The new flight of the hummingbird by Jaquet Droz
With this refined and colorful summer creation, the House demonstrates its mastery of plique-à-jour enameling, a technique that demands a rare dexterity for a naturalistic, lively and unique composition.
Precious and dreamlike: the new Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird shines with individuality and delicacy, drawing collectors in to appreciate the technical mastery of its gold partitions. With this creation, Jaquet Droz has established itself as one of the rare artisanal ateliers to use the ancestral technique of plique-à-jour enameling which first appeared 1500 years ago and can be compared to a miniature stained-glass window.
Different to the art of cloisonné or champlevé, it consists of applying the enamel to bottomless molds. A gold dial with partitions of different shapes and sizes is created. Each empty space is filled with different colors of enamel before undergoing several successive firings. Each passage in the oven gives the enamel its color and density, yet with the constant risk that only a few degrees hotter will break it. Just like a miniature stained-glass window, this plique-à-jour process results in a perfectly transparent enamel which plays with light, shadows and reflections, and which gives the motif featured as much volume as it does life.
Today, this motif is a hummingbird crafted in a subtle gradient of green. Jaquet Droz created no less than seven different shades to express its summery and joyful vision of this famous bird. By choosing the Petite Heure Minute as its canvas and with an off-centered dial at two o’clock, the House offers the hummingbird a large space where it can express the richness of its tones and the virtuosity of the plique-à-jour (smalta clara in Italian).
Part of a numerus clausus limited edition of only eight pieces, this is a rare and refined piece set with 100 diamonds on the bezel and pallet lugs, featuring a mother-of-pearl dial, and a case measuring 35 mm which sits on a hand-embroidered green satin strap.