Two exclusive pieces for the 300th birthday of Pierre Jaquet-Droz

Jaquet-Droz-Grande Seconde Moon Anniversery

Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s 300th birthday will be celebrated on July 21, 2021. To pay tribute to its founder, the brand revisits its Grande Seconde Moon in two different exclusive versions.

To handle these watches, Tourbillon Watch went to 112 Avenue Kleber, in the very fancy 16th arrondissement of Paris.

The massive building was full of people. Inside were hidden Jaquet-Droz France’s offices.

Once all security gates were passed, here we were, sitting in front of a cloth hiding these two watches.

About our handling of the watches

When we received the announcement email with some of the pictures, we were a bit disappointed. But that was before we read the attached press release.

Grande Seconde Anniversery - cadran blanc

Let us explain where that disappointment came from. These two watches are to mark the 300th anniversary of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s birth. We thought that with such an event, it would be the opportunity for the brand to create an outstanding watch.  The perfect opportunity to makes something radically new, while highlighting the brand’s know-how.

And yet, we had in front of us some pictures of two simple looking watches. We knew the brand and what it was capable of. Its automatons collection, its skeletons skills, as well as its arts workshops show perfectly its expertise and are very good example of it.

Then we took the time to read the press release as well as exchanging with the brand’s teams, and it made our disappointment vanished.

We celebrate a birth, the starting point of a Human adventure. As a gift we would give to a close one, it has to please and match the person. And that’s exactly what the brand did.

These two exclusive versions are paying a tribute to their creator. The teams have succeeded to make it a match with him. All that makes the brand is right in these watches, and that’s why there are two versions of it.

Grande Seconde Anniversery - cadran noir

By having in hand these watches, the first thing you notice is of course the dial. Simple and with the mastery of proportions. What is for sure is that designing a dial is not easy. We invite you to try. What would your dial be? Keep it simple, without redoing what already exists.

Let us present Pierre and Steve

As you now know, these two watches pay a tribute to the 300th anniversary of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s birth, and both of them have a role to fill.

Which one do you think is about tradition and which one about modernity?

Easily, you see that the one with the ivory Grand Feu enamel dial is about tradition. The rules of the watchmaking classicism are very much here. The case with a red gold, markers with Roman numerals as the creamy color on the dial are the most visible signs of that watchmaking tradition.

Which means that the black version is about modernity.

Grande Seconde Anniversery - phase de lune

While we were showed these two versions, and we thank once again Jaquet-Droz’s team for their time and explanations, we were silent. We took the time to handle, observe and analyze. We wanted to find the gates to go back in time and to observe from the clouds the men and women who worked together to think, design and create these watches.

We could easily see the watchmaker working behind his bench, building the automatic movement 2660QL4. Soon, the 68 hours of power reserve will accompany the new happy owners. With a 41mm diameter, people will plunge their glance into the moon phases. Its blue is hypnotizing. Heated between 277 and 290°C, the steel has the ability to catch your eyes and make you dive into its abysses. One important thing to suspend time in our always overbooked days.

Yes, we gave them names. The classic one will be Pierre. In addition to be a reference to its creator’s name, it’s a perfectly classic one.

Grande Seconde Anniversery - cadran noir
Let us present Steve!

Having in hand the black version, we thought about Steve Jobs. Don’t worry, this version is completely mechanical. The 68 hours of power reserve are way higher of the Iphone’s batterie. Neither the movement nor the 135 mechanism (module giving a greater precision to the moon phases, it will have to be corrected in only 122 years) will open with your fingerprint.

And yet, by plunging into the dial we thought about Steve Jobs. Is it the black of the dial, something like lacquer without being it, that would remind us of Apple founder’s turtleneck? It goes a bit further than this.

Only the calendar numbers remain. Otherwise, the whole dial is modern by its simplicity. In a minimalist approach, the indicators have disappeared in favour of red gold markers. The Moon phases is in the same tint as the dial, immersing it in a homogeneous whole.

As for us, we feel that stylistic choice pushes one to focus on what is important. With few distractions on the dial, the time reading is faster and allows us to enjoy what is surrounding us. And that is precisely what makes this watch modern. All of our days are counted so each and every moment has to be fully lived.

Grande Seconde Anniversery

Personally, Pierre’s classicism did echo for us, and we are still hypnotised by its Moon phases.

What about you, which one is your favourite?