Jaquet Droz

Pierre Jaquet-Droz was an 18th century watchmaker famous for elaborate animated figures or automata. Today Jaquet Droz continues this legacy, including watches incorporating miniature automata as a key part of their elegant collection.

HANDS-ON: The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantième Blue Côtes de Genève

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantieme Cotes de Geneve-2

The story in a second: Just check out that dial. ’Nuff said. Outside of their amazing automata and elaborate enamel work, the flagship Jaquet Droz collection is their Grande Seconde, with its distinctive, clean design dominated by two subdials, one for the time, the other for seconds. When we saw this version at Basel this year, we quickly fell under its spell. It has a dramatic quality that sets it apart from more conservative dress pieces. And the dial? Well, we’ll get to that. All told it’s a super-minimal, elegant, stylish watch – a versatile design that works well with an extravagant dial finish or added complication. The example we’re looking at today offers a little of both, adding a calendar function (that’s the ‘Quantième’ in the model name, for any non-linguists in the house) as well as a beautifully finished dial. The most commonly seen Grande Secondes are the more formal enamel-dialled offerings, which look best paired with a crisp white cuff. This version, on the other hand, creates a totally different look with its rich blue dial finished with Geneva stripes and applied opaline subdials. Still elegant, but far less buttoned-up, this would be in its element with… Read More

MY WATCH STORY: Christian’s Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantiéme Ivory Enamel


Your name: Christian  Your watch: Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantiéme Ivory Enamel When – did you buy it? At first I had the Grande Seconde in silver, but I could not resist the Grand Feu enamel dial of the white gold version, and the lower subdial. Beautiful! Why – do you love this watch? This is the perfect watch, it does everything. (Christian is interrupted by his colleague) No, no, no, listen to me! It is the perfect watch because first we have the date and you have the time, so you have all the indications you need. With this watch, you have the style, and it has a lot of appeal. People say to me, wow, because the identity is very strong. From afar you see that it’s something different and you can see the very nice finishing. You can see that it’s a high level watch. What – does it say about you? It says that I like it! But I do not have as nice a finishing. That is why I choose this watch.   

PRE-BASEL: The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Deadbeat


The story in a second: Jaquet Droz is the new kid on the Australian high-end luxury watch block, and the Grande Seconde Deadbeat is their take on an old-school complication. Jaquet Droz is a newcomer to the Australian watch scene. Part of the Swatch Group family, they are primarily known here for their impressive automata and refined style. It is also a brand that seems to have played exceptionally well in Asian markets. So it makes sense, given our proximity to Asia, strong dollar and strong tourist sales, that Jaquet Droz makes a push into our markets. Their latest model, the Grande Seconde Deadbeat, is an exemplary model for the brand (outside of their off-tap ridiculous automated birds). The Grande Seconde line is a pared-back, elegant design, one that speaks to eighteenth-century watchmaking of the sort that Jaquet Droz himself would be familiar with. Besides the offset time and date registers on a very handsome grand feu enamel dial, this watch is all about the seconds. The  Grande Seconde Deadbeat features a very unusual complication. The seconds hand doesn’t move with the continuous sweep you’d expect from a mechanical movement, but rather ‘jumps’ every second. Just like a quartz watch. But… Read More