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Jaquet Droz - Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara

The Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara adds a new touch to a centuries-old tradition.

It is the first time that Jaquet Droz is using plique-à-jour enamel, or “smalta clara” in Latin. While historically Jaquet Droz has been renowned for its mastery of Grand Feu enamel, plique-à-jour enamel is an even more demanding technique. First developed 1500 years ago, it requires a rare level of skill to prevent the enamel from cracking in the kiln. The risk of cracking becomes more pronounced with every firing of the piece.

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara © Jaquet Droz

The composition is not formed of a single piece of enamel; rather it is made up of cells of different colors and shapes. These cells are separated by gold wire cloisons. With no metal backing, the composition is a standalone piece similar to a stained glass window.

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara © Jaquet Droz

When the composition is bathed in light, the complete motif suddenly comes to life: a tiger, designed exclusively by Jaquet Droz for this piece. The creature is depicted in vivid, contemporary strokes, amplifying the tender quality of a feminine piece with a strong personality. Each dial features no less than seven colors to produce a most lifelike tiger. The powerful effect is heightened by a bezel set with 100 diamonds. Such a perfect rendering is possible only with the purity of the enamel used by Jaquet Droz, through which the light is fully diffused, unobstructed and undistorted. It takes the enamel artist four full days to produce a single dial.

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara © Jaquet Droz

The Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara is also one of the rare Jaquet Droz creations to have an off-centre display at 2 o'clock. This smaller-sized dial leaves more room for the depiction of the tiger. 

The Petite Heure Smalta Clara is available in two versions. Each issued in Numerus Clausus limited series of 28 pieces, both versions measure 35 mm and are set with diamonds on the lugs and bezel. A white gold version features a tiger gleaming in hues of blue, while a red gold version depicts the creature in gold and brown tones. Both versions are paired with a hand-finished wraparound satin strap that is color-coordinated with the dial.

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara

Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara © Jaquet Droz

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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