Jaquet Droz Astrale Perpetual Calendar Review
Today we'll take a look at a Jaquet Droz limited edition Astrale Perpetual Calendar model # j008334210.
When you look at the black ceramic dial of the j008334210 you will instantly take note of the hands. Like many watches from Jaquet Droz, this utilizes different types of hands for different functions. This model uses polished 18kt white gold lance-shaped hands to see the time and uses wavy, serpentine-shaped hands for the perpetual calendar functions. This design choice wasn't just to enhance the aesthetic appearance of this watch but clearly comes with a practical purpose and makes it easy to distinguish between clock and calendar hands.
While most perpetual calendar watches have very busy looking dials and are often considered by some to be not as easy on the eyes, the dial on this Jaquet Droz has a minimalistic looking design that doesn't give you the urge to look away, on the contrary, it's very pleasing to the eye.
There is a finely printed small dot seconds track around the edge of the dial. The perpetual calendar has a retrograde serpentine hand which points to just beneath the days of the week on the left side of the dial between the 7 o'clock and the 11 o'clock position.
On the right side of the dial between the 1 o'clock and 5 o'clock positions are the days of the month which are separated in increments of 3 (as in 1, 4, 7, 10, etc.). The wavy serpentine hand reaches to the top of the Roman numeral for the date.
At the 12 o'clock position you will find the sub-register for the perpetual calendar's months. This sub-dial also uses a wavy serpentine hand but a significantly smaller one since it's in the top quadrant of the dial and there isn't a retrograde used on this sub-dial.
At the very bottom of the dial just above the 6 o'clock position, you will find a small running seconds subdial that uses a modern style hand, almost like a reversed Breguet style hand with a polished finish and a thin profile where the skeletonized circle on the hand is used as a counterweight instead of the pointer.
The 18kt white gold case stands at 43mm and 13.4mm thick but although it's not the flashiest case you'll ever see, it is nonetheless impressive in its own austere minimalistic type of way, partly due to the look and unique shape of the crown.
The reverse side of the case will reveal the automatic in-house movement by Jaquet Droz. The Caliber 5863.4 is definitely something to behold. Like any Jaquet Droz movement, the 5863.4 has a beautiful finishing and this one will hold its power for about 68 hours when fully wound which is impressive, to say the least. The self-winding Jaquet Droz 5863.4 movement contains 38 jewels and resonates at 28,800 VpH.
You will also see the name Jaquet Droz and the number of the limited & numbered edition watch.
CASE SIDE & CALENDAR PUSHERS
The side of the case has a nice polished finish and recessed buttons for adjusting the date on the perpetual calendar function. These buttons are pushed using a pen-like tool that you can see in the image below. Like all mechanical perpetual calendar watches, make sure you read the manual when changing the date, there is a special time when it is safe to change it and a time when it's not.
CROWN & LUGS
The 18kt white gold crown is debossed with Jaquet Droz's signature double stars from the image below you can see from the lugs on the right and left of the crown the case is designed to be slightly elevated off of a surface to protect transparent crystal case back.
This is a stunning watch with great features and an excellent power reserve. Some people don't like anything on the dial other than the time and day of the month. If that's the case this watch isn’t for you, but if it is, for $32,500 you would be getting a brand new, never been worn luxury watch from a highly respected watchmaker with some serious achievements in Swiss horological history. This watch comes new in a box with all papers. Factory warranty expires in Feb 2020.