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14 April 2014

The Timeless Art of Paillonné Enameling by Jaquet Droz

Paillonné enameling is a marriage of azure and gold, a design of infinite delicacy, a work born of incredibly high standards. The Jaquet Droz artisans have excelled in this ornamental technique since the 18th century,   and to this day they continue to make dials with the same extraordinarily meticulous care using the Grand Feu enamel process. This involves several firings at temperatures that can approach 1000 °C.  Only the trained eye can detect when the color is perfectly consistent and when the motif, picked out in gold paillons placed with surgical precision, has set under the translucent enamel fondant.
 
 
Today, the three new models - a 39 mm Petite Heure Minute, a 50 mm pocket watch and a recently added 43 mm Grande Seconde - pay tribute to an art that has endured for three centuries. The motif has been reinvented on each timepiece and plays with yet more circular forms to evoke the floral theme favored by Jaquet Droz. The blued steel hands echo the ultramarine dial, while the light in the red gold case, on a blue or black alligator leather strap, seems to reflect the gleaming paillons. 
 
Each of the three models is a limited edition of 8. Not only are they a demonstration of the expertise found in the Jaquet Droz artisan workshops, they also offer new evidence that beauty created by the human hand transcends time.