When the Milan Museum of Culture (MUDEC) asked Jaquet Droz to join its show “Robot. The Human Project” the brand brought out Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s 250-year-old automatons.
Something magical happens when the past meets the present and dreams come true. That is why Jaquet Droz was asked to be part of a rare exhibition called “Robot - The Human Project” opening in Milan on May 1st, 2021.
Why is the show such a rare treat? Because it will be one of the only shows in the world to chronicle our fascination with making androids come alive. From centuries-old automatons to our more recent robots, the vision of creating human-like mechanical “others” has never changed. Nor has the desire to make them seem as human as possible, from their facial expressions and movements to intelligence, which remains “artificial.”
Pierre Jaquet-Droz had the same vision 250 years ago when he crafted his first automatons. Shown in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1774, his piece “The Writer, The Draughtsman and The Musician” marked the historic turning point when automatons became androids. They also turned Jaquet-Droz into a legend among the royal courts throughout Europe. Even to this day, they serve as never-ending inspiration for the firm’s handcrafted timepieces.
mudec (Museo delle culture) included Jaquet Droz as a testament to its contribution to this epic journey. As part of its participation, Jaquet Droz granted permission to loan some of its most treasured automatons: a singing bird (1790), an animated birdcage (1780), a singing bird pocket watch (1785) and The Poet (2018).
Showing through August 1st, 2021, “Robot – The Human Project” is equal parts fascination, inspiration, imagination and artistry in an interactive setting guaranteed to satisfy the curiosity of anyone interested in The Art of Astonishment, still showcased by Jaquet Droz to this day.
“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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