Jaquet Droz is known for two things: the beautifully discreet Grande Seconde and, at the opposite end of the horological pantheon, their automata. They’re one of the scant handful of watchmakers in the world that still make automata and it’s not hard to see why. Not only are they exceptionally difficult to make, but who could compete with something like the new Tropical Bird Repeater?
If you’ve caught a glimpse of Jaquet Droz’ bird repeaters before you’ll have some inclination of what the new version entails. However, where previous versions have starred home-grown avian talent, this piece takes its birdwatching abroad to faraway jungles.
There’s a lot going on here. Up to seven animations in fact, that can last more than twelve seconds and, through a combination of movements, play out four different scenarios. A hummingbird collects nectar at 9 o’clock, a peacock fans its plumage at 5 o’clock and at 3 o’clock a toucan opens and closes its mouth.
It’s a celebration of colour and exoticism a vividly painted scene that seems an impossibility on the wrist. The Jaquet Droz RMA89 movement is a masterpiece of watchmaking and automata while the hand-painted details – included the superluminova wings of dragonflies at 9 o’clock – is simply breathtaking, especially if you’ve ever given it a go yourself. Trust me, it’s even harder than it looks.
This is no everyday watch, even by Jaquet Droz standards. You can hardly even call it a watch really. Among all the shifting wildlife it does tell the time, but it’s far, far more than that. It’s a piece of art come alive; www.jaquet-droz.com
- Hand-wound Jaquet Droz RMA89 movement with a 60-hour power reserve
- Features peacock, tropical leaves, hummingbird, toucan, dragonflies and waterfall automata
- Hand-engraved and hand-painted white mother-of-pearl dial
- Hand-engraved, 48mm 18-karat red gold case
- Price: $661,500