A hidden gem in a world of sports watches - The Jaquet Droz Grand Heure Quantieme Onyx | VARIO
We can all agree that in the world of watches sport watches are the hottest commodity at the moment, there is no apparent reason, but we can all guess that is because they are more versatile for an everyday wear than a typical dress watch. Life has become more casual than ever, true that there are still lots of jobs/places where a suit and tie are required but there is also a good part of us that doesn’t need this formality. If you think about it, usually grand complications, hand finish and heritage (not always) usually come in an elegant package, a dress watch. Again coming back to the attention that steel sports watches are getting at the moment, other great watches are left in the dark, for example, a hand finished/complicated Breguet is half of what a no date Oyster Perpetual in in Tiffany blue costs on the secondary market, a Daytona costs 3 times more than a gold case hand finished H Moser and Cie. and we can keep going for a long time, is incredible to think that precious metals and artisanal craft are way cheaper than industrialized steel watches. Obviously, this situation leaves us with a great opportunity, a true watch connoisseur is currently laughing at the market and grabbing bargains everywhere and very rare finds, which brings me to the Jaquet Droz Grand Heure Quantieme Onyx (GHQO). When I saw this watch and the price that it was on the used market, I knew I had to pick it up and add it into the collection. Jaquet Droz is one of the oldest brands that exist only surpassed by Vacheron Constantin, sure it was interrupted at some point but the heritage on their pieces can be seen today on their design, it is a great honor to have something on your wrist with this legacy, here are my impression of this high end piece and hopefully at the end you will start switching your mentality on what is out there for grabs.
The GHQO is incredible, its proportions are perfect and the case is as fluid as anything I've have seen before, at 39mm it wears like charm, this is a high end piece so the 18 carat gold indexes and sword hands are as well finished is at par with all the big high end pieces, the dial as the name states is made of black onyx given the darkest black I've seen so far, it really gives you that felling that you are looking into a void. The case has a conical shape, starts from the back with a smaller diameter and then reaches those 39 mm at the top, the height is 11 mm which is not thick at all but also gives you presence, making it more versatile. One of the most beautiful details is the date at 6 o clock, is a concave set up that looks like a mini theater, perfect for the Jaquet Droz theme which we know that was obsessed with automata and performance. The details are crisp and well executed, tasteful and elegant but when the real party comes when you turn the watch and you are greeted with a view of the 1150.p movement, a skeletonized tungsten rotor lets you admire the beveled edges, mirror polished finished screws and radiant cotes de Geneve which creates a very dramatic effect, this is an in house movement with 68 hour of power reserve which was born as a Frederique Piguet base used by Blancpain and Breguet also, talking about pedigree right?
On the wrist:
With is conical shape the watch wears like a dream, the lug to lug is under 46mm making it spot on for my 6.25inch wrist. Legibility is perfect as the white gold markers make everything easy to read, the contrast is splendid also because of the onyx dial, I was a little surprised that the space between the lugs is 18mm, but I have to say the way that the curves end the case, everything fits. The watch comes with an elegant black strap which doesn’t tapper, looks great but as you can imagine is very formal, so I've decided to use a red oxblood one hand made in the UK, it gives a very intriguing vibe. I am sure that any Vario strap would look incredible, ill update this look in the future.
I feel really blessed to have a piece of this caliber, of this name in my collection, I could easily choose an Omega or perhaps a Rolex instead but having something special and outside of the norm has its perks, it makes you smile, it’s a love letter between you and the watch, something that you only know, a well-made object, handmade. Thinking all the boxes I’ve ticked with the GHQO makes me think that this piece will never leave my collection, it was a great find, and it has that romantic feeling that a watch should have, and isn’t that what we are looking for? Mechanical watches are no longer needed so why do we keep on buying them? This Jaquet Droz gave was my great answer.
Written by Robbie from Robbie & Watches
Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the author and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated.
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