The new Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season collection delivers such a high degree of refinement and elegance that one usually expects only from a piece unique hand-made for some very special event. Jaquet Droz, however, plans to make whole 176 of them!
Every major watchmaking company has its own business strategy. Some invest millions of euro promoting their brands while stuffing their timekeepers with dirt-cheap movements; some create mechanisms that rival F1 engines in terms of their complexity. A precious few like Jaquet Droz create teams of artisans that can deliver a watch, which is not only a product, but also a work of art that will only grow even more expensive as time goes by. Some of them, I don’t doubt it, will even end up in museums if Earth is not destroyed by Klingons in the nearest future.
This new Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season mini-collection of two watches will unquestionably be among them.
Delivered both in white gold with diamonds and in red gold, the watch not only looks great, it is also animated by a state-of-the-art in-house automatic movement.
The Jaquet Droz 2653 caliber that powers the watch sports a double-barrel energy storage system that allows the watch to keep running for almost 3 days (more than 68 hours) without any additional winding. The movement is exquisitely decorated, too with its bridges sporting the usual Geneva stripes pattern, and the huge 18-carat red gold oscillating weight is not only adorned with a mother-of-pearl inlay, but also has an additional 22-carat “bird wing” part bolted to it.
I have seen lots of rotors during the last ten years or so, but this one looks like the most tasteful jobs currently available on the markets.
The face of the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season, too, requires lots of expertise to manufacture. As you can see on the photos below, the natural mother-of-pearl dial is first meticulously engraved, then painted and only in the last moment the pair of songbirds (that look like a parent feeding a youngling with some kind of worm or larva) are installed.
Compared to other members of Petit Heure Minute collection (especially the 2011 Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Dragon Majestic Beijing), this pair of watches looks quite compact with their bodies measuring only 41 millimeters in diameter and less than 14 millimeters thick.
According to Jaquet Droz, the watches will be issued as limited edition products, with each version restricted to just 88 pieces.
The making of Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season
Photos: Jaquet Droz
WWR preliminary verdict:
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season watch specification
Price: $62,000 (MSRP, 18-carat red gold, ref. J005023270) / $71,400 (MSRP, 18-carat white gold, ref. J005024575)
Movement: Automatic, JD2653, in-house, double-barrel Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 68 hours
Movement decoration: 18-carat red gold rotor with white mother-of-pearl inlay and hand-engraved and patinated 22-carat red gold bird wing applique; Geneva stripes on bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case material: 18-carat red gold (ref. J005023270) / 18-carat white gold (ref. J005024575)
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.00 mm
Case height: 13.77 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: White mother-of-pearl; Hand-engraved and painted, songbird applique
Hour markers: Black dots
Hands: 18-carat red gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Rolled-edge hand-made brown leather strap on 18-carat red gold ardillon buckle
Case back: Sapphire, engraved, numbered