The Swiss Manufacture has recently revealed their dressy 1681 Collection. While the version in 18-karat rose gold with central seconds hand is sort of underwhelming, the JeanRichard 1681 Ronde Small Seconds makes a strong impression, even despite its “plebeian” stainless steel body.
Equipped with a milk-white lacquered dial, the new 1681 Ronde Small Seconds features a face, which is easily readable in broad daylight but is also highly legible in darkness (something that you seldom see in a dress watch) thanks to greenish SuperLuminova compound covering its classic, leaf-shaped hands as well as the thirteen dots above the applied, baton-shaped hour markers.
The subsidiary seconds indicator with its traditional black rim with six Arabic numerals nicely balances the JeanRichard 1681 inscription printed on the upper half of the dial.
I am not sure about the square date aperture, which is placed at 3 hours, but at least it looks as traditional as one could be, although, to my taste, it could look even better if positioned at 6 o’clock.
The case is only slightly bigger than that of an average dress watch and, measuring just 41 mm in diameter and 10.50 mm in height, is slender, especially for an automatic timekeeper. Kudos, of course, goes to the in-house JR1000 self-winding caliber. With its maximum height of only 3.77 millimeters, it is one of the thinnest “regular” automatic movements on the market.
Compared to the “normal” version of the caliber, the JR1000 1681 Edition features a refinished oscillating weight with ultra-thin vertical strips and the signature JR logo right in the center of the part.
Unlike many other “dressy” timekeepers from even better-advertised brands, this JeanRichard 1681 Ronde Small Seconds comes equipped with a real alligator leather strap, but, to my personal regret, is secured on a wrist with a standard tongue buckle. Well, it’s also a kind of classic design.
By the way, if you think that steel is not good enough, there is a more expensive version in 18-karat rose gold (ref. 60310-52-151-AA6).
I must warn you though that, however cool it looks (and it does look cool, I’ll give JeanRichard that,) I have a feeling that the watch is severely overpriced and, buying one at the street price at which the watchmaker recommends selling this piece may be a serious waste of money: I am fairly positive that it will soon go on sale with serious discounts and, if your honeymoon with the timekeeper ends sort of prematurely, you may end up with a watch that’s already lost half of its value and still doesn’t sell. So, be careful and, if you absolutely have to have one of these, try to look for the best price, don’t buy it on impulse.
JeanRichard 1681 Ronde Small Seconds specification
Price: $5300 (MSRP, versions in steel) / $14,400 (MSRP, version in rose gold)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber JR1000, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Cotes de Geneve, circular graining, vertical stripes on the oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 41.00 mm
Case height: 10.50 mm
Lug width: 20 mm
Dial: White lacquer
Hour markers: Baton-shaped, applied, with luminous dots
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black (ref. 60310-11-131-AA6) or Brown (ref. 60310-11-131-AAP) alligator leather strap with steel tongue buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective