The Grande Heure is one of the most stylish collections in JD’s product line up. Their Petite Heure Minute is nice and the Grande Seconde is plain gorgeous, but the Grande Heure is truly a work of art in Hans Hofmann’s meaning of the word: by removing all the unnecessary, JD’s designers allowed the necessary to speak. The Swiss brand has updated their single-hander a year ago by presenting a beautiful Grande Heure Onyx (Ref. J025030270) at Baselworld 2012 show. This spring, the watchmaker expands the line with a more versatile Jaquet Droz Grande Heure GMT model.
Sporting the same oversized case (which is now fashioned from 18-carat red gold) around 43 millimeters in diameter and featuring the same deceptively simple layout of its dial, the watch adds another hour hand to its design thus becoming a double-single-hander, if you will.
Unsurprisingly, the one crafted from red gold tells time in your current time zone, and the one in blued steel is here for displaying time in your home city (or the other way around if you prefer so).
The complication is powered by their in-house Caliber Jaquet Droz 5N50.4 automatic movement. Featuring twin-barrel design, the movement is good for the same 68 hours of minimum power reserve as a standard Grand Heure model.
By the way, I feel compelled to get a couple steps back and return to the size issue. Although the aforementioned 43 mm don’t sound terribly impressive when it comes to a diver or some “sporty” chronograph with a huge bezel, massive lugs and oversized elements of the dial, I must warn you that THIS timekeeper still looks very large on a normal wrist! So, before ordering one, pay a visit to your local AD and try the watch on your own wrist. You were warned.
Although quite large for a dressy watch, the Jaquet Droz Grande Heure GMT sports all the usual elements of high horology that JD is known for: a finely crafted body, modest Arabic hour markers on a 24-hour chapter ring and, of course, their signature ivory-colored Grand Feu dial, which is created using an extremely difficult to master enameling technique that makes each dial as unique as a snowflake.
What may scare a great deal of potential customers away from this beauty is, perhaps, the MSRP of $26,500 USD. Yet, considering the quality of the mechanism that keeps this watch going and the fact that JD used lots of gold to craft this piece, I would say that the price is well-justified.
Photos: Jaquet Droz
Jaquet Droz Grande Heure GMT Automatic in Rose Gold (Ref. J015233200) watch specification
Price: $26,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber Jaquet Droz 5N50.4, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 68 hours
Movement decoration: Hand-decorated; Oscillating weight in 22-carat white gold
Functions: Hours, second time zone (GMT)
Case material: 18-carat red gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 11.90 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Ivory Grand Feu enamel
Numerals: Arabic, 24-hour scale
Hour markers: Black
Hands: Red gold and Blued steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with hand-rolled edges and 18-carat red gold tang buckle
Case back: Transparent