Limited Edition "The Bird Repeater"
JAQUET DROZ Since it was first established in 1738, Jaquet Droz has perpetuated the spirit of innovation and aesthetic refinement of its founder, Pierre Jaquet Droz. The first watchmaker to set up shop in Geneva, this ingenious inventor and man of uncommon vision conquered the royal courts of Europe and China with his stunning creations: fabulous humanoid automata and precious musical watches. Expressing the values of the Age of Enlightenment, this elegant and well-traveled philosophy still forms the core of our identity. Jaquet Droz timepieces have always combined design, materials with the most unexpected mechanical refinements. The most elaborate complications are beautifully showcased with the purity of enamel or the luster of pearls and precious stones. The Manufacture’s exclusive spirit is intact after nearly three centuries, as attested by its exquisite dials, made to order from precious minerals and rare woods, its ultra-select collections and its Numerus Clausus limited editions. At Jaquet Droz, we remain true to our time-honored goal, namely, to push back the limits of the watchmaker’s art for your greater pleasure.
The story of Pierre Jaquet Droz and his sons is one of the most moving in the history of Horology. Born in 1721, Pierre Jaquet Droz, master of time in the Age of Enlightenment – mechanical genius, avantgarde creator of jewellery watchmaking and composer of poetry and dreams – is one of the most fascinating figures of the period. Through his mastery of complex mechanisms and movements, Pierre Jaquet Droz became the uncontested master of automata that were also genuine works of art: singing birds, fountains, and musical watches to name but a few. He was also the creator of The Writer (1775): a unique automaton and a true piece of art; its six-hundred-piece mechanism was extremely complex, much more intricate than those of other automata. It could be set to write any text of up to forty letters or symbols on a smooth piece of paper, as if on a typewriter. Two other automata, The Musician and The Draftsman, were designed by his two sons, whom he trained from their earliest years. Today, these creations can be admired at the Neuchâtel Museum of Art and History in Switzerland.
Petite Heure Minute Paillonnee
Pierre Jaquet Droz promoted the following technological developments: The suspended-barrel bridge caliber, invented by the French watchmaker Jean-Antoine Lépine in 1770. In the Manufacture’s accounting registers, watches produced with this caliber were designated by the expression "à la Lépine". Another development was the keyless watch device, where watches were rewound by repeatedly use of the pendant (pump winding). This technique was used on many watches in the 18th century, either to wind the main spring, for a "sonnerie au passage", or a chime. He also focused on the automatically wound watches with an oscillating mass. Pierre Jaquet Droz contributed to raising awareness of this technical marvel first in England, then in the Far East. And, finally, the decoration of high luxury watches. The enamel on the case of Jaquet Droz models is embellished by gold foil and silver "sous fondant". This enameling technique, called "paillonné", was adopted by numerous Geneva enamellers.
After a few years’ absence from the world of watchmaking, and an intermediate period marked by the presence of foreign shareholders, the brand was acquired in 2000 by the Swatch Group. It returned to its town of origin, La Chaux-de-Fonds, and moved in summer 2010 in its new "Atelier de Haute Horlogerie". Ten years later, the success of Jaquet Droz is undeniable; the Manufacture is resolutely positioned within the prestige and luxury segment of the Swatch Group. Marc A. Hayek, President, with a steering committee, has set himself the mission of cultivating this spirit of excellence and innovation while continuing to communicate emotional and poetical values. The link between the Age of Enlightenment and the third Millennium is therefore still at the heart of the brand’s creative inspiration.