Jaquet Droz has revealed the laconic L’Origine Email collection during the Baselworld 2009 show. It is yet another (and by far the most interesting) member of the Hommage Londres 1774 Collection. Offered in two colors of their enameled dials, these restrained, but also refined timepieces give you a nice combination of classic design with a modern movement.
Featuring an elegant mirror-polished stainless steel case around 43 millimeters in diameter with elongated horns and a finely crafted setting crown, as well as a Grand Feu enameled dial and delicate hour and minute hands, the new L’Origine Email is one of the best “classic” dress watches that are currently available on the market.
And it is more or less affordable, too, if your concept of affordability allows you to pay a price of a European ultra-compact car or an entry-level Harley-Davidson cruiser for a dressy wristwatch. On the other hand, the timekeeper was designed to suit the needs of people that use Mercedes-Benz limousines as their daily drivers, so, in its niche, the L’Origine Email is indeed affordable.
According to Jaquet Droz’s press release, these simple-looking (but difficult to manufacture since their dials are treated with a fine enamel) beauties will be offered at a recommended street price of CHF 9990, which roughly converts to $8700 or €6600.
For the money, you will get an elegant watch with a stainless steel case 43 mm in diameter with either ivory or black (my favorite) Grand Feu enameled dial.
While many modern watches try to impress you with their elements crafted from forged carbon fiber, silicium, or some other high-tech materials that are usually employed in rocket building, Grand Feu is a name of an old technique of creating enameling, which is particularly pure and resistant to dents and scratches.
To make such enamel, a craftsman takes a metal dial, covers it with a special mix of ceramic, and then bakes it in an oven at a very high temperature.
Since the process is complex and requires a lot of manual labor, Grand Feu enameled dials are usually offered only with particularly expensive, hand-crafted timepieces.
The version with the ivory dial comes fit with blued hour, minute, and central sweep-second hands, while the timepiece with a black dial sports a set of white gold hour and minute hands and, again, a blued second hand.
The L’Origine Email comes powered by the Jaquet Droz 1153, self-winding mechanical movement, which is, to my understanding, based on the Frederic Piguet Cal. 1153 movement (you can also find this caliber in, say, some Panerai Radiomir and Blancpain models.)
Of course, the movement features a nicely decorated oscillating weight made of 22-karat white gold.
This is a nice timepiece. Too bad, it is still, um, a little bit out of my budget limits.
See also: Jaquet Droz Les Douze Villes
Photos: Jaquet Droz
Jaquet Droz L’Origine Email (J022030203) specification
Price: CHF 9990 (MSRP) / USD $12,000 (Retail)
Movement: Caliber JD 1153, mechanical, automatic, ultra-thin, double barrel, 28,800 vph, 22-karat gold rotor, hand-decorated, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds
Power reserve: 68 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 43.00 mm
Dial: Ivory or Black (ref. J022030203), enameled
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Rolled-edge hand made black alligator leather strap with a stainless steel ardillon buckle