There’s more to haute horlogerie than record-breaking accuracy and space-age materials lobbed onto piles of complications. Jaquet Droz knows this, and has been showcasing the more artistic, craft-oriented side of watchmaking, in keeping with a history that dates back 280 years.
Many of founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s masterpieces didn’t even tell time; his life’s work was to capture the beauty of nature and human movement in machinery. In the 18th century, his creations captivated members of royalty such as King Ferdinand VI of Spain and Emperor Qianlong of China.
Pierre and Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz
In a commemorative exhibition titled ‘The Story of the Unique’, held outside the Jaquet Droz boutique at Marina Bay Sands this month, the watchmaker expounds on the brand’s crown jewels, from automata to timepieces (or a combination of the two), both historic and modern.
The retrospective, which includes a display of new collections, details historical pieces such as the Singing Bird Cage Clock from 1780 that features feathered metal birds singing on the hour. Meanwhile, new releases such as the Grande Seconde Skelet-one and Lady 8 Petite demonstrate how the brand is interpreting its traditional artistry in more modern, wearable ways.
Created more than 200 years ago, The Singing Bird Cage Clock has birds that sing on the hour.
The star of the exhibition is the Parrot Repeater pocket watch. This exceptional one-of-a-kind piece, Numerus Clausus 1/1, represents the entire spectrum of Jaquet Droz craftsmanship in a single pocket watch. Watchmaking skills are showcased alongside decorative techniques. The Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch carries on the long tradition of automata originally established by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, spurring it today to push new technical, creative and artistic boundaries.
A physical representation of everything the brand stands for, the 56mm red gold pocket watch combines enamelling (paillonnee, grand feu and miniature painting), gem-setting, automata and relief engraving to set the scene for the minute repeater. When the repeater is activated, the birds move and the egg hatches to the chimes of cathedral gongs – true art in mechanical motion.
The birds move and the egg hatches in the Parrot Repeater pocket watch.
This is your invitation to enter the enchanting world of Jaquet Droz, to discover the magic of Time through extraordinary creations blending design, materials and craftsmanship with the most incredible refinements of mechanical watchmaking.
Jaguet Droz’s ‘The Story of the Unique’ Exhibition runs till Oct 14 outside Jaquet Droz, #B2M-215 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Come into the beautiful world of Jaquet Droz.