The new Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Dragon Majestic Beijing (ref. J005033217) automatic wrist watch comes decorated with a nicely executed picture of two Chinese dragons fighting over a flaming pearl: a legendary object, which is believed to give dragons their exceptional powers and giving them the ability to go to heaven.
I am not the greatest expert when it comes to Chinese art (although I must admit that I admire its powerful beauty,) and wasn’t able to find the source of the picture, but I got an impression that, first, the story of two dragons in confrontation over a flaming pearl is pretty widespread in their tradition, and, second, it’s probably an original -albeit sort of generic in its simplicity- piece of art that was inspired by Chinese classic paintings.
As you can see on the promotional photos below, the pair of dragons seems to be executed by -please excuse me for using this cliche- a skilled hand of an experienced artisan (and with great attention to details,) which is especially staggering if you will take into account the size of the stylized reptiles: with the dial opening measuring less than 40 millimeters in diameter, each of the archetypal creatures must be no more than an inch long!
I just wonder how many man hours it took to create such a beautifully decorated dial.
Mechanically, though, there is nothing notably new in this watch since it’s just a normal Petite Heure Minute with a redecorated dial.
Like some other members of their gorgeous Petite Heure Minute line, the watch is presented in a rather large rose gold case 43 millimeters in diameter and features the signature off-centered hours and minutes display with a pair of rose gold hands and black Roman numerals printed over a precious Grand Feu enamel dial in the color of ivory.
The mechanism that powers this watch is also nothing new: we have recently seen it in a number of their timepieces, including the finely crafted Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Ivory Enamel (Ref. J005003200) ladies wrist watch.
Manufactured by Frederic Piguet (probably the same FP 1150 base caliber that high-end brands seem to love so much to use as a base for their ultra-luxury timekeepers,) but modified and redecorated solely in-house, the caliber features a double-barrel design of its winding system, which is capable of storing enough energy to keep the watch running for as long as 68 hours.
Photos: Jaquet Droz
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Dragon Majestic Beijing (ref. J005033217) automatic watch specification
Price: $32,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Jaquet Droz 2653 (base Frederic Piguet), double-barrel, modified in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: 22-carat white gold oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 68 hours
Case material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 11.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Ivory Grand Feu enamel
Hour markers: Black
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Rolled-edge, hand-made brown alligator strap; 18-carat rose gold Ardillon buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire