Grande Opening
CROWN Singapore|September - October 2020
Though deeply rooted to the brand’s past, the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde is taking baby steps to embrace fresh perspectives
Alvin Wong
At a watch company where ‘astonishment’ is a rudimentary benchmark, and where making wristwatches with miniature mechanical robots that flap their wings and chirp like lifelike birds isn’t just an esteemed endeavour, but one to be expected, it is astonishing indeed, that Jaquet Droz’s most celebrated and distinctive creation is also one of its simplest.

There is no secret to the appeal of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde wristwatch. All there is to it, really, is that figure of ‘8’ motif on the dial. A timepiece that you can recognise from 10 paces away, the Grande Seconde is instantly identifiable by that face, which features two sub-dials: a smaller one at the top showing the hour and minutes, and a larger one at the bottom for the seconds.

But don’t get the wrong idea. The Grande Seconde’s design may be simple, but there is nothing simplistic about its conception and evolution. The watch’s birth and legacy spans centuries, rooted in the spirit of the brand’s namesake founder while traversing vast lands and cultures to become what it is today.

Its inspiration can be traced back to a gold pocket watch from 1785, which features the exact figure of ‘8’ design on a grand feu enamel dial. Legend has it that Pierre Jaquet Droz himself, an entrepreneurial watchmaker back in the day, was exporting his creations to China for its wealthy royals. As much as Droz’s automatons amazed the noblemen and emperors (even today, you’d be able to find his artefacts in the Forbidden City’s Imperial Palace museum), they were just as captivated by the pocket watches with the figure of ‘8’ design, as the number is associated with luck and prosperity in Chinese numerology.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CROWN SINGAPOREView All

ROYAL ORDER

Tudor’s new Royal collection gets dressy while loading up on nostalgia

2 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

EXCEPTIONAL ELEGANCE

Encased in the finest metals and precious stones, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Pearlmaster holds a special place in the Oyster collection, as a watchmaking jewel expressing refinement and elegance

6 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

META METAL

Urwerk’s new UR-100 V Iron hurtles through time and space in metallic chic

3 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

BIG MECH

Commemorating Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary, innovative new movements underscore the brand’s fast-rising stature

4 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Chopard Beefs Up The Alpine Eagle Collection

Chopard beefs up the Alpine Eagle collection with a plus-sized chronograph

3 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Staying The Course

The enduring epoch of the Carrera collection that headlines TAG Heuer’s 160th festivities had always been a highly deliberate and calculated affair

5 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Double The Pleasure

The inventor of the tourbillon takes the complication to the next level

3 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Sounds Like Family

Beyond its many technical accomplishments, Patek Philippe’s Ref. 6301P Grande Sonnerie is a labour of love founded on familial bonds

5 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

2020 Year In Review

Tenacity and hope in the face of seismic changes

6 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

A Different Angle

Never traditional to begin with, Cartier’s new Tank Asymétrique is reimagined with modern perspectives

5 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020