Inspired by the creations of the Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790), renowned for its pioneering work in the field of automata (animated robotic dolls), this masterpiece of the haute horology presents a perfect harmony between the artistic design and mechanical complexity. Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater watch offers the amazing spectacle, including eight distinct 3-D animations that all revive with the single push on the button. This is not all. The charming story on the dial is followed by the sound of the minute repeater’s gongs.
The innovative watchmaker spent two years of work in order to create a watch that would recall Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s horological and automaton expertise. His most famous creations (the Musician, the Writer, and the Draftsman) are exhibited in the Museum of Art and History in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Automata birds have also been common motifs for his table clocks, pocket watches, and music boxes. Today, many of these creations can be seen to Jaquet-Droz’s birthplace, the Sur le Pont farm in the watchmaking cradle of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Almost two and a half centuries later, we can enjoy the new Bird Repeater watch that took the most from the old techniques and advanced technologies. Beside its mechanical excellence, this timepiece also has the high artistic value. Jaquet Droz’s painters and engravers have done a fantastic job with a mother-of-pearl dial. In the spirit of decorative art from the 18th century, it features tiny automatons of two Blue Tits, a bird native to the Swiss Jura region, standing on the edges of their nest above two hatchlings and an egg. Birds and a background which faithfully depicts Saut du Doubs waterfall in the Swiss Canton of Neuchâtel, together provide a spectacular 3-D effect. Finally, there is a black off-center sub-dial that displays hours and minutes by two rose-gold hands.
And then, when you are already amazed by the level of artistry, there comes a surprise. A single press on the button activates a complex mechanism, driven by a cam system, bringing into life eight different animations. The first bird starts feeding one of fledglings, while the other spreads its wings, revealing its beautifully colored feathers. The story continues with the egg in the nest opening up to reveal a newborn chick, while the waterfall in the background flows in a continuous cascade. Now, for the full pleasure, please click on the video link below.
The push-button also activates a minute repeater with lovely cathedral gongs whose resonant tones are generated by two turns around the movement. It is a Jaquet Droz Caliber RMA88 hand-winding mechanism that powers the watch and provides the extraordinary performance. It comprises 508 separate components and 79 jewels and provides a power-reserve of 48 hours. Harmonious interplay of its parts is visible through a sapphire crystal case-back.
Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater will be released in two Limited Series of 8 pieces, made either of rose gold ($472,500) or white gold with diamonds ($493,500). They come with robust 47mm cases, fitted on rolled-edge black alligator straps with rose-gold folding clasps.