Since 1738, the house of Jaquet Droz has demonstrated a constant commitment to excellence and creativity in creating amazing works of watchmaking. Following this philosophy, the company has produced new exclusive watch models in spring 2020.The collection of New Luxury Watches will definitely evoke new emotions of exaltation and delight.
Jaquet Droz Paillonne-Enameled Timepieces: Art of Astonishment
Royal Lily and the Flower of Life – floral motifs that perfectly match the naturalistic aesthetics of Jaquet Droz – reveal the beauty of ancient decorative techniques. The rare art technique paillonné appeared about three centuries ago continuing in our time through the history of the Jaquet-Droz House.
Today, these two traditions, art and watch, are intersected in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Art workshops of Jaquet Droz. Here, in the famous valley of watchmakers, two new watch works of the House were released: Grande Seconde Paillonnée “Fleur de Lys” and Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée “Fleur de Vie”.
A striking feature of these new rose gold models is the use of the old decorative paillonné technique (from fr. Paillon – “foil”). It is based on the same principle as hot enamel – another art technique that is often used to design Jaquet Droz dials. First, a guilloche pattern is applied to the gold base of the dial.
Then it is covered with colored, but at the same time transparent enamel, through which the pattern is clearly visible. After that, more layers of enamel are superimposed on top, with firing in the furnace after applying each new layer.
At this stage, it all depends on the skill of the master Jaquet Droz: when applying and heat treatment of each enamel layer there is a risk of cracks or other imperfections, as a result of which everything will have to start from scratch. At this stage, slight variations in the color of the formed composition are possible: it is affected by each subsequent firing.
Then the elements of the conceived pattern are cut out of the finest gold foil and one by one are manually laid out on the surface of the dial. After the pattern is fully formed, it is covered with a layer of enamel and subjected to the same firing. Transparent enamel will securely fix the precious pattern and protect it for centuries.
For two new models of Jaquet Droz, released in limited editions (numerus clausus) of eight copies, two bright decorative motifs were chosen: Royal Lily and Flower of Life. The royal lily has long served as a symbol of kings and emperors. And in our time, this legacy of a centuries-old heraldic tradition is found in France, and in Great Britain, Finland, Germany, Spain and even on the other side of the Atlantic.
The flower of life is a symbol of creation and development, a kind of geometric matrix of all manifestations of life on Earth, found in a variety of cultures. An expressive pattern with a thousand-year history, built on the principle of the golden ratio (proportion rule), is formed by intersecting and overlapping circles.
The perfect pattern has spread in Assyria, and in Ancient Egypt, and in China. It was also known in France – in particular, it was used by Leonardo da Vinci. Today, these floristic motifs have gained new life in the Swiss “watch valley”, in the Art Workshops of the House of Jaquet Droz, which remains faithful to its “art of surprise.”
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Another 2020 novelty of Jaquet Droz is the Grande Seconde Off–Centered Black Jade.
The Elegant Minimalism of The Grande Seconde Black Jade
A new version of the Grande Seconde Off-Centered, combining the warm tones of rose gold and the mysterious shine of the mineral, offers an unusual interpretation of Jaquet Droz Haute Horlogerie.
Bold contrast. Spectacular play of light. An interesting combination of materials. Focus on the nuances. All this and not only you will find in the new version of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered watch. In the design of this model with a diameter of 43 mm made of gold and black jade, which goes beyond the usual, all the key aesthetic codes of the House are combined.
Its design is based on the canonical composition of the Grande Seconde dial, created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz almost three centuries ago. However, this time the designers took liberties by skillfully shifting the indication of the current time from the center. The dial of hours and minutes is still on the same line with a separate large seconds indicator, but with a slight diagonal shift: “1 hour – 7 hours”. New century, new bold decisions.
This time, in the design of the dial, Jaquet Droz designers made a choice in favor of minerals, work with which is one of the most important specializations of the House. The minerals used in the dials, extracted from the bowels of the Earth and processed manually, are distinguished by unique patterns. Sometimes the age of these stones reaches several million years. Rare, preserving all its uniqueness samples allow you to touch the fascinating world of geology.
One of these gifts of nature is black jade, whose scientific name sounds like “amphibolite.” Almost all black jade is mined in Australia, in two deposits in the south and east of the continent. The incredible strength of the stone is due to the fact that its composition includes metal. Because of this, a very long polishing is required to reveal the hidden feature of jade: tiny silver inclusions. They are almost indistinguishable to the naked eye, however it is they who give the jade a unique shine, according to which an experienced collector will immediately distinguish it from onyx.
In China, black jade is called a “treasure.” There he is a symbol of nobility, perfection and immortality and has long been considered a magnificent talisman. Black jade amulets often carry both amulets and as a source of powerful energy. More than five thousand years ago, in ancient cultures, it was used as a talisman that brings happiness and prosperity.
The peoples of Mesoamerica endowed jade with special power and considered it the embodiment of elegance. Images of the gods were carved from it. And the pre-Columbian peoples believed that black jade contains the highest energies of the World, and appreciated it more than gold.
Today, black jade is central to the new Grande Seconde Off-Centered, limited to 88 pieces. The glow of a jade plate of manual work, the thickness of which does not exceed 1 mm, contrasts with the warm copper reflections of the rose gold case. Both circles of indicators, as well as thin arrows, are also made of pink gold in order to enhance the effect – in the best traditions of the “art of astonishment ” cultivated by Jaquet Droz.
Two New Versions of GRANDE SECONDE SKELET-ONE
Contrast of plasma ceramics and rose gold. Two new interpretations, one of which continues the tradition, and the other focuses on new technologies, have added to the range of variants of the emblematic model, embodying the creative courage of Jaquet Droz.
Traditions and modernity: need to choose? Grande Seconde, a classic of watchmaking by Jaquet Droz, successfully remains relevant in the 21st century, as evidenced by its version of Skelet-One.
In a record short time, it has become one of the key models of the current collection of the House: bold, creative, modern, consistent with the spirit of the time, without losing its original originality. Today, Jaquet Droz presents two new Grande Seconde Skelet-One variations. Reflecting two different stylistic approaches, they harmoniously complement each other.
In the classic-style version, the case is made of pink gold – an alloy that Jaquet Droz prefers for its warm copper-red color. The case continues with a leather strap with a special new finish, thanks to which its surface resembles rubber to the touch.
It complements the semi-matte finish applied to Jaquet Droz alligator leather straps. The strap is painted exactly the same gray color as the bridges on which the Grande Seconde openwork mechanism is held.
In the case with a diameter of 41 mm, the air structure of this exclusive Jaquet Droz caliber is clearly visible, each element of which is skeletonized as much as possible, but without sacrificing strength. The entire suspended transmission system is also attached only to skeletonized bridges, and energy is replenished by means of an openwork rotor – thus, light freely penetrates all the nodes of the mechanism.
For the first time in a contemporary-style version, Jaquet Droz watches use plasma ceramics. It is obtained by transforming white ceramics by the action of gases heated to a temperature of 20,000 ° C. An interesting feature of plasma ceramics is that it has a metallic sheen, although there is no metal in its composition.
At the same time, despite the transformation, it retains all the advantages of high-tech ceramics, namely, durability, low weight and scratch resistance. The new plasma ceramic case, painted in slate gray, complements the gray textile strap in a modern, dynamic style. The novelty is addressed primarily to collectors who have appreciated the emphasized modern versions of Grande Seconde watches, the design of which has remained unchanged for almost three centuries.
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GRANDE SECONDE QUANTIÈME In A New Interpretation
The Grande Seconde Quantième, the emblematic Jaquet Droz watch, appears in the new version with a diameter of 41 mm and opens new aesthetic horizons.
For almost three centuries, the Grande Seconde dial has remained one of the most recognized in the world of Haute Horlogerie. Off-center indication provides excellent readability of hours and minutes and allows you to conveniently monitor the large second hand. Grande Seconde Quantième worthy continues the historical tradition, now in the new diameter version: 41 mm.
The release of the medium-sized version, which collectors have long been waiting for, has become an occasion for Jaquet Droz to rethink many elements of the famous design. Thus, the 41 mm Grande Seconde Quantième is a separate watch product, but not a re-release of the existing model in a reduced format. All key points were reviewed, or almost.
So, the case itself, reduced to 41 mm, has acquired a new shape. It became a little thinner, which was required to maintain proportionality with the new diameter. In addition, the “lightweight” case looks even more harmonious. The proportions, balance and modern look of the original model remained unchanged.
Especially for the new series, new finishes have been developed. The 41 mm Grande Seconde Quantième models feature a wide variety of dials with a hot enamel design – an art technique with centuries of tradition that has become one of the hallmarks of Jaquet Droz watches. The dials are available in ivory, navy blue, dark red, and anthracite.
Each of these tones was created specifically for the new collection. To get exactly the desired shades, it took a lot of research in the field of enamel powders and experiments with manual firing methods. A pink gold 750 overlay element highlights the date indicator at the 6 o’clock position. In addition to these four shades, the range also includes a matte black dial, titanium gray with sandblasting and silver with the same type of finish. In total, seven models were presented at once, that is, a whole collection of Grande Seconde Quantième 41 mm.
The collector will be able to choose from these seven different interpretations the one that most suits his preferences. In the first four versions, sustained in accordance with the canons of traditional watch aesthetics, the case, overlay elements on the dial, hands and rotor are made of pink gold, and the attached alligator strap is matched to the color of the dial, decorated using hot enamel technique.
Three other versions have a modern steel case, in harmony with an equally modern design: a calfskin strap with velvet effect matched in color; painted gold overhead elements or with rhodium plating, creating a bright contrast; a manually-assembled openwork rotor, which ensures an optimal factory and opens up the Jaquet Droz automatic winding movement, manually assembled and has a power reserve of almost three days (68 hours).
As in all modern Jaquet Droz watches, the isochronism of the new model is guaranteed by the use of a silicon spiral, which is not subject to temperature fluctuations, magnetization and shocks. With seven new creations, Jaquet Droz convincingly demonstrated that the Grande Seconde concept does not lose its relevance in the 21st century due to its ability to adapt to the trends of the time.
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New LOVING BUTTERFLY Version by Jaquet Droz Draws into The Depth of Ages
The history of the famous automaton was continued by a new limited edition with a unique mineral dial made of petrified wood of the Chinchilla Red breed, which is about 150 million years old.
At the sight of this angel the face of any collector will light up. Jaquet Droz remains one of the very few watch manufacturers that continue to manufacture automatic watches. Following successful versions from the onyx and meteorite, House introduced a new interpretation of his automaton Loving Butterfly. The love of nature motifs, traced over almost three centuries of the history of Jaquet Droz, determined the originality of a new, “mineral” version, made in the amount of only 28 pieces
This masterpiece of watchmaking with animated elements is based on the drawing “Butterfly drawn by the power of love”, which was reproduced by the automaton Artist created by Henri-Louis Jacquet-Dro himself in 1774. Today, a unique watch invites you to touch the unimaginably distant past: their dial, decorated with a relief golden image of the forest, is carved from a petrified tree of the Chinchilla Red breed. According to rough estimates, the age of this tree, named after the town of Chinchilla in eastern Australia, is about 140-180 million years.
This mineral has a unique past. 150 million years ago, on the Earth, inhabited by dinosaurs, the first birds appear and the first flowers bloom. The story of Chinchilla Red also began in that era. This fossilized wood was formed as a result of subsidence of volcanic ash on coniferous trees, which then froze in lava and eventually turned into a mineral, very rare and very hard. Only polishing its surface to a smooth state requires several hours of manual labor.
The central place on the dial of the new watch is given to the angel and the butterfly, which is a classic metaphor of love impulses. The chariot symbolizes victory, and the butterfly represents love. Jaquet Droz jewelers used dozens of hand-carved plates in the design of the butterfly and chariot, some of which are movable. Before our eyes, in the midst of “scenery” in the form of embossed golden trees, a real theatrical performance is being played. The multi-layered design creates the effect of volume, you can endlessly look at the details of an incredibly realistic and amazing composition.
When automatic is turned on, the naturalistic scene comes to life. Butterfly wings begin to beat rhythmically. Due to the fact that they are located very close to the sapphire crystal, it seems that the butterfly is about to fly out of the dial. Chariot wheels spin, and not all spokes rotate, which creates the illusion of movement – an optical device that Pierre Jaquet-Droz used almost three hundred years ago.
Also read another article about this breathtaking model by Jaquet Droz.
Gold dial decor is completely handmade. The thickness of tree trunks is 0.2 mm. Even veins of the cortex are engraved on them, for which a special tool was created. Each tree is carved separately and different from the others.
A limited series of petrified wood of the Chinchilla Red breed impresses with impeccable color harmony, formed by a combination of autumn mineral tones and a warm shade of 750 pink gold. Each instance of this watch, different from the others due to the unique texture of the mineral dial, reflects the skills of specialists at Jaquet Droz Art Workshops, who still retain the “art of astonishment” developed in 1738.
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