usic, architecture, painting, sculpture: the major arts are all based on the same principle of balance. Music alternates between notes and rests. Architecture and sculpture between matter and void. Painting between color and shadow. Indeed, artwork rests on a subtle harmony between what the human hand expresses and where nature is given free rein.
The new Grande Seconde Off-Centered Chronograph is no exception. Created in 2019, the piece is now offered with an onyx dial for the very first time. It joins the long tradition of mineral dials - a Jaquet Droz signature. Through its intensity - its absolute blackness - onyx grants the piece unprecedented depth. Like a treasure from nature, the perfect black color of this precious mineral allows Jaquet Droz to design a composition from which the smallest detail and slightest reflection can be admired.
Such is the case with the hour markers, off-center at 1 o’clock, whose fine white gold appliqué features a circular satin finish. The hands are mirror polished, while those of the chronograph and date are polished. The large central seconds is equipped with an openwork counterweight, and the date with a solid counterweight, evoking a full moon or new moon against a black backdrop like the vastness of space itself.
This mechanical ballet is arranged to the “off-center” choreography so dear to Jaquet Droz, according to which the retrograde date is located at 7 o’clock. At its heart is nestled the chronograph’s 30-minute counter. The Jaquet Droz 26M5R caliber, an automatic monopusher chronograph with column wheel, is the driving force - revealed through a sapphire crystal case back.
The discerning gaze won’t miss the openwork oscillating weight in red gold, which unmasks the Cotes de Genève applied to each bridge. These traditional Fine Watchmaking finishes, which today combine with advanced technologies such as the silicon escapement, guarantee increased precision, unaffected by magnetism and temperature variations.
Perfectly balanced, the Grande Seconde Off-Centered Chronograph is a modern interpretation of the famous “8” traced out by its ancestor, the Grande Seconde, almost three centuries ago. Its new onyx dial provides a blank canvas on which to project one’s imagination. Nocturnal magic, the Greeks saw in onyx the imprint of the body of Venus and considered it the symbol of love. Twenty centuries later, Jaquet Droz offers a unique interpretation over which time glides - and out of which each of us tell a story.