There are techniques that border on the sublime, particularly when they fully capture the sheer magic of time. Take, for example, those employed by the craftsmen of the Jaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art, masters in the art of paillonné enameling. This decorative technique, passed down by Renaissance goldsmiths, had its heyday in the 18th century, its exquisitely meticulous execution marrying the beauty of history with the promise of the present. Applied individually by hand on the Grand Feu enamel of the dial, the fragile gold elements create kaleidoscopic patterns of hypnotic beauty, which are then fixed with a layer of translucent enamel. The result of this controlled mastery of fire, color and creative fragility is set by the extreme temperatures of the kilns: paillonné enameling produces masterpieces in which not even the slightest imperfection can be tolerated.
This year, six iconic models have been decorated using this exceptional technique, bringing together historic paillons and modern creations including the bird, which was so dear to the brand's founder, Pierre Jaquet-Droz. A model particularly beloved of the artists who worked with Jaquet Droz, the Petite Heure Minute celebrates the richness of blue and red enamel in a broader range of executions measuring 35, 39 and 43 mm. The Grande Seconde is available in a version with a dial decorated with blue Grand Feu enamel, beautifully set off by the brilliance of the paillons and the 43-mm diameter gold case. An exceptional tourbillon, an ingenious complication that compensates for the effects of gravity, is housed in the seconds dial of one, while a pocket watch, which affords a precious insight into the standards of elegance in the 19th century, adds to the magic of this collection.
As rare as they are iconic, these new models effortlessly combine the colors that Jaquet Droz has made its own since the Enlightenment: the purest blue ever and deep red of the dial, and the luminous azure of the hands, complemented by the rich lustre of the rolled-edge hand-made alligator straps. All equipped with a silicon escapement movement (except for the pocket watch), these watches – eight of which have been produced in each version and engraved with an individual number – convey the characteristic Jaquet Droz style: pure refinement to capture the magic of time.
“Some watches tell time, some tell a story”
A warmed up stage, a drum kit, a few guitars and a harmonica: “It’s only rock’n’roll!” Today, Jaquet Droz unveils the first out of the 23 unique timepieces to retrace the world of the Rolling Stones through motion. Beside the arm of a record player that hovers over a platinum album replica (the power reserve), a scene depicts their signature instruments in miniature paintings and gold thread. The external disc rotates up to 8 consecutive times for 30 seconds and is adorned with the albums that the collector will choose for his unique timepiece. At 9 o'clock, the iconic tongue beats rhythmically, from left to right and from top to bottom. “And I like it!”
After three years of work, Jaquet Droz and John Howe have developed an Art Watch dedicated to emotion, wonder and fantasy. Draped in gold and rare stones, their dragon has a record 9 distinct animations. Inside a 43 mm case, the piece is entirely handmade and can be customized almost without limit by the client. Thanks to a Studio in the heart of the Jaquet Droz head quarter, clients will be offered an immersive phygital experience that will allow them to witness the live creation of their timepieces. There is no series to be announced, only unique pieces.
The “Effinger” clock dated from 1783 and signed Jaquet-Droz, has been sold at CHF 256,000.-, which is more than three times the starting bid of CHF 70,000.-, during the Koller auction on March the 31st 2022.
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