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”
The Maison unveils the new radically innovative aesthetic of its masterpiece, whose tourbillon is revealed through meticulous geometry.
For the ninth consecutive time, Jaquet Droz is proud to donate a unique piece of its own creation, designed exclusively for Only Watch, a charity sale to benefit the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy), and featuring a degree of technical ambition and aesthetic never-before achieved: A Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon adorned with a plique-à-jour enamel dial.
Issued in eight pieces to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz, the Bird Repeater, an automaton with a minute repeater, embodies the essence of the House. Its dial in white mother-of-pearl and black onyx features appliqués in 18K red gold. Multiple bird animations, eggs hatching and the river in the background breathe life into this creation. This weave of intricate animations, completely engraved and painted by hand, resonates with a minute repeater, which is housed at the heart of its 18K red gold case in 47mm, one of fine watchmaking's most virtuoso complications.
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