3 New Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One Models For 2021: Sky Blue, Green, And Yellow, All In Ceramic Cases
by Ian Skellern
When I think of Jaquet Droz, the images that come to mind are of classical-looking watches with off-center indications in a figure-eight layout adorned with oven-fired enamel dials, often with extremely artistic embellishments. So the launch of the avant-garde Grande Seconde Skelet-One in 2018 came as a bit of shock: it wasn’t a watch from the Jaquet Droz I knew and felt comfortable with.
But with the passage of time my view of the Skelet-One has mellowed, and I now regard it as a contemporary Jaquet Droz model for members of a younger generation looking for an edgier, technical look in their watches. And it complements the brand’s more traditional (but still very distinctive) collections.
As with any contemporary collection, the watches have to evolve with the times to stay current, and for 2021 Jaquet Droz launches two new colorful limited editions of Skelet-One models of 28 pieces each in black matte ceramic (sky blue and green) and one in a glossy plasma ceramic case (yellow).
The Grande Seconde is an iconic Jaquet Droz model. It’s a wristwatch interpretation of a historic Jaquet Droz pocket watch from 1748 featuring two overlapping dials forming a graceful figure eight. The Grande Seconde is as classic a Jaquet Droz as they come, but the Skelet-One, while retaining the same dial layout, is anything but classic.
Two of the new Skelet-One models – the sky blue and green variations – are cased in matte black high-tech ceramic, while the third in yellow comes in a glossy plasma ceramic case that looks more like metal than typical ceramic.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One: dial side
From the dial side, the movement doesn’t look skeletonized as much as it looks suspended by a latticework of fine bridges. All of its intricate mechanisms are on full display under a completely transparent sapphire crystal dial.
The hands and indexes are in 18-karat gold and, unlike many, if not most, skeletonized watches, the indications are very legible. The oversized second hand in particular appears to be floating above not just the invisible dial, but above the crystal as well.
I particularly like the fact that all of the screws holding the subdials are aligned. And with its 41.5 mm diameter case, this is a watch that can be comfortably worn by anyone, even those with small wrists (like mine).
The green and sky blue versions float in a matte black ceramic case, while the yellow model features a plasma ceramic case that gives it a more metallic look.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One: movement side
Turning the Skelet-One around, the back offers an even more diaphanous view than the front. It’s not even immediately apparent that this is an automatic movement as the rotor has been openworked so radically that virtually the only thing remaining is its thin white gold mass around the periphery.
Amplifying the openwork even more is the fact that the movement (or what’s left of it) completely fills the whole case: no chunky spacer ring here.
And for a movement that appears to have more open space than working mechanisms, its two visible mainspring barrels offer a very generous 68-hour power reserve. That’s nearly three days!
Contemporary watches require contemporary straps, and these new Skelet-One models don’t disappoint. The hand-stitched, rolled-edge fabric straps match the color of the hands, making these watches that you can wear to both the office and on weekends.
For more information, please visit www.jaquet-droz.com/en/watches/grande-seconde/grande-seconde-skelet-one-ceramic.
Quick Facts Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One 2021
Case: 41.5 x 12.48 mm, glossy plasma ceramic (yellow) or matte black ceramic (sky blue, green), 30 m water resistance, display back
Movement: automatic Jaquet Droz Caliber 2663 SQ with silicon balance spring and pallet forks, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, twin spring barrels, 68-hour power reserve
Functions: off-center hours, minutes, large seconds
Straps: hand-stitched textile straps matching dial; steel and ceramic/plasma ceramic deployant buckle
Limitation: 28 pieces each in yellow, sky blue, and green
Price: CHF 24,300 (indicative, not yet confirmed)
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