.

      • Veda

        Tried one on and while I love JD’s design, the 43mm makes it impossible to wear. 41mm max please.

    • Larry Holmack

      I really like the design and for a JD…it’s pretty reasonably priced. The size might be too big for most “normal” sized guys, but since I have never been been described as being a “normal” sized guy, I find it right in the sweet spot for a really nice dress watch.

  • iamcalledryan

    I love you JD – those dials look like ice-rinks in some mystical dark ice-world.

  • This had better not be “dead seconds” again

  • Beefalope

    Very nice-looking watch, but if I’m looking for an off-center watch at that price point, I’d go with a GO.

  • funNactive

    Unique piece – dressy yet not that conservative in design or size.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    Simply loving it. Nowadays I look for more colourful watches, but for this I will gladly make an excpetion. Especially with the affordable price tag.

  • Marius

    Am I having a déjà-vu? Didn’t I just see this watch in the form of the Harry Winston Midnight whatever that used the same layout and the same F.Piguet 1150 movement? Will the Swatch Group push this design to all their brands? Will Breguet and Blancpain also release similarly designed watches?

    Regardless, I actually like this watch, the dial is very cool and the movement is top notch. As a reader mentioned, I believe that watch brands start to experience problems because this price seems very reasonable. I mean, a few years ago, such a watch with an onyx dial would have been priced at least in the $20,000 bracket.

    • iamcalledryan

      …there is something in the water at Swatch HQ

  • Richard Baptist

    love this watch. The price is reasonable, the movement is top notch and the design with the Onyx just works. Beats the usual 3 hander hands down. This is a watch you might actually afford.

  • tgadzo

    If the time and seconds discs were reversed, it might make more sense.
    And why is the time (hours) disc subservient to the seconds i.e. the seconds is solid cutting the hours?
    Just me?

    • Rupert Muller

      Because the watch is called “Grande Seconde off-centered” and not “Grande Hours off-centered”. Pretty easy catch.

      • tgadzo

        Thanks – I did catch that. I was just making the comment that I found it odd for the time disc to be subservient to the second hand – name notwithstanding.
        I believe my point was that while there are no on-wrist photos for scale, one can see that the hour hand is about the same size as the crown.
        I know that readability is not of prime importance, but when there is not much else going on, should the watch not be a watch?

        • SuperStrapper

          This is the JD aesthetic, it’s nothing new for them. Go look up many more of their watches, you’ll see a theme.

  • IanE

    Shame (for me) that it’s an automatic – and is the movement as small relative to the watch as the rendering seems to suggest?

  • Now don’t get me wrong, I like the watch. But what a technical achievement – rotating the movement 30 degrees in the case (as evidenced by the crown at 4). Not a bad idea (to create a different visual effect) but not certainly nothing out of the ordinary for JD when it comes to the movement.

    • JimBob

      The crown needs to be perpendicular to the 8 or it’s not a proper JD.

      • So are there any improper JD watches?

        • JimBob

          According to Google Image Search, there are plenty.

  • Ulysses31

    A very tame effort from the normally spectacular JD. Not awful, just a bit of a bore.

  • Nelson

    I love the dial despite having overlaping dials. Clean and simple. It is brilliant how they put the indices.

  • BNABOD

    looks like a nice dial to me. is that lacquered? reminds me of my GS dial. super deep black. On an empty dial like this one I think the overlapping dials do work (usually not my thing), a little more oomf decoration wise in the engine bay would have been better but a nice dressy watch.

    • Marius

      The dial is made of onyx, that is why it has a deep black appearance.

  • Sevenmack

    This is what minimalist can look like on a watch when done properly. Especially the off-centered dials on that lush black lacquered dial. Divine.

  • peter_byford

    Not as expensive as I thought it was going to be for a new JD. It’s going to be quite bland & unappealing to your Tag, Rolex , & every other busy all singing & dancing chrono’ this & that, but to the right people, this is right up their street. The brand has recognisable attributes & has stuck by their design philosophy. IMHO their designs have more than a passing resemblance to antique Breguet clocks & pocket watches. None better than the great master to pay hommage to in my view. He knew a thing or two about aesthetics, design & form…..& was a great innovator too. Many a modern design studio could benefit by looking at JD & Breguet in this respect, even if only to get into the spirit of what truly great design is all about….many will not of course, just churn out rehashes of existing designs or plagiarise the efforts of others IMHO.

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