Prestigious Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz gives full support for the event as its Premium Sponsor and stages a Jaquet Droz Pavilion showcasing a series of antique horological creations and automata from its tri-centennial history.
Connoisseurs, collectors and investors of antiquities gathered at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre together with international media to witness the opening ceremony of International Antiques Fair 2013. After a welcoming speech by Mr. William Chak, Chairman of Chak’s Investment Limited, the organizer of the Fair, the Mistress of Ceremony invited Miss Angel Man, Vice President of Jaquet Droz in Hong Kong and Macau, together with some of the most prominent figures and collectors of antique arts to join Mr. William Chak on stage. By cutting the ribbon, the officiating guests officially announced the opening of International Antiques Fair 2013. The media and guests were then invited to join Mr. Maamar Boularas, Head of Product Development of Jaquet Droz who flew from Switzerland to Hong Kong, for a tour at the Jaquet Droz Pavilion to visit the brilliant collections on display.
Visitors are invited to join the veritable watchmaker in a journey visiting its 275 years of glorious history: the foundation of its first manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds by mechanical expert Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1738; the tour of three intricate automata around the European courts by Pierre Jaquet-Droz and his sons in 1773; and its pioneering venture to the Far East in the end of the 18th century. The Chinese name of Jaquet Droz, which remains in use today, was granted by Qing Emperor Qianlong. Among the historical pocket watches, musical scent-flasks and singing bird boxes exhibited at the Jaquet Droz Pavilion, many of them were made specifically for the Chinese market over 200 years ago. To meet the high standard of the Chinese royalty at the time, these pieces were endowed with craftsmanship that remains hardly matched in modern times.
Pierre Jaquet-Droz was not only a master watchmaker but also an expert in creating automata. In 1773, he debuted a trio of intricate automata, including “The Writer” that contained over 600 individual components and stunned the royal courts of Europe at the time. At the end of the epochal journey, a pair of automata made from the Jaquet Droz craftsmanship distilled by tradition and history: “The Magician” and “The Draughtsman” are on display. Each with over 1,000 individual components, the automata would replicate a magician’s trick of making a pair of songbirds appear and disappear again, and to draw the outline of a horse respectively. The automata’s intricate construction and craftsmanship continue to amaze onlookers up to this day.
Since its entry into the Chinese market at the end of the 18th Century, China has always played an important role in Jaquet Droz’s brand story. The collaboration of Jaquet Droz with the International Antiques Fair presents the Jaquet Droz Pavilion in Hong Kong and brings the brand’s collection of historical horological pieces and automata from Jaquet Droz’s proud tradition and craftsmanship to the most vibrant antiques market in China and Asia, highlighting the brand’s unmatched strength as one of the oldest watchmakers in the world.