The Swiss watchmaking house Jaquet Droz has recently reissued its famous regulator-style timekeeper that, lacking the usual minute hand, is instead equipped with the single hour hand that circles around a 24-hour dial. The new version of the unusual timekeeper sports an absolutely gorgeous-looking, matt black onyx dial. Equipped with an in-house automatic movement, the new Jaquet Droz Grande Heure Onyx (Ref. J025030270) nicely complements the recently introduced Jaquet Droz The Eclipse Onyx self-winding watch (Ref. J012630270).
Also issued in a stainless steel body that measures in the same impressive 43 millimeters in diameter, the new watch sports all the design cues that you can expect from the current Jaquet Droz extensive model range.
Even the setting crown with its peculiar, but evidently ergonomic shape seems to be identical to that installed on the Eclipse. Some may deem the timekeeper’s mildly oversized case to be a bit too large for a wristwatch which is supposed to be worn with formal attire, but I don’t really see any styling problem here: unlike the flock of ultra-thin three-handers, this watch is more of a fashion accessory and is actually supposed to draw extra attention to itself, as well as to its owner.
Although some people may find the design of the watch not particularly legible, I must say that, even equipped with the single hour hand, the watch gives a pretty good idea of what time it is now.
Of course, you can’t use the timekeeper as a navigational instrument and it will be a bad choice as a pulsometer, but, after some getting used to, you will be able to tell current time with accuracy up to five minutes and it seems to be enough for all things practical.
According to official specs that we have received, the watch is powered by their new 24JD53 automatic caliber. Equipped with a heavy metal (probably tungsten) oscillating weight and equipped with a double barrel energy storage system, the movement provides the watch with 68 hours of guaranteed power reserve, which is enough to safely leave the watch in a drawer (or, preferably, in a safe) for a couple of days and find it ticking and telling the right time.
The Astrale Grande Heure Onyx will go on sale later this year bearing a sticker price of $11,000 USD. Although it’s clearly on a more expensive side for a piece crafted from mere stainless steel, the gorgeous, meticulously finished F. Piguet caliber 1151-based caliber 24JD53, as well as the timekeeper’s unique exterior styling make the MSRP a lot more interesting even before discounts that will go into effect soon after the watch hits specialized stores across the world.
Photos: Jaquet Droz
Jaquet Droz Grande Heure Onyx Automatic (Ref. J025030270) watch specification
Price: $11,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Jaquet Droz caliber 24JD53, double-barrel, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 68 hours
Movement decoration: N/A
Functions: Hours (24-hour display)
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black onyx
Hour markers: Steel, rhodiumed
Hands: Steel, rhodiumed
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Rolled edge hand-made black alligator leather strap with stainless steel ardillon buckle
Case back: Engraved