Art of horological symphony – Jaquet Droz
In the misty and chilly morning, I was waken by the songs of the birds from the branches right outside of my bedroom’s window, it’s the song without words but the rhythm the echoes between those birds are very consistent that feels like they are connecting to each other with their love and passion. How can such a simple scenario in the morning can brings me into such an artistic imaginations, perhaps it’s the song bird and the artistic Swiss watchmaker, Jaquet Droz, that evokes me to such resonance.
Nearly over three centuries, this prestigious Swiss watchmaker stands for their philosophy of creating the excellent and artisanal timepieces with constantly renewed creativity, astonishment that added a sense of exclusivity to their uniqueness through customization. Renowned with the profound and valuable heritage of ornamentation sculpting and engraving, the distinctive technique of enameling, and precise selection of high quality and valuable minerals for their luxurious timepiece creation, Jaquet Droz made their hallmark by writing the beautiful and artistic story of fine watch making with their exceptional sensitivity, passion of art and respect to refined handwork with harmony and soul.
As a commencement of this artistic journey, the best way is to look into their beauty of hand craftsmanship, as the pioneers in the art of luxury decoration that supported an entire generation of craftsmen, Jaquet Droz consistently preserved this precious savoir-faire, the heritage of traditional skills as the house’s treasure, with their ancestral technique to create several new decorative art masterpieces, including motifs, molded then sculpted that reflects the trademark excellence of the house.
Their enameling technique is certainly noteworthy, with the adored by the connoisseurs and collectors worldwide, the house’s signature ‘Paillonné’ enameling involves the covering of ornamental paillons (tiny motifs or paillettes, cut from gold leaf) with fondant (translucent enamel), such distinctive technique has become one of the most significant treasure of the house’s traditional expertise that the company’s founder transformed it into an art form during the 18th century.
As the house that possesses the renewed creativity, Jaquet Droz opens their artistic expertise to their loyal connoisseurs to be part of this artistic legacy, by customizing and creating an unique piece on request which collaborates with its in-house artisans, such unique approach offers an innovative way to let you to be Part of the creative soul, being inspired and experience the joy and beauty of the birth of an artisan work along with the professional craftsmen in the process from enameling, painting to sculpted and engraved ornamentation.
Birds play an enchanting and significant role for Jaquet Droz in their legendary timepiece creation, they have been part of the house’s creative adventure for nearly three centuries, their signature - ‘The Charming Bird’ - is one of the masterpiece in combination of the artistic skills of their Ateliers d’Art, and the heritage of the house that sings in harmonious symphony, it encapsulates the fabulous history with its complex craftsmanship such as the movements of these birds, which undergone a miniaturization process that creates the natural motion and vivid sound through a delicate mechanism. Each songbird takes up over 20 hours for artisan to fashion them from their feather, head to their delicate tail, which are engraved in an exacting stage that demands total accuracy and concentration from the artisan.
The same delicate beauty can also be found in their ‘The Bird Repeater Geneva’, which added the more artistic elements with the background décor - the white mother-of-pearl dial that projects the picturesque scene of Lake Geneva, its famous Jet d’Eau fountain and the lighthouse, Le Phare des Pâquis, in miniature. With the precious material being used in each part of this luxurious timepiece from gold to black onyx, plus the sophisticated hand-winding movement, this exquisite timepiece has become a piece of magnificent art that synchronizes the artistic passion and heartbeat of these beautiful crafted birds with the wearer, experience such artistic journey in every single minute in the picturesque scene of Lake Geneva.
For those who interested with some Asian flair, the ‘Petite Heure Minute Relief Carps’ could be something that will impress you, inherits the same valuable know-how and delicate handwork from enameling to crafting, this unique timepiece displays the drawing on motifs from traditional Asian iconography to create a landscape imbued with serene refinement. The carp represents love, perseverance, longevity and virility, which completely reflects the spirit of refinement and attention to detail that interprets the aesthetic of Chinese and Japanese.
Take a look closer with the dial over a tranquil pond of crystalline waters created through subtle layering of translucent blue enamel, the delicate hand-engraved gold reed stems rise from the water and the three elegant koi carp glide along in a spontaneous underwater ballet, doesn’t that scene recall you the beauty of the spring in mother nature with serenity, joy and vitality?
The beautiful story of Jaquet Droz is still in writing, continuously, witness by the connoisseurs and luxury timepiece artisanship lovers to see what artistic surprises and magnificent creations that takes us to be inspired, just like closing your eyes and listen to the mesmerizing songs from the harmonious songbirds, lingers in your mind as long as your immense passion of art still ignites.
Image courtesy of Montres Jaquet Droz SA.