The Grand Seconde is one of the most celebrated designs from Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz. Its reputation comes from the elegant minimalist style of its main dial, divided into two small circles— arranged one above the other— in the shape of a large 8. Jaquet Droz was inspired—once again–by this successful design. In 2015, the firm introduced its updated Grande Seconde Deadbeat, featuring an exquisite set of “deadbeat seconds function” and cutting edge technology.
In its previous editions —Grande Seconde Décentrée Email, Grande Seconde Minerals or Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel—the dial located at the 12 o’clock corresponds to the hands that mark the hour and minute. On the lower dial, located at 6 o’clock, the seconds, calendar and other features are found. But all the models have a common element: the main face of the watch is devoid of any indication.
In the Grande Seconde Deadbeat, however, the dial located at the 6 o’clock position displays only a retrograde calendar (the movement doesn’t complete the turn but returns every time it starts a new cycle). The model maintains the traditional hour and minute dial in the position of 12 o’clock. In the center of the watch, there is a long and slender golden hand that skips and sounds just like the hands of a quartz watch.
This system, called “deadbeat seconds” (seconde morte in French), delights watch lovers for the exquisite rarity of its complications. The fact that you can see—and hear—the second hand “jumping” from second to second— always constant and perfect— fascinates and hypnotizes demonstrating the quality and high precision of the timepiece.
Pieces of silicon patented by the Swiss firm had to be developed for this complex system. These are immune to magnetic fields and variations in temperature and pressure. Thanks to them, Jaquet Droz ensures exceptional accuracy.
The Grande Seconde Deadbeat operates from an automatic mechanical system with a power reserve of 40 hours and an oscillation frequency of 21,600 vph. Its body is encased in pink gold, and the movement is visible through a sapphire crystal on front and back, revealing the mechanism in action. A very stylish crocodile leather strap completes its elegant and subtle esthetics.
The Grande Seconde Deadbeat was limited edition to 88 units with the serial number printed on the front and the reverse of the gold case. This jewel by Jaquet Droz is priced around $35,000. ■