News March 2007

Launching a new line of five models featuring a black "grand feu" enamelled dial, the Manufacture Jaquet Droz has grasped the most persistent chromatic enigma in watchmaking.

Quantième perpétuel
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Chrono Monopoussoir
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Grande Seconde décentrée
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Grande Seconde Medium
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The Watch Quote™ - March 29th, 2007



Originally from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Jaquet Droz was the first manufacture to set up shop in 1784 in Geneva, later appointed to furnish the courts of Europe and to the houses of Middle Empire nobility in China. For more than two centuries, it has demonstrated its mastery of traditional watchmaking techniques as well as contemporary creativity and technology. In keeping with its avant-garde spirit, Jaquet Droz is launching a new line, a Numerus Clausus limited edition of 88, offering five models with a "grand feu" enamelled dial in absolute black, including a Grande Seconde with a black ceramic case unveiled at Baselworld 2007. This timepiece will figure as a milestone in watchmaking history, proof that Jaquet Droz knows best how to solve the Beauty equation, an occult formula in which elegance and technical sophistication vie for the upper hand until they reach a perfect balance.


Quantième perpétuel

Chrono Monopoussoir

Grande Seconde
décentrée

Grande Seconde Medium

Throughout the ages, mankind has been fascinated with Black, which has always epitomized the mystery of time passing, the cycle of life and its immutable passage from Day to Night. Long reserved for princes, so rare that painters were obliged to do without, the colour black absorbs light like a confidant keeps a secret. Its codes call forth poetry from mystery… black can look seductive or cold, glamorous or authoritarian, timeless and always fascinating.

That is why Jaquet Droz decided to bring out a "grand feu" enamelled dial, one of its finest technical signatures, under the auspices of the colour Black. Its master dial-makers exert supreme control over the firing process, timing and raw materials, overcoming extraordinary technical difficulties to obtain these perfectly uniform disks in a true black. Not dark grey. Absolute Black.

Yves Saint Laurent once said: « There is no such thing as black, but there are different blacks ». The blacks of ebony, moonless nights, the god Krishna's dark complexion or onyx. Jaquet Droz lends its voice to all of these miraculous chromatic nuances. All of the brand’s codes play a role in showcasing this exceptional performance: white gold hands, precision self-winding double-barrel mechanical movements, 39 or 43mm 18-carat smooth-polished white gold case, secret signature, engraved crown, the numbering on each timepiece.

Quantième perpétuel

A timeless masterpiece



For the Quantième Perpétuel, the art of complications meshes flawlessly with the art of design. On the same dial, serpentine hands indicate the month, the day and the date while Lancine-type hands measure the passing hours, minutes and seconds. This performance in black and white achieves harmonious perfection, which is also true of the exceptional mechanisms inside: this timepiece only needs to be set once every 100 years.

"All colours will agree in the dark," the English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon once said, centuries ago. More than just a quotable quote, this statement of truth encapsulates the codes of today: style pared down to its purest – and yet most infinite – form.

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Movement:Jaquet Droz 5863,
self-winding mechanical movement,
double barrel,
perpetual calendar,
22-carat white gold oscillating weight.
Indications:centered hours and minutes,
small seconds at 6 o’clock,
pointer-type retrograde date and day display,
pointer-type month display,
leap-year disc.
Jewelling:36 jewels.
Power reserve:68 hours.
Watch case:18-carat white gold.
Diameter 43mm.
Dial:Black “grand feu” enamelled dial.

Chrono Monopoussoir

Time as infinity



This is one of the treasures of the Manufacture Jaquet Droz. It is the first and only single pushbutton chronograph with an off-centred hour-minute subdial, a design feature that highlights the importance of the second hand. Streamlined and sporty, the latter dominates the architecture of the four indicator dials with slim grace. Yet the subdials assert their forcefulness against the dark background of the enamelled dial, their perfect design harmonizing beautifully with its deep, sovereign shade: Absolute Black.

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Movement:Jaquet Droz 2688M,
single pushbutton self-winding chronograph movement,
column wheel,
2-carat white gold oscillating weight.
Indications: hours and minutes (subdial at 12 o’clock).
Subdial for the seconds at 6 o’clock.
Central chronograph sweep seconds hand.
Chronograph hour counter at 9 o’clock.
Chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock.
Jewelling:37 jewels.
Power reserve:40 hours.
Watch case:18-carat white gold
Diameter 43mm.
Dial:Black “grand feu” enamelled dial.

Grande Seconde Décentrée

The measurement of possibilities



This striking black dial in its 18-carat white gold setting is a strong statement in possibilities. Its subdials and the winding mechanism at four o'clock are all located off-centre with to-the-millimetre precision, like elements from Chaplin's "Modern Times", the first elements of a movement with great aesthetic mystique… The black "grand feu" enamelled dial is like an outer reflection of the technical treasures inside this timepiece.

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Movement:Jaquet Droz 2663,
self-winding mechanical movement,
double barrel,
22-carat white gold oscillating weight.
Indications:off-centered hours and minutes,
large seconds subdial.
Jewelling:30 jewels.
Power reserve:68 hours.
Watch case:18-carat white gold.
Diameter 43mm.
Dial:Black “grand feu” enamelled dial.

Grande Seconde Medium

The mystery of the fleeting moment



This limited edition stars the Grande Seconde, the fabulous icon from the manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, to mark intimate time, each passing instant. The white of the Roman and Arabic numerals stands out against the absolute black of a dial fired at great heat. With its 39mm 18-carat white gold case, the Grande Seconde Medium measures the passion of fleeting time, through the interplay of divergence and convergence, against a background of dark beauty.

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Movement:Jaquet Droz 2663,
self-winding mechanical movement,
double barrel,
22-carat white gold oscillating weight.
Indications:off-centered hours and minutes,
large seconds subdial.
Jewelling:30 jewels.
Power reserve:68 hours.
Watch case:18-carat white gold.
Diameter 39mm.
Dial:Black “grand feu” enamelled dial.

Pierre Jaquet Droz

Jaquet Droz : Beyond the age of luxury

We have entered the age of virtuality, megabytes and monitors flashing with images of the world. The third millennium has narrowed time, which zips between world capitals at high speed and surfs time zones like a digital energy, oblivious of its inherent power. In this race towards the Abstract run with pixels and plasma, time is the ultimate luxury, its measurement a privilege reserved for the happy few. This endeavor has been shaped by history, man’s awareness of the passage of time and his compulsion to come closer to solving a mystery by clothing it in gold, silver and gems, Indeed, each human being must contemplate the problem at hand: How does one measure what has been and what is to be ? Men throughout the ages, created instruments of measurement, some simple and others sophisticated, to tackle this elusive challenge, where the timeless joins the quotidian, and the duration of a heartbeat can seem longer than an hour on a sundial. Like their dreams, their legacy to history is bold and fascinating.

Craftsmen and workshops have disappeared, their brilliant mechanical creations stopped forever. Yet some manufactures of Haute Horlogerie have traversed the centuries, seeking to elucidate a mystery reiterated with each passing second.
Jaquet Droz is one of them. Founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1738, this manufacture has preserved its expertise beyond compare. On the strength of its unprecedented technical superiority and its attention to creativity, it has become one of the most outstanding names in contemporary watchmaking.

Yet longevity requires more than a prestigious history and legendary name, although Jaquet Droz has both. Its founder Pierre Jaquet Droz (1721-1790), watchmaker, jeweller, inventor and merchant extraordinaire, was a genius who impressed engineers, courtiers and royalty, including Marie-Antoinette at age twenty, from Europe to the Imperial City in China. Magnificent pieces have been preserved. Some of these spectacular mechanical figures (automata) still work, such as “The Writer”, which actually sets pen to paper and writes. There are musical watches encrusted with pearls and rubies, with carillons, mechanical singing birds and stunningly precise enamelling. It’s as if memories of fabulous royal celebrations, or the soft whisper of fine fabrics as garments fall during amorous trysts, were captured in the gleam of gold and the glow of gems, colors as bright as ever. It’s like a scene from Amadeus by Milos Forman, Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick, or Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos.

More, Jaquet Droz transcended the confines of formal court life, so lavish and intoxicated with excess. The Grande Seconde pocket watch, an icon of 18th-century watchmaking, proves it. Against the same ivory background one finds two dials, one for the hours-minutes and one for the seconds, with their off-centered hands and their combination of Roman and Arabic numerals. This early landmark design would eventually form the cornerstone of the Jaquet Droz philosophy, based on impeccable technique and subtly daring design. Today, it continues to inspire the look of the brand. These watches, with their self-winding double barrel mechanical movements, are outstanding works of precision engineering crafted in precious materials. Formal and contemporary, they grace the wrists of women and men with sensuous elegance.

One look at a Jaquet Droz watch tells the story: it may be compared to a work of art. Behind the deliberately simple curves of these rare timepieces lie treasures of ingenious design, the expertise of centuries, one-of-a-kind watchmaking techniques and a never-ending quest to increase purity of line. Today, true luxury is unostentatious and comes in limited numbers.

That’s why Jaquet Droz is bringing out numbered series of Numerus Clausus models. Their powerful symbolism is based on the numerology of the number eight, which signifies fulfillment and infinity and refers to the close proximity of the two dials on the Grande Seconde. “Grand feu” enamelling, a dial gleaming with onyx, obsidian or quartz, blued steel hands, a tourbillon carriage in hypnotic motion, the power of a chronograph or perpetual calendar… Welcome to the world of Jaquet Droz, where time is marked and mastered, where fine craftsmanship goes hand in hand with beauty and purity of line.

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