If watchmaking is born of astronomy, the Moon is the inspirational element. The Moon allowed ancient peoples to understand the early divisions of time and the passage of the seasons. It helped us grasp the notion of time that comes and goes at a steady pace: a concrete manifestation of the “cycles” that structure our comprehension of time to this day.
Waxing and waning through the phases of the new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter, the Moon brings poetry to watchmaking. It breathes into the mechanical the tender mystery of a celestial body, the secret of a satellite that remains –despite its relative proximity to us– largely unknown. The dark side of the Moon continues to be one of the great mysteries in space exploration.
When Jaquet Droz set about adding a Moon Phase to its Grande Seconde, the challenge was to transcribe these dimensions of precision and poetry while preserving the esthetic codes of the piece centered on its signature “8” design. The brand chose to place the Moon at the heart of the perpetual calendar located inside the large seconds hand dial, forming a nexus between date and Moon (since the two are correlated) while staying true to the dial’s original esthetic.
The inclusion of the Moon Phase allowed Jaquet Droz to design a multi-level dial that lends a new depth to the piece. To offset the standard error of a 59-tooth movement (an error of one day approximately every two years and eight months), the brand has developed the “mechanism 135” complication to ensure the movement maintains perfect accuracy for 122 consecutive years. The astronomical Moon phase is set using a discreet corrector positioned on the case at 8 o’clock.
The Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite is the heir to this destiny, and contributes two new dimensions. The first is the choice of serpentinite for the dial. This scaly-looking rock has a texture comparable to snake skin and offers a peculiar sensation to the touch. The brittle nature of the rock reveals the unique expertise of the Jaquet Droz craftsmen who cut it. Day after day, with meticulous skill, the craftsmen work to develop one of the brand’s eight codes: mineral dials. Jaquet Droz mineral dials capture the natural brilliance of the stones and magnify the treasures of the Earth.
The Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite is no exception. The Swiss particularity of this precise serpentinite is the other new dimension of the piece. The rock is taken from the sheer slopes of the Matterhorn, from a spot near the Hörnli Hut, the legendary base camp of the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. In creating for the Swiss market alone, this Grande Seconde Moon with a 43 mm serpentinite dial, Jaquet Droz demonstrates its attachment to its native land, and to the mythical and majestic Matterhorn that has become a symbol of Switzerland across the globe. In a similar way, Jaquet Droz brings across frontiers the values of Fine Watchmaking and its Philosophy of the Unique, as embodied by this Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite issued in a numerus clausus of 88 pieces.
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