Deadbeat seconds are popular this year, and the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Deadbeat is an especially compelling example. Behind that beautiful dial, there’ s a new, patented caliber.
The new Grande Seconde Deadbeat incorporates several subtle design elements. The Grande Seconde timepieces already featured, well, Grande Secondes. To place even greater emphasis on the seconds in this model, the designers moved the seconds hand to the center of attention, in the center of the dial. From this position, the deadbeat seconds complication can be displayed to maximum effect. The traditional seconds hand location on this model is now home to a retrograde date display.
The dial is ivory Grand Feu enamel, which is an artistic creation itself. Grand Feu means “Great Fire”, an appropriate description of the manufacturing process, which involves heating the dial to nearly 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The dials are difficult to create and the rejection rate is high, but the few that make it through the process are worth the effort. The result is a deep, rich look that sets the standard for elegance. Though the finished dial is traditional, Jaquet Droz had a bit of fun, mixing Roman and Arabic numerals on the main time display where it intersects with the date. The notation on the dial between 9 and 11 o’clock indicates the limited edition number.
Behind the dial, the new self-winding caliber 2695SMR features a skeletonized 18k red gold oscillating weight winding a single barrel. The movement runs in 34 jewels at 21,600 vph for 40 hours on a single wind. Building on the brand’s experience last year with the Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel, the new Deadbeat incorporates a balance spring made of silicon. These springs are prized for their precision and for their resistance to magnetic fields and temperature changes. The movement also employs a 10-toothed cam, rather than the 30-toothed variety normally used for an independent seconds function. The shape of the pallets has been optimized to produce an especially pleasing deadbeat seconds motion. As noted, the new caliber has patent-pending status.
The Grande Seconde Deadbeat will be produced in a limited edition of 88 pieces in an 18k red gold case measuring 43 x 13.8mm.