The deadbeat seconds complication is one of the rarest in watchmaking, partly because with this feature, the mechanical watch ticks seconds. Just like a quartz watch. Usually, high-end watch brands are proud of showcasing the constant sweep of the second hand, advancing at tiny increments from a sixth to a tenth of a second according to the frequency of the balance wheel. And so the Grande Seconde Deadbeat by Jaquet Droz is an exceptional piece.
In the period in which brand founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz was working, the late 18th century, watchmakers were engaged in a constant quest to improve the accuracy of timepieces used on ships to calculate longitude, important in preventing shipwrecks caused by navigational errors. One of the features considered as increasing precision was to have a large seconds hand that moved in single-second increments, when each second had elapsed, making it easier to read an exact time (the chronograph had not yet been invented).
In this watch, Jaquet Droz combines these historical precedents with its signature Grande Seconde design, with hours and minutes on a smaller subdial at the top, a large seconds hand with a centre pivot, and a larger subdial below with retrograde date. It is beautiful for the spacious arrangement of dial elements, and the elegance of the retrograde date indicator, designed so that the date hand doesn't have to cross the pivot of the seconds hand. The watch is powered by the new Jaquet Droz calibre 2695SMR calibre, which incorporates a lot of state-of-the-art technology such as the LIGA process used for shaping components with unprecedented precision, and an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring. The automatic movement has a single barrel that provides a 40-hour power reserve.
As indicated on the dial, this piece is a 'Numerus clausus' series, a limited edition of 88 pieces, with serial number indicated on dial and caseback.