The Grande Seconde is perhaps Jaquet Droz’s most recognisable design, with an outsize second hand and characteristic figure 8 layout that you can spot from across a room. It’s also a versatile design that’s been called into service for a range of complications. But never a chronograph. Until this week’s release of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph.
This release isn’t just a single watch, but rather a fully formed collection. There’s a nice limited version, and a brace of steel-cased models, with asymmetrical dials. The dial options on offer are blue, taupe grey and sand-blasted silver. The blue will be — I suspect — the popular choice, but I was quite drawn to the grey: it has a modern, monochromatic look that plays well with the off-centre design and contrasts Jaquet Droz’s typically classic aesthetic. It’s also quite a textural dial, with several layers and a nice contrast between the sandblasted and satin finished sections.
The fact that this stylish timer is a monopusher goes a long way to ensuring that the overall package remains elegant. The movement (calibre 26M5R) is made by Blancpain, and exclusive to Jaquet Droz. It’s an interesting layout, with timekeeping on the smaller dial and a date/minute register on the larger subdial. The central seconds hand is for the chrono. What this means, interestingly enough, is that this Grande Seconde does not have a grand second hand, or even any running seconds hand.
What with the recent Skelet-One releases and this new (somewhat) sporty addition to the Grande Seconde family, it looks like Jaquet Droz is trying new things, and I, for one, am excited by this evolution.