Those obsessed with chronology and all things at the intersection of time and clockworks already know the work of Jaquet Droz. The Swiss watchmaker has been at their trade since Pierre Jaquet Droz founded the company in 1738 and no true connoisseur can call his collection complete without one of these fine works of art.
History of Excellence
Pierre Jaquet Droz spent his early life obsessed with precision mechanics. From the ages of seventeen to 26 he devoted himself entirely to the art of clockmaking. He created a series of longcase (Grandfather) clocks so precise and sophisticated in their mechanical workings that they were quite literally the best in the world.
In 1758, after journeying to Spain with six of his mechanical wonders, he personally sold the first clocks to grace Spain to King Ferdinand VI for use in his palaces at Madrid and Villaviciosa. These clocks warranted a huge fee, 2,000 pistoles, and literally left viewers dumbfounded at the nearly magical timepieces which chimed without manual intervention. The impressive sum allowed him to return home and devote himself to the mechanical wonders that would make his name and solidify his place in history.
Philosophy of the Unique
Jaquet Droz brings a sense of wonder and eccentricity to all of their creations, as they promise with the “Philosophy of the Unique”. In the case of the Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite, each of the distinct watches of this 88 piece edition will have its own idiosyncratic quality due to the quirks of the stone that has been chosen.
Mysteries of the Moon
Any true horology aficionado knows there is more to time than counting the minutes as they pass. Since a time before humans measured their days with personal timepieces like the stunning Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite, we have been fascinated with the passage of time. Early man watched the stars in the sky and tracked the sun on its annual trek across the heavens. However, nothing fascinates us as deeply as the moon.
Luna, responsible for tides and lunacy, has been the subject of human curiosity since the first of us glanced up after dark. Characterized as a benevolent goddess who watches over us at night, she only shares her wisdom and light when things are dark. Moreover, the moon has always helped humanity to keep time. As the face of the moon waxes and wanes, we count months and seasons.
Jaquet Droz clearly understands the vital and mysterious compulsion we have to follow her progress in the sky even when we cannot see where she is. The Moon Phase indicator is so utterly precise that it only varies one day out of 122 years. Assuming one were to live long enough to wear such a stunning timepiece until it needed adjustment it would be a novel and beautifully rendered way to count your long years.
Secrets in the Stone
If you’ve not yet held this watch in your hand and tried it on your wrist, it is certainly a worthy expedition to go and do so. The adventurous heart will instantly understand why Jaquet Droz choose to work with Swiss Serpentinite to create this unique watch. Like every aspect of their exceptional engineering and dapper design, the carefully selected stone, though difficult to work with, was not chosen idly. It is, in fact, a nod to the symmetry and grandeur of the iconic Matterhorn.
The Swiss Serpentinite used in these particular timepieces is actually drawn from near the peak of the Matterhorn itself. More specifically the source of the stone is near the Hornli Hut. This was used as the basecamp for the first recorded ascension in 1865. The stone garners its name from the unique similarity to the skin of a snake, and truly brings the Philosophy of the Unique to the wearer.
Watches like the Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite are the reason artisan mechanics like Jaquet Droz lived as they did and devoted themselves to their craft. The clever precision and understated grace of an elegant wristwatch such as this is a worthy pursuit. It is not much of a stretch to think that such a watch would bring the creator of the company pride with it’s subtle yet gorgeously rendered homage to his homeland and the mysteries of time itself.