Jaquet Droz has always been making beautiful timepieces, both for men as well as for ladies. Here, Sharon Tan investigates the new Lady 9 Petite Mother-of-Pearl in this latest Ladies View Review.
Jaquet Droz Lady 9 Petite Mother-of-Pearl
This watch was first revealed at Baselworld 2018, pleasing many small-wrist ladies with its 25mm case width. We recently managed to get it on our wrist for about a week and will now do a review of this Jaquet Droz timepiece on a little (5.25”) wrist like mine.
The case, dial and hands
The case shape is unique yet typical of the brand’s deep association with the figure 8. The top circle houses a movable Akoya pearl, and the bottom displays the time without second hands. The ‘8’ shape does make the overall case shape long, but they have designed it to curve slightly so that it hugs the wrist better. Overall, it sits daintily on small wrists.
The movable Akoya pearl, is in my opinion, the most attractive feature of the watch. The pearl is encased within the steel housing, with small synthetic inserts to protect the pearl from wearing out against the steel. The exact construct of the “setting” for these free rotating pearls and gems on the Lady 8 remains a trade secret. Akoya pearls are cultured by feeding the Japanese Akoya oysters a round shell bead and letting the nacre grow over months. Because these pearls are cultured from spherical beads under well-controlled temperature, pressure and water flow, every pearl is close to, if not, a perfect sphere. Akoya pearls are prized for their ethereal lustre and rich colour, and a classical symbol of feminine elegance.
The dial is made of mother-of-pearl, a rather typical choice for ladies watches for it’s lovely iridescence and subtle textures. The dial has a minimalist design with just dot markers and the lack of a second hand. A dressy and classy design choice to make this a watch that can be both dressed up or casual.
The slender and double tour calf leather straps also add to the femininity of the overall design. I instinctively related the double tour strap as an Hermes design. Jaquet Droz has it more refined with thinner straps. There was some fumbling around when putting on the double tour, but after buckling it up, it fits rather comfortably. The tang buckle is also gemset, which makes this piece quite the all-round looker. There is a variant of the Lady 8 with a bracelet of moving Akoya beads (Lady 8 Petite Akoya) or Jade beads (Lady 8 Petite Jade) for those looking for something dressier.
The watch is powered by Jaquet Droz 6150, the manufacturer’s smallest automatic movement.
This is the same movement used in Charming Bird and some of the time-only watches in the Ateliers d’Art collection. Jaquet Droz’s main business is in the artistic design and finishing of the watches, and the movements are supplied by Breguet. It’s not clear if Breguet or Jaquet Droz does the finishing on the movement. The peacock-like decoration on the rotor adds a great finish to the movement.
There aren’t many competitors in the automatic movement category for ladies with such a prestigious branding. Perhaps one to come to mind would be the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Medium Duetto, retailing for about SGD13,600. The Duetto also comes in SS casing, with gemset on the “night” face, making it a worthy competitor at its price point. Most would consider it a better deal as the Reverso is a more classic design, the Duetto having two watch faces to match different occasions and that the movement is higher end with a dual-face complication. All these being pegged at a lower price point than the Lady 8’s SGD23,000 tag.
On a more realistic competitive landscape, we should consider comparison of just ladies watch designs with jewelry accents as most ladies don’t place emphasis on the movement powering their watch. In fact, many prefer quartz movements which tend to be smaller and easier to maintain. With that, two obvious competitors would be Bvlgari’s Serpenti Tubogas and Hermes Cape Cod.
The SS and 18kt rose gold gemset case variant of the Serpenti Tubogas with single spiral bracelet retails about SGD19,600.
The SS gemset variant of the Cape Cod starts from about SGD12,000. It could be argued that the premium on the Lady 8 is due to a better movement, or simply because of branding and exclusivity.
The Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Petite may not be the best choice in its price range. There are many competitors with similar gemset watches at much lower price points.
That said, it is still hard to conclude that the Lady 8 is overpriced as the unique design and the lovely setting of the Akoya pearl places it in a design category of its own. It’s difficult to peg a price on aesthetics, more so for ladies watches where the emphasis is on the design. For ladies in search for a petite package that has both good automatic movement and an excellent design, perhaps this watch is at the right spot.
Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Petite Technical Specifications
Jaquet Droz 6150, self-winding mechanical movement, silicon balance spring and pallet horns, oscillating weight in heavy metal.
Centered hours and minutes
Stainless steel case set with 41 diamonds, total of 0.31 carat Akoya pearl at 12 o’clock Diameter 25 mm Height 9.60 mm Individual serial number engraved on the case-back
To 3 bar (30 meters)
White mother-of-pearl dial with circular grain motif
18-karat white gold
Saddle cut double tour brown calf leather with ecru stitching
Stainless steel ardillon set with 23 diamonds, total of 0.12 carat