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Jaquet Droz - Loving Butterfly Automaton

Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton

A new automaton watch from Jaquet Droz draws its inspiration from a 242 year-old sketch.

Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz sketched a number of ideas for android automata over 240 years ago, including one with a cherub seated on a chariot that was drawn by a butterfly. The sketch has already served as an inspiration for a painted enamel motif on the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute model, as well a hand-sculpted scene in the same collection. Both of these interpretations were characterized by the vivid colours familiar of enamelled dials. The new Loving Butterfly Automaton introduces an entirely different approach to conveying this historically significant sketch for the brand, adding mechanical movement and a new patent-pending technique.

One striking thing about this new piece is that the entire decoration, including the automaton, are in gold. Set against a pure black background either in onyx or Polynesian black mother-of-pearl, the intricate gold sculptures match the colour of the 43mm diameter case, which is available either in red or white gold. Some forty elements in gold are engraved and assembled by hand, including the delicate legs and antennae of the butterfly and the individual branches of the trees, which measure just 0.2mm in thickness, for which the innovative new technique was developed.

Loving Butterfly Automaton

The automaton mechanism that brings the dial to life required three years of development and sets new standards in animation. The energy stored in three hand-wound spring barrels can be released at the press of a button integrated into the crown at 3 o’clock to start the wheel of the chariot turning and allow the butterfly to flutter its wings 300 times over the course of two minutes.

Connoisseurs will also appreciate the mechanical movement used to power the timekeeping functions on the subsidiary hour and minute dial. The Jaquet Droz calibre 2653 AT1 self-winding movement is powered by two separate mainspring barrels that provide a power reserve of 68 hours and are wound by a 22-carat gold oscillating mass whose design reflects that of the chariot wheel on the dial.


Loving Butterfly Automaton

True to the tradition of Jaquet Droz, the Loving Butterfly Automaton will be available as a strictly limited series. Only 28 of this highly-complex automaton timepiece will be produced, each accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the craftsmen and craftswomen responsible for its realisation.


Loving Butterfly Automaton

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The brand

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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