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Jaquet Droz - The Charming Bird

Jaquet Droz The Charming Bird

A universally symbolic creature cherished by the world of Jaquet Droz, the charming bird now appears in two new versions.

Hailing from a family of peasant-watchmakers during the Age of Enlightenment, Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790) embraced the vast naturalist movement so prevalent amongst 18th-century scientists, artists and philosophers. He was the first watchmaker to introduce a singing bird on a pocket watch – a virtuoso complication also used as an ornament on snuffboxes and other objets d'art. True to this spirit, Jaquet Droz recently presented two exceptional models with miniature automata that combine the best of its Ateliers d’Art: the "Bird Repeater" and the "Charming Bird," which was awarded the Mechanical Exception prize at the 2015 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève).

Jaquet Droz now unveils a unique version of the "Charming Bird," in which the dial is adorned with mother-of-pearl.

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Charming Bird © Jaquet Droz

A technical feat – with two different mechanisms driving the "Charming Bird," both patent-protected – this watch required years of research and development, all geared towards introducing two major innovations. For one, the song of the tit bird is now generated by air compression and not by vibration, an innovation made possible by introducing three minute sapphire crystal tubes. Air enters the first tube, then is stored inside the second and finally pushed into the third, thus regulating the melody according to the volume of air and the speed of the piston.

On the mechanical side, the regulator harnesses a magnetic effect in order to prevent any contact between the metallic components and to eliminate auditory interference within the watch.
The miniaturization of elements and the extreme mechanical complexity of the "Charming Bird" are matched only by its aesthetic sophistication, a result of the well-honed expertise of the Ateliers d’Art. This is the case not only for the tit bird, a truly miniaturized sculpture, but also for the entirely hand-decorated movement and the background of the dial, in which hand-painted and engraved mother-of-pearl evoke the landscape of the Swiss countryside.

The watch comes in a 47 mm case, presented in a choice of either red or white gold, with each version limited to 8 unique pieces.

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Case back view © 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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