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Jaquet Droz - The "Story of the Unique" exhibition stops in Ginza

Jaquet Droz The "Story of the Unique" exhibition stops in Ginza

The exhibition celebrating the 280th anniversary of Jaquet Droz was in Japan until June 24. The guests discovered the new releases for 2018 as well as the “Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch” and “The Signing Machine.”

Following in the footsteps of its founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721 – 1790), the house of Jaquet Droz is traveling the world to present its creations to its most important collectors and celebrate its 280th anniversary. Entitled “Story of the Unique”, this long journey has already made five stops (Hong Kong, Milan, Zürich, Macao and Lisbon), detailing the exhibition’s three major themes: Ateliers d’Art, Automatons and Grande Seconde. From June 21 to June 24 it took up residence at the famous Tsutaya Books bookstore, on the sixth floor of Ginza Six, in the vicinity of the permanent Jaquet Droz boutique in Tokyo.

The « Story of the Unique » exhibition stops in Ginza

© Jaquet Droz

The choice of the Tsutaya Books bookstore was no accident. Ever since the brand adopted the motto “Some watches tell time, some tell a story”, its relationship with time, like with its customers, has been written like the chapters of a book, following a narration that covers not only contemporary creations by Jaquet Droz but also its 280 years of history. The design of the event at Tsutaya Books is centered around the presence of a life-size open book, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in one of the most fascinating stories in watchmaking.

The « Story of the Unique » exhibition stops in Ginza

Demonstration of miniature painting by an artist from the Ateliers d'Art © Jaquet Droz

Accompanying this journey through time, Christian Lattmann (CEO of Jaquet Droz) and Christophe Savioz (President and Chief Representative of Swatch Group Japan) were the hosts of the exhibition that opened on June 21st. For the occasion, Jaquet Droz also had an artist from its Ateliers d’Art come to give attendees a demonstration of the infinite refinement of miniature dial painting. The exhibition itself sees the brand from the La Chaux-de-Fonds exhibiting most of its 2018 new releases, some appearing in Japan for the very first time. Two other pieces are also being specially presented: the Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch and The Signing Machine.

The « Story of the Unique » exhibition stops in Ginza

The Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch © Jaquet Droz

Unique timepiece (Numerus Clausus 1/1) that has the particularity of bringing together every existing craft at Jaquet Droz – both watchmaking crafts and métiers d’art (enameling, engraving, miniature painting, gem-setting, etc.), the Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch is one of the brand’s most ambitious creations. Rarely shown in exhibition, this piece takes the long tradition of automatons to new technical, creative and artistic horizons.

The « Story of the Unique » exhibition stops in Ginza

The Signing Machine © Jaquet Droz

The Signing Machine is also a continuation of the legacy of Pierre Jaquet-Droz: to create mechanical wonders, able to copy the living with a mastery of magic and mystery. This new automaton, the result of four years of research and development, is an exceptional work of mechanics that, with 585 components assembled and finished by hand, is able to reproduce with fluidity the signature of the human hand – the signature of a single person, manually coded by the brand’s artisans.

Along with the 2018 new releases, including the Grande Seconde Skelet-One and the Lady 8 Petite ladies' watch, these two pieces brilliantly mark the 280th anniversary of Jaquet Droz. In honor of the occasion, the brand welcomed a Kabuki performance, (a 1600 year-old epic form of traditional Japanese theater) a form of traditional Japanese theater dating back to around the 1600s, during the grand opening. The performance was done by Ichikawa Udanji, the famed Kabuki actor from Osaka, thus combining Swiss and local arts to envision a shared future faithful to its origins.

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An elegant, outward-looking philosophy that dates back to the Age of Enlightenment is still at the heart of Jaquet Droz's identity. The fine and rare handcrafts practiced at the company’s workshops produce exquisite miniature works of art and automata that combine the best of design with unprecedented levels of horological know-how.

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