Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Mosaic Elephant
Jaquet Droz has introduced the Asian art of eggshell mosaic to the world of watchmaking.
Symbol of wisdom and strength, an elephant moves across a landscape of paddy fields. This is the scene depicted on the dial of the new Petite Heure Minute, a favorite canvas for expression and artistic innovation for Jaquet Droz. The piece graces the Ateliers d’Art collection and represents a technical challenge, an invitation to travel and a pure object of poetry all at once. Its creation prompted the artisans of the brand known by its twin stars to turn to the ancestral Asian technique of eggshell mosaic.
Discovered while traveling in Vietnam, this surprising artistic skill involves the use of duck eggshell tesserae to produce unique pictures. The technique has never before been used in watchmaking, and for the craftsmen at Jaquet Droz, the challenge lay in miniaturizing the mosaic to decorate one of its historic models, the Petite Heure Minute (here with a 43 mm diameter). They used quail eggshell, creating the motif with particular meticulousness and care. Infinitely fragile, the minuscule fragments are sorted manually according to color, shape and purity. About 2,000 pieces are kept and assembled one by one and always by hand, the curve and hue of each considered individually before being positioned on the red gold dial.
A layer of transparent lacquer is then delicately applied over the mosaic, which is finally polished to obtain perfect consistency and astonishing visual depth. It takes approximately 200 hours to embellish the Petite Heure Minute Mosaic Elephant with this striking scene, its beauty accentuated by the black onyx of the hours-and-minutes dial and the rich reflection of the red gold bezel. The decorative theme continues on the underside of the watch, engraved on the 22-carat red gold oscillating weight driving the double barrel self-winding mechanism of this timepiece, which is produced as a limited edition of 8 models.
Click on the image at the top of the article to see a slideshow of the Petite Heure Minute Mosaic Elephant .
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.Find out more >
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