A brand that still somehow seems to fly under the ‘major league’ radar, Jaquet Droz has a quite distinctive style, particularly for its dress watches, but two of JD’s new Baselworld 2012 models, part of their ‘Majestic Beijing’ collection, seem to be less JD and more strikingly reminiscent of Blancpain Villeret Moonphases.
Firstly, the ‘dark’ – the Eclipse Onyx.
A 43mm stainless steel case encloses a black onyx dial which has 8 rhodium plated stars with a rhondium moon, and hour, minute and date hands which are also rhodium plated. The dial is highly balanced, with the date and month windows at 12 o’clock balanced by the moonphase at 6 o’clock. The moon is revealed via a moving disc.
Onyx is a banded variety of chalcedony (a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite) and comes in a myriad of colours, but most commonly containing black and/ or white bands. I love the black/ silver combination in watches, and it’s a safe choice for a watch called Eclipse.
Here is the video from JD :
Reference : J012630270
Case : Steel. Open caseback
Size : 43 mm. Thickness 12.4mm
Functions : Hours, minutes, day, month, date, moon phase
Dial : black onyx. rhodium plated stars and moon. Hour/ minute/ date hands rhodium-plated. Central pointer date hand. Moon phases in black onyx at 6 o’clock
Water Resistance : 30m/ 3 ATM/ 3 bar
Movement : Automatic, Jaquet Droz calibre 6553L2
Jewels : 26
VPH : 28,800
Power reserve : 68 hours
Strap : black rolled-edge alligator
Price : 18400.00 CHF
On the flipside, we have the JD Eclipse Ivory Enamel, a stark contrast, in a wonderfully warm red gold. Ref J012633203, it is the same watch as the Eclipse, only in eponymous enamel, and priced at a more hefty 30150.00 CHF. Perhaps the key is to have two of them, one for day and one for night?
These are not the first Eclipse models, a 18k gold case black enamel dialled version came out last year.
My preference is for the 2012 versions over last year's, but there is that ever-present nagging query at the back of my mind as to whether I like these watches just because they remind me of the Villeret …
Of course, what else but some etymology to end this post. ‘Onyx’ comes through Latin (of the same spelling), from the Greek ὄνυξ, meaning "claw" or "fingernail".