Jaquet Droz has had a centuries old passion for nature, animals and in particular animatronics. Recalling the Age of Enlightenment, the manufacture further deepens its love for animated birds by combining automata with heritage decorative arts from that glorious intellectual and inventive period of human history.
Somewhat anachronistically, the artistic techniques are reminiscent of Gauguin, an experimental painter from the 19th century, famed for his use of color and Synthetist style that were distinctly different from Impressionism which preceded it. Nevertheless, the legacy of Pierre Jaquet-Droz is carried competently on the wings of its latest novelty, the Tropical Bird Repeater.
Limited to only eight pieces worldwide, the dial of the Tropical Bird Repeater sets the scene in a lush, Eden-esque, oasis on mother of pearl. Three dimensional elements, hand-carved, engraved and then painted, breathe life into the exotic flora and fauna which bequeath the timepiece not just its flamboyance but raison d’etre – the birds rest in metaphoric paradise, taking respite from the waters which have been masterfully rendered into a visual feast of perpetual motion. Each artisanal technique sets the stage for its primary star – a hummingbird, brought to life by the hands of the maison’s master craftsmen, fluttering its wings up to 40 times each second, as he returns to his home stomping grounds, a shrubbery punctuated by bursts of vermilion birds of paradise.
Accompanying him in this verdant grassland, stands another hand-engraved, hand painted spectacle, a lifelike peacock, spreading its plumage whilst a toucan indulges in a playful session of peek-a-boo from behind palm leaves, opening its beak as if to utter the titular phrase of the game. As dusk falls, our birds in paradise are accompanied by a flight of SuperLuminova-coated glowing dragonflies, adding to the illusion of an idyllic nirvana.
Powering the grand complication is the new Jaquet Droz RMA89 movement, a calibre which enjoys an extended 60 hours run time as opposed to the previous 48 hours; in part, this is made possible because the maison has given the hummingbird wings of thin brass, thus not taxing the power reserve unduly. Technically, innovations like new rack springs allow the watch to execute smooth strikes at the quarter hours, covering four semitones.
Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater Price and Specs
Case Engraved 18-karat red gold case; not water resistant
Movement Manual winding Jaquet Droz RMA89 minute repeater with 60 hours power reserve
Strap Rolled-edge hand-made dark green alligator strap
Price On application