Hands-On With The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantième
And now for something (not so) completely different. This is what came to mind when we found two watches from Jaquet Droz on our desk recently. Not so much different because of the looks, but more from realizing we haven’t covered this brand a lot until now. But it’s never too late. So we had a proper look at the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantiéme in two versions.
Seeing these in the (precious) metal reminds me of the time I visited the brand in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. During this trip we got an insight into the history of the brand which dates back to the mid 1700s. Back in the day, JD was known for creating timepieces and automatons. Both of which this brand is known for today.
Grande Seconde Quantième
Inspired by a pocket watch created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1784, this model is the backbone and leading model of the brand’s collection. That’s not really a surprise as this model simply looks great from the first moment you lay your eyes on it. And when you look for an image of the original pocket watch it is inspired by, you can clearly see the striking resemblance. The biggest change is the design of the hour and minute hands and the fact that it comes as a wristwatch instead of a pocket watch.
So over time, the design has only minimally changed and for this version of the watch a date has been added. In the model name the word Quantième was added which is the French word for date. And for a dress watch of this caliber, a date window is definitely a no-go. Hence a pointer date was added to the large seconds display at 6 o’clock. By keeping the seconds display the larger of the two functions it remains well balanced. Matching the colour of the date ring to the case material adds some welcome contrast to the entire look of the watch.
What’s interesting about the Grande Seconde Quantième is the layout of the dial itself as it is shaped as the number 8 or can be seen as an infinity symbol. Somehow this plays an important role in the identity of the brand as it has the 8 codes of Jaquet Droz and often used in its limited editions. Make sure to read the review by Sharmila here where she explains more about that universal symbol.
Although both watches might look nearly identical, there is more that sets them apart than just the obvious difference in colors of the used materials. The Grande Seconde Quantième in red gold comes with an ivory Grand Feu enamel dial. One of the long lasting specialties of Jaquet Droz. This, you could say, more luxurious version comes on a rolled-edge hand-made alligator strap to complete the look.
The steel version comes with a deep matte black dial and a matching hand-made rolled-edge black calf leather strap. It makes for quite the combination I have to say and this version was my preference. It combines a classical dress watch with a modern look. Something that could almost even be considered a sporty combination in a not so obvious way.
Both cases measure 41mm in diameter with a thickness of 12.1mm. The size works really well on these watches as the dial takes up most of the front due to the minimal bezel. When we turn the watch around, the Jaquet Droz calibre 2660Q2 is visible through the case-back.
This in-house movement is well decorated and comes with an impressive 68-hour power reserve due to a double barrel construction. Both feature pallet horns for improved resistance against external influences like shocks, temperature fluctuations, and magnetic fields. The only difference is the material used for the rotor which matches the case material.
While I find myself wearing sporty watches mostly, this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a dressier watch on my wrist. Being able to give the Grande Seconde Quantième a try has struck me in a positive way. Especially in two rather different executions which illustrate the importance of colors and materials.
As I mentioned earlier, the matte black version was my favorite due to the more modern and sportier look. The version in stainless steel also comes at a friendlier price tag. Although that won’t be a surprise when comparing a steel watch to a gold one.
For more info head over to Jaquet Droz.