Revealed in the beginning of the year, the Jaquet Droz SW Chronograph (ref. J029530409) watch is one of the most attractive models in JD`s collection of sporty timekeepers. Featuring the laconic bi-compax layout, an easily readable big date indicator and a pair of partially openworked hour and minute hands with nice yellow-orange lume on them, this elegant timekeeper from the reputable Swiss watchmaker looks like an ultimate tool watch for the few survivors of the nuclear Holocaust.
Like the last year’s Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde SW ROUGE, the SW Chrono was presented in a massive rugged-looking case with a signature fluted bezel.
Being whole 45 mm in diameter, the watch is definitely on the larger side.
I must warn you that people with thin wrists, who risk buying this stuff online, may want to try the watch first, since it may be just too huge for some of them.
While the aforementioned Grande Seconde model was equipped with a black cast rubber bezel, this version comes with a more traditional and certainly less aggressive stainless steel version.
The setting crown and the chronograph push-pieces are still made of this elastic material, though, which is good.
The matt black dial of this ref. J029530409 perfectly matches the black rubber elements and the grossly oversized hour indexes at 3 and 9 o’clock provide good visual support for the trademark “claws,” one of which also serves as an awkward-looking crown guard.
As you can see, there is also a big date window at 12 o’clock that looks very organic here. And the skeletonized hour and minute hands with orange-yellow Superluminova on them provide a pair of much-needed color spots.
The watch is powered by a Jaquet Droz caliber 6885-S automatic column-wheel chronograph movement. Equipped with a 22-carat white gold oscillating weight, this is a refinished version of the well-known Frederic Piguet FP 1185 self-winding ebauche. Although initially designed to compete with the Lemania 2310 chronograph caliber, the FP 1185 has never gained enough traction to become a truly mass-produced mechanism, but, for what it’s worth, it’s actually for the better: now the dreaded Swatch Group has a virtually unlimited reserve of high-quality blanc calibers that are used by their high-end brands as a base for their own movements. Yes, they are archaic with their slow frequency of just 21,600 vph and underwhelming power reserve of 40 hours, but they are also extremely cool in their old-school kind of way.
Very interesting piece, this, even if you can’t afford one.
See also: Jaquet Droz L’Origine Email
Photos: Jaquet Droz
Jaquet Droz SW Chronograph (ref. J029530409) automatic watch specification
Price: $16,800 (MSRP)
Movement: JD 6885-S, base Frederic Piguet 1185, automatic, 37 jewels, 21,600 vph, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, big date, column-wheel chronograph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 45 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 14.00 mm
Hands: Polished steel, open-worked, luminous (orange Superluminova)
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black rubber band with push-button folding clasp in steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire