Jaquet Droz’s New Grande Seconde Watch
Taking things to the grey side of the moon.
Moonphase timepieces come in many variations—feminine, masculine, minimal or ornate—but across the board, they are united by one common feature: an aperture on the dial that displays the current phase of the moon in its 29.5-day lunar cycle.
Watch lovers with a passion for astronomy may be especially fond of the new Grande Seconde Moon Anthracite by the Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz, whose trademark off-centred, figure-eight display is framed against the backdrop of a grey sandblasted dial that resembles the very celestial object it’s meant to honour.
The elegant aesthetic details extend to the blued steel hands, which match the blued steel, star-studded moon disc at 6 o’clock, and the hand-drawn 22-karat white gold moon itself, whose surface has been designed with tiny craters that bear a startling likeness to the surface of earth’s sole satellite.
Equipped with the Mechanism 135 movement—which boasts a 135-tooth wheel as opposed to a traditional 59-tooth movement—the Grande Seconde Moon Anthracite only requires a single adjustment every 122 years and 46 days, making it almost as precise as the actual lunar month, which lasts 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds (but who’s counting?).
With 68 hours of power reserve, the self-winding mechanical movement has a silicon balance spring and pallet lugs, meaning it’s not vulnerable to magnetic fields or temperature fluctuations that affect the accuracy of the timepiece.
The model, which retails for approx. $21,400, comes in a 43mm stainless steel case on a grey handmade alligator strap. The back of the caseback has a transparent crystal that offers a glimpse of the Côtes de Genève- finished movement, including the sunray-finished oscillating weight.
The Grande Seconde collection, which houses numerous models that range from classic-looking to contemporary, owes its design to a 1784 pocket watch created by brand founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz, a master of automatons.