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Jaquet Droz - Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon

In this celebratory year marking the 300th anniversary of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’ birth, the maison unveils an exceptional unique piece for the “Only Watch” charity auction

Défi esthétique, défi technique, première Grande Seconde Skelet-One avec tourbillon, première avec émail plique-à-jour, nouvelle géométrie du mouvement squelette, tourbillon intégralement revu : la Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon « Only Watch » trouve l’accord parfait entre d’une part une complication et des Ateliers d’Art séculaires, entre d’autre part une technique et une géométrie éminemment modernes – un équilibre rare et précis, comme tout garde-temps Jaquet Droz, et qui préfigure toute l’ambition de la future collection Skelet-One de la maison.

The original idea was to extend the initial purpose of the Grande Seconde to provide its owner with the finest and most accurate reading of the seconds—hence its largely dimensioned and off-center dial at 6 o'clock, exclusively dedicated to this effect. How could this precision be achieved? By adding a tourbillon. This escapement, itself a genuine watchmaking complication, aims to compensate for the harmful effects undergone by a timepiece that performs across multiple planes, all subjected to the force of gravity which alters its precision.

The tourbillon of the new Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon “Only Watch” was born of Jaquet Droz's in-house expertise, but entirely reworked in the purest chronometric approach. Thanks to its realization in titanium and the elimination of the sapphire bridges, the cage has been lightened and optimized with regards to its chronometric functions. The balance spring and pallet lugs are made of silicon. Highly open to let light pass through, the tourbillon gives the illusion of being both large and lightweight all at once. Completely revised and placed at noon, it accords the piece a dedicated identity of strength and technicality.

Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon

Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon © Jaquet Droz

The underlying aesthetic architecture is as technical as it is unique. The skeleton structure is brand new: while the original Skelet-One favored soft and supple curves, the Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon “Only Watch” focuses on straight lines, angles, modernity and perfect symmetry. This very contemporary skeletonization is as technical as its highly precise tourbillon movement can be, furthering the technical and aesthetic consistency of the piece. Its bridges, finished in black, confer a powerful matte appearance. The tourbillon cage follows the geometry of the skeleton movement, with a triple cross shape which, once a minute, aligns perfectly with its bridges.

For Only Watch, Jaquet Droz put to work its Ateliers d'Art as well, in order to produce a highly exclusive plique-à-jour dial, made specially for the famous charity sale. Once again, whereas the Maison’s most recent plique-à-jour creations featured curves and soft, slightly domed lines, the SkeletOne Tourbillon “Only Watch” is made up of various straight and geometric sections separated by white gold, thus forming a dial which has been entirely polished flat. The Maison achieved this unprecedented result by applying an extremely fine diamond powder polish to each area of the enamel, the only kind capable of achieving this thickness.

Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon

Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon © Jaquet Droz

Every tone of enamel has been painstakingly selected for the model and fired at a very high temperature several times in a row. The choice of these colors therefore owes nothing to chance: a color chart was proposed by Only Watch associating different tones with certain characteristics. The Maison thus translated these variations of red, orange and yellow into an expression of happiness, passion, optimism and even energy—all values that support the cause championed by Only Watch.

An aesthetic and technical achievement, the first Grande Seconde Skelet-One with tourbillon, the first with plique-à-jour enamel, a new geometry of skeleton movement, a fully updated tourbillon... the Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon “Only Watch” is many things. It’s also the perfect match between an age-old complication and craftsmanship on the one hand, and an eminently modern technique and geometry on the other. A rare, precise balance, like any Jaquet Droz timepiece, which foreshadows all the ambitions of the Maison’s future Skelet-One collection.

 

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An elegant, outward-looking philosophy that dates back to the Age of Enlightenment is still at the heart of Jaquet Droz's identity. The fine and rare handcrafts practiced at the company’s workshops produce exquisite miniature works of art and automata that combine the best of design with unprecedented levels of horological know-how.

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