While often focusing attention on its automaton-dialed wonders and other richly decorated artistic pieces, Jaquet Droz has also long provided more austere designs. The Twelve Cities collection of jumping hour watches is among my favorites from this brand, as is the Jaquet Droz one-handed Grande Heure and two-handed Grande Heure GMT collection.
Both those watches fall within Jaquet Droz’s Astrale family, designs grouped together as homages to the historical links between astronomy and watchmaking.
This month Jaquet Droz welcomes an equally minimalistic watch to Astrale with this Grande Heure Minute, made in two steel-cased 43mm editions.
Regardless of your choice (one offers a slate gray dial with blued hands and the other a silver-plated dial with rhodium-plated hands) each watch displays hours, minutes and seconds with minimal flair. Two long hands show the hours and minutes while the seconds are seen in a small subdial offset slightly from 9 o’clock. The only markers here (except the Jaquet Droz logo) are seconds dots around the edge of the dial, broken up by rhodium-plated studs every five minutes.
Inside each watch is the Jaquet Droz 1169.Si caliber with silicon balance spring and pallet lugs. The silicon means these components are rustproof, non-magnetic and unaffected by temperature fluctuations. The silicon also assists to create an unusually efficient caliber, endowing the automatic movement with an impressive 68-hour power reserve.
Where is the nod to astronomy? If that seconds subdial reminds you of an orbiting celestial body, then you’ve found it. If you’ve found your next watch, you’ll need $8,400 to move either version of this new Jaquet Droz Grande Heure Minute to your wrist.