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 a special event. Jaquet Droz, however, plans to make the whole 176 of them!
Every major watchmaking company has its own business strategy. Some invest millions of euros 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 but 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-karat red gold oscillating weight is not only adorned with a mother-of-pearl inlay but also has an additional 22-karat “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 job currently available on the market.
The face of the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season, too, requires lots of expertise to manufacture. 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 the Petit Heure Minute collection (especially the 2011 Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Dragon Majestic Beijing), this pair of watches look 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
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season specification
Price: $62,000 (MSRP, 18-karat red gold, ref. J005023270) / $71,400 (MSRP, 18-karat white gold, ref. J005024575)
Movement: Automatic, caliber JD2653, in-house, double-barrel Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 68 hours
Movement decoration: 18-karat red gold rotor with white mother-of-pearl inlay and hand-engraved and patinated 22-karat red gold bird wing applique; Geneva stripes on bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case: Red gold (ref. J005023270) / White gold (ref. J005024575)
Size: 41.00 mm
Case height: 13.77 mm
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-karat red gold ardillon buckle
Back: Sapphire, engraved, numbered