In the 18th century, Pierre Jaquet-Droz shook the world with his incredibly built clocks and automata, works of mechanical ingenuity that cemented his place in history as a true visionary.
Today, Jaquet Droz watches are bringing the same level of ingenuity to the world of Swiss luxury watches.
These aren’t simple arm decorations, though. The designs feature an aesthetic that isn’t quite like anything else out there, and we feel it would be a tragedy if they weren’t displayed to the world as the absolute works of art that they are.
Unique, beautiful, luxurious. These are some of the words used when talking about Jaquet Droz pieces, and we’ve gathered below a selection that we feel truly accentuates just how apt those descriptors are for these wondrous watches.
The Grande Seconde series features an iconic pair of overlapping dials, one featuring hours and minutes, and the other counting away the seconds.
This particular model swallows those dials in an approaching storm front, surrounding the white pearl dials with dark blues and greys that hint at danger and turbulence. The dials themselves are encircled with tiny diamonds that keep out the swirling, thunderous dark, and a gleaming white gold bezel holds everything in place.
The roman numeral minute and hour markers contribute to the vision of this watch as a classical work from a bygone era filled with crumbling Grecian statues and amphitheaters.
See the Grande Seconde Pietersite Set.
Another variation on the Grande Seconde series, this piece concentrates its action to within the overlapping dials.
Set against a wide open silver background, the dials display information on four separate levels with contrasting blue rotating hands. The topmost dial is the classic roman numeral minute and hour display. Below that, seconds are shown with markers at every ten ticks, and within that lies a rotating calendar with odd dates displayed in blue and red.
It is within the calendar sundial that we find the main attraction--a disc of blue steel carries the brilliantly detailed moon across the night sky in its various phases amidst stars and silver clouds. Full moon, quarter moon, half moon, we just can’t stop mooning over this watch.
See the Grande Seconde Moon.
This series is recognizable by the placement of the hands, nestled near the top of the dial for a particularly eye catching design.
This particular model, however, is our absolute favorite and the epitome of luxury aesthetic.
The dial is crafted from a shimmering blue mother of pearl, and rays of stars radiate from the inner circle creating a sense of drama and significance for the wearer. The spear-like hands share the same shade of the dial, so their movement is like a subtle wave across the surface.
The bezel is encrusted with so, so many tiny diamonds that catch whatever light is cast their way to ensure that the stunning dial remains the star of the show.
See the Petite Heure Minute.
The Les Ateliers d’Art series is focused on merging the world of museum quality art with the realm of luxury watches, and this example captures that spirit perfectly.
A white and grey mother of pearl dial features the winding monochromatic top of China’s Great Wall below the rose gold bezel of the minute and hour display. In the foreground, an 18kt rose gold steed rears up on its hind legs, mane and tail blowing in a wind frozen by time.
It’s a scene that tells a story that you’ll never want to look away from, bookended by a gleaming rose gold bezel and crown.
See the Les Ateliers d'Art.
This is it. This is the watch that so perfectly channels the essence of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s genius and passion for automation. This watch transcends luxury to become a jaw-dropping work of craftsmanship unseen before in the world of timepieces.
Nearly the entire dial is overtaken by a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly, hand-painted and hand engraved red gold butterfly applique, which has been enameled using the Grand Feu technique.
The red gold bezel is completely ensconced with 114 glittering diamonds and absolutely oozing with luxury. But the main attraction sits at the top.
Planted within a sapphire dome above the dial is an eternally blooming and fully-automated flower. The hand-crafted pink petals open and close of their own accord, revealing at their center a swiveling briolette diamond.
Once upon a time, Pierre Jaquet-Droz traveled the world and displayed his automated machines to kings and emperors to gasps of awe and wonderment. We like to think that this watch would have been amongst his most prized displays.
See the Lady 8 Flower.