So there was this video of a watch that I saw… Actually, to call it a ‘watch’ somehow seems inadequate. It’s more a mindboggling work of art, this automata from Jaquet Droz, and it is not surprising that the watch world has been abuzz about it, though to my mind, it deserves far wider recognition, beyond those who admire artistry in mechanics. It’s really quite breathtaking, whimsical, elegant and astonishing in its ambition.
I thought that I’d share this video with Horologium readers, and it will also be our second ‘just because’ video post where I will share with you some interesting horologically related videos that I come across.
For comparison – the promotional video :
The real thing :
Made up of 508 components, the Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater (Reference: J031033200) is a minute repeater with an automata of a pair of birds feeding their three chicks; two are visible, and the third magically appears out of an egg upon activation of the minute repeater via the slide on the left of this 47mm (18.4mm high) watch.
These birds are not just any birds but two Blue Tits, symbolic of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s native Jura region, and the Saut du Doubs waterfall of the region is the dial’s backdrop. The dial is hand engraved with painted mother-of-pearl, black mother-of-pearl centre. Of course, the birds themselves are hand-engraved and hand-painted.
Sixteen pieces will be made, eight in 18 Ct red gold and eight in ‘grey gold’ and set with diamonds. The price will be close to half a million Swiss Francs. The first example is currently on a world tour to Jaquet Droz boutiques, starting with Hong Kong, so if you want to see it, here is where you go :
NOVEMBER 29TH – DECEMBER 7TH 2012
HONG KONG | Boutique Jaquet Droz Sun Arcade
DECEMBER 8TH – 16TH 2012
MACAU | Boutique Jaquet Droz The Venetian
DECEMBER 28TH – JANUARY 13TH 2013
SHANGHAI | Boutique Jaquet Droz
JANUARY 26TH – FEBRUARY 17TH 2013
TOKYO | Boutique Jaquet Droz Ginza