While I’m not the biggest devotee of chronographs as a rule, there are a few which really raise my pulse. One of these is the extremely lovely Jaquet Droz Chrono Monopoussoir watch. To me this timepiece succeeds on many levels at once; it’s beautifully made with extremely fine details, demonstrates a very elegant design, and is also a technically impressive example of high grade watchmaking.
As is the case with all Jaquet Droz watches, when you examine the Chrono Monopoussoir you know you are really holding something exotic and unusual. From the smoothly contoured 18K gold case, to the breathtaking dials in enamel or exotic materials (including meteorite and rutile quartz) with their shimmering blued steel hands, this chronograph exudes a classy sense of luxury that is really special. The richly decorated self-winding movement is no less impressive, being based upon the famed column-wheel controlled Frederic Piguet 1185 caliber. But what is particularly noteworthy is the way in which Jaquet Droz has implemented this fine mechanical motor to make it even more impressive – the time display has been given its own subdial, drawing all eyes to that very long, shapely blued steel central chronograph hand. The striking symmetry of the four subdials is also captivating, and quite unlike anything else out there. And of course, there’s the fascination of the “Monopoussoir” (or, “single push”, if you prefer) chronograph, which dispenses with the usual start/stop and return to zero buttons that border the crown on most chronograph watches. This extremely elegant and seldom seen design places re-assigns all chronograph controls to a single inconspicuous little button that is co-axial with the winding crown. A very sophisticated detail, to be sure, and one which makes this watch not even necessarily identifiable as a chronograph, at least at first glance. No doubt about it, this is one chronograph timepiece which is ideal for elegant wear.
Speaking personally, I for one enjoy dress chronographs, precisely because the chronograph complication is so often associated with sports and sport timing; for this reason, many wristwatches with the chronograph function are decidedly casual in appearance. A dressy chronograph watch is a real change of pace, and can be a great addition to a collection – if you enjoy them too, I highly recommend having a close look at the Jaquet Droz Monopoussoir. The only difficult thing may be choosing between the various incredible dials which are offered!