Skeletonising watches has been around since the 1920s, and since then has become pretty common fare among watchmakers. Jaquet Droz is offering two versions of its latest skeletonised watch, the Grande Seconde Skelet-One, but these watches aren’t your run-of-the-mill open work watches. They offer a new take on this old technique.
Skeletonised watches typically show off the inner workings of a watch by removing as many of the non-critical elements of the calibre as possible. That means that the watchmaker removes bridges and plates, bringing the watch down to just the bare minimum. For the Seconde Skelet-One, Droz recruited an existing calibre and then stripped it down. In this case, that movement was a 2663 SQ calibre, self-winding movement with a gear train that is suspended by bridges that cross over the movement. The watch is also equipped with a silicon balance sprint with pallet horns. This setup offers greater longevity and increased precision. It also boasts 68 hours of power reserve because of its double barrel.
For the case, Droz used high tech plasma ceramic as a basis for the rebuild—the first time that company has ever used the material. Plasma ceramic is created by subjecting white ceramic to a gas and then heating it to 20,000 degrees Celsius. The result is that the ceramic takes on a metallic glow. The ceramic is used to make the case for one of the versions of the Skelet-One. The other version uses rose gold for the case. The case measures 41.5mm x 12.48mm. The watch’s inner workings form a figure eight by intersecting the large seconds sub-dial with the off-centred hours and minutes counter at 12 o’clock.
Both versions of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One are unique pieces that show the intricacies of their workings, but also display the beauty of the watchmaking craft. The ceramic version is priced at AU$33,200, while the Rose Gold case fetches AU$47,200.