The 2014 Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Ceramic Collection (refs. J014500240 and J014500241) somehow manages to combine a clean, uncluttered layout of a classic two-hander with their trademark figure eight shape. Migrating from the dial, which is now available in whole three radically different finishes, to the body and bezel, the Arabic numeral makes this watch (and probably its owner) look especially memorable. While not as flashy as the last month’s Chanel J12-365, the Jaquet Droz model runs circles -figuratively speaking- around the aforementioned model in terms of originality and overall elegance.
Jaquet Droz is well-known for all things beautiful that have an even passing relation to the Arabic figure eight. Not only the number is considered lucky in some cultures, but it is also closely associated with one of their most successful collections: the gorgeous Grande Seconde family that includes fairly simple three-handers with an off-centered and oversized seconds hand and goes all the way to ultra-expensive tourbillon watches.
It would probably be wise to say that, during all these years, the family has actually become the Swiss brand’s trademark collection, something, which is often used to gauge the success of their other model lines.
Trying to get the concept beyond the usual two vertically stacked dials, the brand’s designer has created a model that features a simple, almost plain dial with just two hands, but features an intricately shaped case with a glossy ceramic ball bearing in its smaller upper part.
Yes, you can actually roll it with your fingers when in need to calm down or just to get your hands busy when waiting in line at dentist’s office. Frankly, I am not sure whether it is a good idea to touch the ball since it will inevitably gather some skin oil and in time, together with dust, may look, well, gross. But, of course, when we talk of this sort of ultra-expensive gadgets that are often bought to be worn only on certain occasions with a certain dress (and maybe even with a certain purse) this kind of problems may seem preposterous or even worse.
According to official specs, the Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Ceramic is powered by the same Caliber 1153 mechanism that animated their 2009 Jaquet Droz L’Origine Email model albeit sans the central seconds hand.
Still based on the same Frederic Piguet Cal. 1153 automatic movement, the mechanism delivers at least 68 hours of guaranteed power reserve and, thanks to its impressive thinness, also allows making this 35 mm watch more proportionate: from top to bottom this beautiful timekeeper measures less than 13 millimeters. As usual, the mechanism is painstakingly decorated with its bridges and quarter plate featuring vertical Geneva Stripes finish while its white gold oscillating weight is adorned with a guilloche pattern also featuring their signature pair of stars.
So far, the company plans to limit the new collection to just three models. Two of them will be presented in stainless steel with either white or black domed ceramic dials and 48 diamonds totaling 0.53 carats, and the other will feature a more impressive red-gold body with a white mother-of-pearl dial and whole 128 diamonds (1.28 carats) adorning its bezel.
Photos: Jaquet Droz
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Ceramic in Steel and Gold (refs. J014500240 and J014500241) specification
Price: $14,600 (MSRP, refs. J014500240 and J014500241)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber Jaquet Droz 1153, base Frederic Piguet Cal. 1153, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 68 hours
Movement decoration: Guilloched oscillating weight, bridges adorned with “Cotes de Geneve” pattern
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case: Stainless steel with 48 diamonds (0.53 carat, refs. J014500240 and J014500241) / Rose gold with 128 diamonds (1.28 carat, ref. J014503270)
Shape: Figure eight
Size: 35.00 mm
Case height: 12.70 mm
Dial: White mother of pearl with red gold ring (Rose gold model) / Dome-shaped white or black ceramic with a white gold ring (Stainless steel models)
Hands: Red gold or White gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Rolled-edge hand-made alligator leather strap in white, black or brown on a folding clasp (in steel or rose gold with diamonds)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective