For the ninth consecutive time, Jaquet Droz is proud to donate a unique piece of its own creation, designed exclusively for Only Watch, a charity sale to benefit the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy), and featuring a degree of technical ambition and aesthetic never-before achieved: A Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon adorned with a plique-à-jour enamel dial.
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.
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 Skelet-One 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.
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.
“Some watches tell time. Some tell a story”
The Maison unveils the new radically innovative aesthetic of its masterpiece, whose tourbillon is revealed through meticulous geometry.
Issued in eight pieces to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz, the Bird Repeater, an automaton with a minute repeater, embodies the essence of the House. Its dial in white mother-of-pearl and black onyx features appliqués in 18K red gold. Multiple bird animations, eggs hatching and the river in the background breathe life into this creation. This weave of intricate animations, completely engraved and painted by hand, resonates with a minute repeater, which is housed at the heart of its 18K red gold case in 47mm, one of fine watchmaking's most virtuoso complications.
The Maison and the artist best known for his artistic direction of The Lord of the Rings showcase a creation that gives pride of place to a mythical creature, micro-painted in two very limited series.
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