In 2002, when Jaquet Droz, the Maison as we know it today, transposed an 18th century pocket watch created by the famed master watchmaker, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, to create the Grande Seconde wristwatch, little did we know then that within the span of a mere 15 years, an entire collection of timepieces would spring forth, showcasing an elaborate expanse of creativity.

How Jaquet Droz has so intelligently managed this is feat, is by respecting the fundamental codes that give the Grande Seconde its identity. Rather than considering these to be a confining factor, they have embraced these elements as guiding principles, which therefore allowed the Maison to imbue ever more adventurous complications into the watch and still leave no doubt in a person’s mind that this is a Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde timepiece.

Of course, the Grande Seconde’s most obvious identifier is its “figure eight” dial configuration that holds a smaller, upper sub-dial and a larger, lower sub-dial. Essentially meaning that as long as the indications enabled by a movement, meant for the watch, are kept within the figure eight — quite literally — anything goes. This, also, means that the rest of the dial real estate is up for grabs for elaborate decorations. It is by keeping to these principles that Jaquet Droz’s managed to stretch and knead the Grande Seconde into a collection of coherent timepieces.

Perhaps a demonstration of how far — or even the furthest — they’ve managed to take these principles, to date, is the Grande Seconde that was introduced earlier this year at Basel that is cased in the white or black ceramic case.

Grande Seconde Black Ceramic Clous de Paris (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Black Ceramic Clous de Paris (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Black Ceramic Clous de Paris Caseback (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Black Ceramic Clous de Paris Caseback (Image © Revolution)

Quite fascinating that while cased in ceramic, these are obviously no longer the classically elegant timepieces we perceive the Grande Seconde to be. Rather, here it’s transformed into something resolutely for the modern taste buds, while yet remaining very much identifiable as a Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde watch.

Closer inspection also reveals that the dial on the watch is guillochéd with the Clous de Paris pattern, while the figure eight is rendered in ceramic, making for quite the old-world meets new-world paradox.

If, however, you’re one for the modernity but prefer something still quite classic looking, then the Grande Seconde Quantième Satin-Brushed might suit your inclinations better. The sunray patterned dials on these give the Grande Seconde a sleek, sober 21st century outlook. Particularly, the date indication on the lower sub-dial of the Quantième adds a level of practicality that’s sure to be appreciated.

Grande Seconde Quantieme Satin Brushed Anthracite (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Quantieme Satin Brushed Anthracite (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Quantieme Satin Brushed Anthracite Caseback (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Quantieme Satin Brushed Anthracite Caseback (Image © Revolution)

Be it the execution with the gray dial or the anthracite dial, both are befitting of any modern stylish individual. Jaquet Droz has even presented the watch in two different case sizes — 39mm and 43mm — so that you are able to pick between today’s size preferences and that of years past.

But, of course, the best of the Grande Seconde’s identifying codes are most eloquently expressed by its definitively classic executions. Whether it is the simple time-only enamel dial version, the very intriguing Grande Seconde Deadbeat or 2017’s Grande Seconde Moon.

Grande Seconde Moon (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Moon (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Moon Caseback (Image © Revolution)
Grande Seconde Moon Caseback (Image © Revolution)

Specific to the Grande Seconde Moon, the incorporation of the moon phase indication has to be said, is really seamless. A traditional complication, typically held within circular sub-dials; what could be more natural?

Trouble is, complications, such as the moon phase, often prove themselves to be more of a challenge in terms keeping them adjusted accurately in the long run. In this regard, Jaquet Droz has implemented what is known as an astronomical moon phase complication into the 2660QL3 self-winding mechanical movement of the Grande Seconde Moon, such that the indication runs accurately for a grand total of 122 years and 46 days before an adjustment is required.

And, even then, with the various dial options for the Grande Seconde Moon made available by Jaquet Droz, it’s also possible for you to choose just how far classic you’d want your own version of the watch to be. For instance, the variation with the black onyx dial is, no doubt, a sleeker, more contemporary option when compared to the one with the double level ivory grand feu enamel dial.

Close up of Grande Seconde Moon dial (Image © Revolution)
Close up of Grande Seconde Moon dial (Image © Revolution)

With everything considered, what is most commendable is how Jaquet Droz has managed to successfully revive a timepiece, taken straight from their own history book, and created a collection with relevance to today, where you are bound to find something to suit your personal taste. And this they’ve managed to do while also establishing a staple offering that anyone would be able to spot from a distance and recognize as Jaquet Droz’s Grande Seconde.

Learn more at jaquet-droz.com