Jaquet Droz, Loving Butterfly Automaton – When Watchmaking Becomes Poetry

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There are brands that manufacture watches and others who tell stories. And only a few will literally express themselves with true poetry. Jaquet Droz is a true UFO in the Swiss Watchmaking landscape. Born with a unique heritage of Automaton, the Swiss brand deploys outstanding ingenuity to create masterpieces of technology and beauty.

Jaquet Droz is one of the only watchmakers in the world that crafts automatons. Quick on the heels of the onyx and meteorite models, today it unveils the latest version of its Loving Butterfly Automaton. This newest chapter in the company’s 300- year exploration of natural fibers showcases its watchmaking mastery and artistry in a series strictly limited to 28 timepieces.

Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton: Poetry In a Case.

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Great ideas always start with a drawing. Jaquet Droz took inspiration from one of Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz drawings called “Butterfly Conducted by Love”. It was sketched in 1774 by The Draughtsman, an automaton created by Henri- Louis Jaquet-Droz. With Jaquet-Droz today’s know-how, the drawing was transformed in 3D in order to be alive thanks to automaton techniques connected with beautiful watchmaking.

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The Dial of this watch has our full attention. Around the Jaquet Droz signature watch black dial, we can see a rich and detailed decoration of a golden forest and a gold butterfly in 3D. The piece features a dial made from wood petrified 140-180 million years ago called Chichilla Red (named after the far-eastern locale in Australia where it was found).

This mineral has a remarkable history. When dinosaurs ruled the Earth 150 million years ago and birds began to hatch, the first flower bloomed. That is also when Chinchilla Red came to be. It was formed by fir trees covered in volcanic ash that was swept away by lava. The product is an exceedingly rare and dense mineral. It takes countless hours of manual work just to make the surface smooth.

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Here are the technical specifications of the watch:

  • Chinchilla red petrified wood and black onyx dial with hand-engraved 18-karat red gold appliques.
  • 18-karat red gold case.
  • Hand-wound mechanical automaton movement with push-button triggering mechanism moving the butterfly’s wings and wheel of the chariot.
  • Self-winding mechanical hours and minutes movement.
  • Power reserve of 68 hours.
  • Diameter 43 mm.
  • Numerus Clausus of 28.
  • Off-centered hours and minutes at 12 o’clock
  • 57 jewels
  • 68 hours power reserve
  • Frequency of 28,800 v.p.h.
  • 18-karat red gold case 43mm
  • To 3 bar (30 meters) water resistant
  • Rolled-edge hand-made black alligator strap with a 18-karat red gold folding clasp

The watch is powered by the Jaquet Droz 2653 AT1, self-winding mechanical movement with a silicon balance spring and pallet horns. The movement has a double barrel, flat bridges, and a 22-karat red gold oscillating weight.
It is a hand-wound automaton with a crown-push button triggering mechanism to move the animated chariot wheel and wings, triple barrel.

Jaquet Droz And the Art Of Automaton – The Draughtsman

Made between 1772 and 1774, mainly by Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz and Jean-Frédéric Leschot, The Draughtsman is an automaton capable of producing four different drawings: a portrait of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, a dog and a Cupid driving a chariot drawn by a butterfly. The Draughtsman works by using a system of cams to that allow the hands to move in the three dimensions required to make a drawing. Thanks to a small air pump concealed in the head of the automaton, he periodically blows on his drawing to remove shards of lead pencil.

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Deeply affected by global deforestation and in particular by the fires that have devastated Australia in recent months, Jaquet Droz has announced that part of the sales from the Loving Butterfly Chinchilla Red automaton will be donated to associations dedicated to reforestation and the preservation of endemic species such as “Plant a Tree for Me” or “One Tree Planted”. The timepiece presented today was made possible thanks to Australian wood petrified 150 million years ago. Jaquet Droz therefore affirms its commitment to give back what the nature is offering us, carried out within an eco-responsible, ethical and sharing framework, as represented by the Loving Butterfly Automaton Chinchilla Red’s, a true ode to love.

Arsene Wargas
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