Jaquet Droz, coded luxury

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Jaquet Droz is one of the most confidential, yet brilliant Manufacture horlogère from Switzerland. With the launch of their 2011 Tourbillon, here are some clues to decode this prestigious House, part of the Swatch Group since 2001.

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This year, the Swiss Timepieces industry shows a great growth. No “time for crisis”. Here some interesting key figures YTD October 2011.

– 16,8 Billion CHF Export sales (already the level of 2010)
– October 2011 = 1,87 billion CHF (which is +18,6% vs october 2010) and 2,8 million Timepieces exported (+4,7% vs oct2010).
– The entire industry should end up the year >17 Billion CHF, the record level of 2008.
– Mouvements exports also grows by 9% in volume vs YTDOCT 2010.

With such a great health, the Swiss watchmaking is one of the leading luxury industries in the world, together with high-jewelry. And when we talk about luxury timepieces, we need to talk about Jaquet Droz.

Jaquet Droz is one of the most elegant, luxury and confidential Timepieces houses in Switzerland. You need to be an expert and passionate to have heard about it.

Pierre-Jaquet-Droz

After his studies in University, Pierre Jaquet Droz founded his first watchmaking workshop in la Chaux-de-fond in 1738. Until 1791, the Jaquet Droz Family builds the foundation of what will become a multi-century business. Since 2001, the prestigious brand belongs to The Swatch group that started an international roll-out yet on the respect of the Brand heritage.
In 2009, Mr. Nicolas G.Hayek takes over the reins of the Brand, supported by a board and in 2010 they install themselves in their new headquarters, called “Atelier de Haute Horlogerie”.

Jaquet-Droz-headquarters

In order to better understand the brand, we need to analyze the different aesthetic codes that makes Jaquet Droz so unique.

CODE #1: The Grande Seconde, “its elegance is a promise of eternity”.
Jaquet-Droz-Grande-Seconde

On a single dial, the hours and minutes counter, off-centered at 12 o’clock, embraces the seconds counter, situated at 6 o’clock, with echoes of Avant-Garde poetry, aesthetics at the very core of the identity of Jaquet Droz. From the 18th century to the third millennium, the Grande Seconde has been the eternal source of inspiration for the Manufacture of La Chaux-de-Fonds: a timeless icon in extremely exclusive interpretations which evolve with time and with each new collection.

CODE #2: The 8, “Representing infinity and eternity”.

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Formed by two subdials on the watch face, this symbol suggests the rarity of limited editions and exclusive models produced in small numbers. Manufacture’s most distinctive and magical numerological references. Jaquet Droz subdials play with Arabic and Roman numerals, treating each passing moment as unique. In other words, they offer a new perception of Time.

CODE #3: The Grand Feu, “Once a piece is finished, it is inalterable”.

Jaquet-Droz-Feu
Grand Feu enameling is one of the expert techniques that constitute the signature of a Jaquet Droz watch. Combining traditional production methods with latest-generation technology, the dial-makers at Jaquet Droz have kept up with the latest developments in timepieces and the technical constraints that they involve.  Relying on the subtle interaction of ultra-fine powders and precision kilns, our dial-makers are the sole guardians of the formula that yields these magnificent dials, whose color and graining are absolutely unique.

CODE #4: The Watch case, “a treasure chest full of mechanical wonders”.

Jaquet-Droz-boitiers
Handsomely curved and perfectly sized, it was carefully conceived to contain remarkable movements. This design expresses choices, desires and yearnings in the strength of steel, the majestic gleam of white or red gold, the unalterable elegance of the ceramic material, or the lightness of the titanium. Each one undergoes no fewer than 80 different operations. That’s why Jaquet Droz prizes the hands of its master craftsmen above any manufacturing tool.

CODE #5: The Mouvements, “cutting-edge watchmaking technology”.

Jaquet-Droz-mouvements
Jaquet Droz mechanical self-winding and manually wound movements are all engraved with a clover, the secret signature of the founder of the Manufacture. The bridges and plates are adorned with Côtes de Genève ribbing, while the luxurious sunray motif on the oscilling body is visible through the transparent case back: a sunburst or spiral motif for classic timepieces or those with complications, hollowed out for sports watches.

CODE #6: The Complications, “the pride of their possessors”.

Jaquet-Droz-complications
Jaquet Droz specialized from the start in ultra-luxurious timepieces that featured musical mechanisms, automata or Grand Complications. This precious sunburst harbors sophisticated complications: tourbillon, minute repeater, equation of time, perpetual calendar, jumping hour or chronograph. Time does not express itself in one dimension alone. This inspired Jaquet Droz to focus on all of the codes connected with its plurality, from the retrograde date hand to the indication of moon phases.

CODE #7: The Numerus Clausus, “real luxury is rare”.

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With its one-of-a-kind creations and its Numerus Clausus editions limited to 8, 28 or 88 pieces, Jaquet Droz also masters the art of exclusivity. This is truly the world of Haute Horlogerie, an eternal quest for elegance and technical perfection.

CODE #8: The Minerals, “treasures drawn from the depths”.

Jaquet-Droz-minerals
These dials offer the poetry of meteorites crossing galaxies, the geometry of rutilated inclusions in quartz, the mystery of onyx, aventurine, spectrolite, pietersite….Minerals are like the memory of the Earth and our galaxy. Whether they come from deep within the earth or the far reaches of space, they transform each watch dial into a fabulous journey through the infinity of time.

Finally, here is a beautiful video about Jaquet Droz, a nice journey into the Brand’s story. Check it out:

When uniqueness becomes an Art, Time seems eternal.
LA

 

Info sourced at www.jaquet-droz.com, Businessmontresenvideo and FB official fan page.

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image:Digitalart

Sebastien Eich

Sebastien Eich is passionate about Swiss watch-making and throughout the years he gathered a tremendous amount of knowledge about the beautiful art of creating a watch. Based in Switzerland, the mother land of watch-making, he has exclusive access to Brands and events. He shares all of it here for the great pleasure of sharing.