A masterpiece of watchmaking precision, a Deadbeat Seconds timepiece is a very rare complication that takes some of the most skilled horologists to make. Long forgotten and mostly used by brands like Arnold & Son, the Deadbeat —Dead Seconds a.k.a. Seconde Morte— has now been rediscovered by Jaquet Droz and released at Baselworld 2015 in the new Grande Seconde Deadbeat. For those of you wondering what a Deadbeat seconds mechanical timepiece is, it is very simple. A Deadbeat timepiece is one in which the seconds hand advances by jumping second by second —ticking as in a quartz powered watch—, rather than by sweeping around the dial. The new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Deadbeat ref. J008033200 is fitted with an elegant 18K red gold case measuring 43 mm in diameter and a rolled edge alligator black strap with matching pin buckle.
For this new model the ivory Grand Feu enameled dial of the Grande Seconde has been subtly reworked by the designers of brand. Off-centered in the historic version, the seconds hand is now placed at the very heart of the dial, while the retrograde date indication occupies the space that is traditionally reserved for the seconds hand in this model. Immediately recognizable yet somehow different, both familiar and surprising, this Grande Seconde Deadbeat watch fascinates by its hypnotizing succession of "jumping" hands and numerals.
Powered by the automatic calibre Jaquet Droz 2695SMR with 18K red gold oscillating weight and 34 jewels, this movement provides a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. This new timepiece also provides Jaquet Droz with the opportunity to pull off a double technological exploit by using a balance-spring made of silicon, a material that is unaffected by magnetic fields or changes in temperature and pressure, and thus ensures exceptionally accurate timekeeping. The need to combine Independent Seconds, Calendar and Hour and Minute functions has led to the creation of a totally new caliber for which a patent has been applied for and which is visible via the display case back.
The mechanical components have been obtained thanks to the Swatch Group's expertise in nanotechnology processes —particularly the LIGA process—, which has led to the production of parts of an extremely high standard of precision. Finally, the choice of a 10-toothed cam rather than the 30-toothed variety normally used for an Independent Seconds function, together with the optimization of the shape of the pallets, combine to make the Independent Seconds a spectacle that is as aesthetically elegant as it is technically ingenious.
The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Deadbeat is available in a limited edition of 88 pieces.
Sticker Price $35,000 USD. For more info on Jaquet Droz click here.