On October 18th, the Petrovsky Passage hosted a gala evening dedicated to the 280th anniversary of Jaquet Droz. In the setting of a fantasy garden, the anniversary collection of the unique haute horlogerie masterpieces was presented to the guests.
“Some watches tell time, some tell a story” says the motto of Jaquet Droz. The guests of the gala touched upon this story, which began in 1738, when Pierre Jaquet-Droz started creating captivating watches and automata. After 280 years, the story lives on: connoisseurs and collectors have been introduced to the brand-new masterpieces of filigree haute horlogerie, which have inherited the deeply authentic aesthetics and mechanical craftsmanship of the legendary Swiss brand.
As part of the Jaquet Droz’s anniversary world tour, the Moscow premiere of exclusive models was held in partnership with VTB Private Banking and ‘Sublime’ by Bosco in the Petrovsky Passage, where the Russian flagship store was opened 10 years ago. Christian Lattmann, CEO of Jaquet Droz, and Mikhail Kusnirovich, founder and President of leading retail group Bosco di Ciliegi, welcomed Moscow’s beau monde, including Yan Yanovskiy, Victoria Shelyagova, Konstantin and Olga Andrikopoulos and Anna Makarova, who came to celebrate this double anniversary.
The "Story of the Unique" exhibition takes the form of a giant book and is open to watch enthusiasts or connoisseurs until October 26th. It is an invitation to enter the enchanting world of Jaquet Droz and to discover the magic of Time through extraordinary creations blending design, materials and craftsmanship with the most incredible refinements of mechanical watchmaking.
During the evening, the guests experienced the privilege of attending a demonstration performed by a master-engraver from the Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The session focused on the delicate pounced ornament engraving technique, which consists of removing material so as to fashion relief effects on the dial.
A fusion of aesthetic, gourmet and cultural experiences awaited the guests of the gala; dinner was served in a tropical forest and was accompanied by a piano performance by renowned multi-instrumentalist Marcel Miftakhov.
The gala culminated in the opening of a hidden doorway in the ballroom, inviting the guests to experience the magic of a secret garden. The stylistic decision was a tribute to the traditions and philosophy of Jaquet Droz: its founder was inspired by living nature and transformed animalistic motifs into a distinct feature of the brand’s creations. Surrounded by exotic plants under the trills of mechanical songbirds, guests were acquainted with the haute horlogerie masterpieces released on the occasion of the 280th anniversary in a limited edition. The main intrigue of the exhibition was the new automatons, modern heirs of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s formidable creations, a man well-known for his talent of breathing life into mechanisms. Among them, some emblematic models of the collection were presented.
The Charming Bird is a poetic reading of number eight, a key signature of Jaquet Droz: the clock-face represents the upper part of the eight, while the bottom part locks a skillful automaton emulating a singing bird. The watch pairs unique technical innovations, protected by two patents, with a variety of subtly applied decorative techniques.
The artistic quotation of the legendary android automaton by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, the Loving Butterfly Automaton, features Cupid seated on a chariot drawn by a butterfly. Nowadays, this allegorical sketch of love comes to life through the tiniest details on the watch dial, owed to an exclusive mechanism which took three years to be developed.
The Lady 8 Flower is formed of two circles overlapping to resemble an eight, a number which is part of the history of Jaquet Droz, and a symbol of harmony, perfection and the infinite. Whether a mysterious bud or a blooming flower, the animation is much more than a stunning tribute to natural and poetic beauty. One press on the button opens up the lotus flower, revealing a faceted briolette rotating on its axis.
“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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