Numbers have played significant roles throughout cultures in both scientific and spiritual realms, their importance deriving from ancient societies which believed that each numerological figure possessed a distinctive meaning. For the Chinese, the number eight symbolizes wealth, prosperity and the totality of the universe. For mathematicians, an “8” lying down stands for infinity, while the Egyptians thought that the same number signified balance and cosmic order. For the Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz, the figure eight represents completeness and has been the brand’s lucky number since 1784.
The number eight originated as a source of inspiration for Jaquet Droz in 1784, when Pierre Jaquet-Droz designed the Grande Seconde pocket watch. The original Grande Seconde boasted a unique design with an oversize subdial on the lower half of the dial, which displayed the seconds, and a smaller subdial above it, indicating the hours and minutes. These two circles intertwined on the dial to create an “8”, marking the beginning of a relationship between Jaquet Droz and the lucky number eight.
In 2002, Jaquet Droz revived the Grande Seconde in a new collection inspired by its 18th-century predecessor. Ever since then, the model has existed in different materials, sizes and shapes, always placing the number eight in the spotlight of the dial. Throughout the years, the number eight has become ubiquitous in the brand’s output, from the designs of its watches and boutiques to its first women’s timepiece, the Lady 8.
Not only is the Lady 8 Jaquet Droz’s first venture into women’s watchmaking, but the jeweled timepiece is also the first to boast the number eight on its case and buckle, rather than on the dial as the brand has traditionally done. To feature its lucky number in an elegant and novel way, Jaquet Droz chose to play with the curves of the watch to craft the case in the unique shape of an eight.
The result is remarkable: the bezel is embellished with a sparking gem-set ribbon, which brings to the watch an ageless touch of elegance. The glittering ribbon of diamonds traces the shape of an eight to hug the timepiece, while tightly embracing the single precious stone sitting at its summit. Available in three colors, the precious stone matches the tone of the 35mm dial.
The most luxurious Lady 8 is crafted in white gold and features a stunning 128 diamonds on the bezel, a large white pearl above the 12 o’clock mark, as well as a mother-of-pearl dial. The other two models display 50 brown garnets or diamonds on the bezel and come in a red-gold and stainless-steel case, respectively. The red-gold model, paired with a large brown pearl, features an engraved red-gold dial, while the stainless-steel version boasts an aventurine stone and glistening aventurine dial.
All three models of the collection come with a satin or alligator-leather strap with a new folding clasp created just for the Lady 8, also in the shape of a number eight. The Lady 8 is just as beautiful on the inside; the jewelry piece is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, the Jaquet Droz cal. 1153, and comes equipped with 68 hours of power reserve.
Although Jaquet Droz has been perceived as a masculine brand that caters to the horological fantasies of men the world over, the brand has seen the demand for feminine jewelry watches growing throughout the past decade. Rather than redesigning one of its classics to fit the thinner wrist of a woman, Jaquet Droz marks its grand debut in feminine watchmaking with the Lady 8, a high-jewelry timepiece, which is destined to please many with its distinctive shape. With the Lady 8, Jaquet Droz aspires to be known for more than just its men’s timepieces. We hope to see the Lady 8 flourish into several more feminine models in the years to come!
Photo credits: Jaquet Droz