Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel: I Promise To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth
by Martin Green
Part of the fun of Baselworld for me is the press releases that arrive in my email box announcing some of the new models I will soon be holding in my hands during the fair.
However, such news can also come with challenges, as is the case for me with the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel.
I pride myself on the fact that I can write what I want and get paid for it. And not by a brand to create “sponsored content,” but by publishers of websites and magazines.
While I know my own ethics, most of you don’t, and such is my appreciation for Jaquet Droz’s Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel that I am slightly concerned that some of you might feel I’ve taken a bribe. So to you I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
As a writer, the best thing is always to stay close to yourself and to the truth, however, the truth is that for quite a while I did not understand Jaquet Droz. The brand’s large cases and seemingly empty dials held little appeal for me.
But over the course of a few years seeing more models introduced, the brand grew on me. That should have been a clear warning sign to me: when I instantly fall in love with a brand, it usually turns out to be nothing but a summer romance. But if it takes a bit longer, it becomes a lasting love affair.
While Jaquet Droz doesn’t dwell on the past, I still consider these classic watches – at least the majority of them – to have this contemporary quality to them that I think will prove timeless.
To truly appreciate a Jaquet Droz, you need to try it on your wrist. These are watches that can look nice in photos, but you can only truly appreciate when you actually try them on.
The shape and size of the case combined with the serene emptiness of the dial all come together.
You can almost compare it to a desert: while it seems to be just a pile of sand, people who have seen one understand the unique beauty that comes from a place like that.
Jaquet Droz is exactly that, only in a horological sense.
Black and gold
With my growing appreciation of Jaquet Droz also came a deeper understanding of the Grande Seconde, and it has become my favorite collection of the brand.
And even more so when the brand introduced the Grande Seconde Moon in 2017.
I thought that the design could not get any better; I highly favored the red gold version with ivory-colored enamel dial (see it in Give Me Five! 5 Off-Center Classics With Asymmetrical Awesomeness!).
This was much to my own surprise, as the stainless steel version has a dial cut from onyx. As our editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Doerr, explained in a recent article on aventurine, cutting dials from semiprecious stone is not for the faint-hearted. Yet I thought the dial design was not as pretty as that of the red gold enamel version, despite my deep love for such dials.
With the Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel, Jaquet Droz addressed my reservations: housed in the steel case I thought that the dial looked cold, but in the new red gold case there is an incredibly rich contrast.
What also helps is that the red gold date ring is much more prominent on the dial than the thin rims surrounding the moon phase complication and the time, which brings the dial alive without overly emphasizing the inherent number-eight configuration too much.
While the dial is made from high-fire enamel, which has a beautiful deep gloss to it, is the moon phase disk used as the backdrop to the red gold moon made from actual onyx that captured my heart.
This is interesting because it allows you to compare the two materials and realize that they look alike but complement each other rather than being identical.
The moon – or, actually moons, as the disk is equipped with two of them – are crafted in 22-karat red gold with a lot of engraved detail making them look very realistic.
As was the case with the previous versions, the moon phase complication in this version of the Grande Seconde Moon is “astronomical,” meaning that it is very precise and only deviates by one full day every 122 years.
This new addition to the Grande Seconde Moon collection also shows what a dramatic difference color and materials can make in a watch that is technically identical to its predecessors. Dramatic enough for me to switch my vote of favorite Jaquet Droz to this new addition, even without being paid for it!
For more information, please visit www.jaquet-droz.com/en/watches/grande-seconde/grande-seconde-moon-black-enamel.
Quick Facts Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel
Case: 43 x 13.23 mm, red gold
Movement: automatic Jaquet Droz Caliber 2660QL3, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency, 30 jewels, 18-karat gold rotor, silicon balance spring and pallet fork, double spring barrel, 68-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, moon phase
Price: 29,700 Swiss francs