The 2012 Jaquet Droz The Eclipse Onyx has not one, but whole two aces in its sleeve. For starters, it has its face crafted from black onyx: a mineral, which is widely used in jewelry for making cabochons and beads, but rarely employed when it comes to crafting dials (well, Jaquet Droz knows a thing or two about jewelry, so they use the mineral pretty often.) The second one is its unusual moon-phase indicator that may be of some interest to those already tired of the customary displays.
Basically, this is a more affordable version of the J012633202 model that was first introduced two years ago, also in Basel.
The new version is still offered in a rather large (at least, for a dress watch) body that measures 43 millimeters. However, this model comes not in rose gold, but in a less expensive (and also more durable) stainless steel.
The new Eclipse Onyx in steel also seems to be powered by a modified version of the original JD 6553L automatic movement. Based, as usual, on the well-known Caliber FP 1150 by Frederic Piguet that the Swiss watchmaker sources from its sister brand Blancpain (both are owned by The Swatch Group,) the mechanism is highly reliable and accurate.
Now modified to feature a rather unusual moon phase display and called Caliber JD 6553L2, the revised mechanism sports fewer jewels (26 rubies instead of the original 28 stones,) but offers the same 68 hours of power reserve thanks to its double-barrel design.
As you can see on detailed photos closer to the end of this article, the moon-phase indicator features a stationary moon disk, which is crafted from some rhodium-plated metal, which is eclipsed by a small racket-shaped piece, which is, too, crafted from black onyx.
The face of the moon is accompanied with eight stars that are also rhodium-plated, as are the hands, the JD logo and the 31 Arabic numerals on the calendar ring.
All in all, the dial of the ref. J012630270 looks fantastic with its impressive combination of black and rhodium-plated elements. While many watches that combine full calendars with moon phase indication often leave an impression of clutter, this one is surprisingly clean, easy to read and a pleasure to admire.
I am sure that, at least for the first couple of weeks after getting this beauty, you will have to actually force yourself to stop staring at this masterpiece and get some work done.
See also: Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantieme
Photos: Jacquet Droz
Jaquet Droz The Eclipse Onyx in Stainless Steel (J012630270) specification
Price: $18,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Jaquet Droz caliber 6553L2, double-barrel, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 26
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Decorated by hand with diagonal Geneva stripes, polished screw-heads, and sunray pattern on the heavy-metal oscillating weight; Inscriptions in gold
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, month, day of the week, moon phase
Power reserve: 68 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 43.00 mm
Dial: Black Onyx
Hour markers: Rhodium-plated
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black rolled-edge alligator leather strap with steel pin buckle