8rd October 2018 | Switzerland
For 280 years the watches of Jaquet Droz has been a symbol of excellence, enterprise and elegance.
Born in 1721, Pierre Jaquet-Droz developed a keen interest in clock making and specialised himself in longcase clocks during his initial working days. But, that was not all. Pierre’s manual dexterity and serious approach towards craft along with his logical application and mechanically profound principles made him master the fields of music and automata in the world of watchmaking. And then what? Soon, his magical creations caught the eye of the high-end clientèle. His life took a drastic turn for the good of the luxury watchmaking world when he met George Keith, Earl Marischal, governor of the principality of Neuchâtel, who gave him the advice to showcase his work in Spain and from then onwards it was no looking back.
We know what’s coming in your mind. Why do we say that Jaquet Droz is probably the best watch in the world? Well, it has been nearly 297 years and the watches of Jaquet Droz has been a symbol of excellence, enterprise and elegance. Jaquet Droz margins unbounded emotion and poetry by paying a homage every day to the audacity of watchmaking audacity, aesthetics of avant-garde aesthetics, spirit of innovative spirit that is ingrained in its purest form in the brand’s DNA. It was the history, creation and encounters of the Jaquet-Droz that shaped its identity. LA Polo hereby tells you the tale of the 8 codes of the brand that gives us a reason to call it one of the best wrist decorators.
1.GRANDE SECONDE - Elegance is said to be the promise that goes on till eternity. In the history watchmaking, there was never such boldness of design illustrated with utmost nobility, while maintaining the top-notch purity of a Grande Seconde. With a single dial, the minutes and hours counter, off-centred at 12 o’clock and other remarkable features, this aesthetic arrangement is a core identity of Jaquet Droz. Infused with two subdials on the main dial, these off-centre subdials introduces a fresh way of viewing Time by blending Arabic and Roman numerals together to create a fresh perception of every second passed. It was from the 18th century to the third millennium, that the Grande Seconde has stood high as an eternal source of inspiration: a timeless iconic interpretation that evolves with time and with every new collection.
AUTOMATA - When the Encyclopedia was being drafted, and science was gaining its authority along with the foundations of industrial revolution being laid, master watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz decided to make a genuine trade by taking inspiration from life itself. His automata watch like —The Writer, The Musician and The Draughtsman holds a great amazement in the eyes of the audience. Giving it an extension, Droz created The Bird Repeater which is a fully animated timepiece along with The Charming Bird that is the very first miniature singing bird showcased on a wristwatch and was inspired by the birdcage automata of the 18th century. Lastly, the extended collection also included a Lady 8 Flower which is actually the first automaton that was specially made for women.
3.ATELIERS D’ART - Those who know about the Jaquet-Droz family have an idea that they were the pioneers of art and luxury decor. They provided support to an entire generation of craftsmen through their work. There Enameled cases embellished with paillons that were painted on enamel along with engraving ornamentation contributed to the family's success and name. Be it Pocket watches or decorative urns or even the snuffboxes and cages, all were decorated. This special technique was finally adopted but by the enamelers of that time. The exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable craftsmen in the Jaquet Droz Ateliers d'Art exceptionally skilled craftsmen excelled in decorative arts in form of - paintings, engraving, sculpting, pailloné and many other enameling are worked done on a miniature and integrated timepieces.
4.GRAND FEU ENAMELING - Being one of the expert techniques of Jaquet Droz watch, Grand Feu Enameling is a combination of traditional production and latest technology. The craftsmen of Jaquet Droz keeps up with all the latest developments in the world of timepieces. The enameling a retainment of beauty and centuries-old gloss and withstand the ravages of time indefinitely. A unique signature of Jaquet Droz timepieces of 18th century, Grand Feu enameling is a reinterpretation of it in a contemporary form.
5.WATCHCASE - Jaquet Droz believes that every watchcase is a treasure chest filled with mechanical wonders that can track time. Beautifully curved and perfectly designed, it is conceived to contain remarkable movements. The design is an expression of choices, yearnings and desires encapsulated with a gleam of gold, the elegance of ceramic, or light of titanium. Every case of Jaquet Droz is a timepiece that undergoes around 80 different operations. In addition to it, the brand also uses its personal unique kind of sapphire crystal that is directly inspired by the 18th-century pocket watches.
6.EXCEPTIONAL MECHANISMS - Founded approximately three centuries ago, master watchmaker Jaquet Droz has always incorporated the cut-edge watchmaking technology in his timekeeping creations. The mechanically self-winding and hand-wound movements are assembled together, giving it a handcrafted finish before engraving in it a cloverleaf that served as a secret sign of the founder. It was in 2014, that Jaquet Droz’ movement underwent a big change with the coming of a silicon balance spring and inversed horns on pallets fork. This made the watch capable of withstanding shock and variations in pressure and temperature along with the ability to stay unaffected by magnetic fields making it perfectly stable over time.
7.MINERALS- With an immensity of the Earth is the radiance of the treasure. Rocks, crystals, and minerals from beneath our mother earth remind us how great an artist nature is! Born in our planet's depth or in the far reach universe, they inspire within people a rare and inexhaustible emotion. This is what Jaquet Droz captures from these naturally brilliant stones, and utilize them to decorate watch dials. Cut out from the rough materials in the rawest state, these watches reveal a fascinating beauty that is beyond perfection. Thus, the mineral watches of Jaquet Droz are naturally unique, all thanks to their play of light, color and depth.
8.NUMERUS CLAUSUS - Real luxury is odd. With its exceptional creations and Numerus Clausus editions that is limited to 1, 8, 28 and 88 pieces, the brand masters the art of rarity. This is, in fact, the world of an eternal quest to balance elegance with customization. The story of Jaquet Droz is a 297 years long celebration of tradition, innovation and beauty. This was very reason that people from the elite class are still loving this brand. Example? Just look at Michael Jordan’s watch collection that flaunts Jaquet Droz timepieces.