This year at the 2015 GPHG Awards Jaquet-Droz took the prize for Mechanical Exception watch for the Charming Bird.
This mind blowing technical timepiece reveals a modern, pared-down aesthetic, in which we find a miniature singing bird ensconced in a 47 mm-diameter case with a determinedly contemporary look featuring black, anthracite and transparent elements. The case combines a sober design with a dome-shaped sapphire crystal specially conceived to enhance the effect of each ray of light that passes through it.
Traditionally made with a bellows system, Jaquet Droz songbirds needed to be miniaturized and adapted to fit into a wristwatch. New technologies were specially developed to achieve this: sapphire for the tube and carbon for the piston. Sapphire is a mineral with strong resistance to wear and tear. Carbon is used to limit friction and increase water resistance.
This miniaturization process (for which a patent has been filed) creates tiny pistons that pump the air, store it and produce the sound. The exact sound it makes is dependent on the speed of the piston and the shape of the bellows opening.
The automaton’s mechanism is based on a system requiring three cams; one to direct the bird’s rotation, a second to control the opening and closing of the beak, the flapping of the wings, and the movement of the tail; and a third that adjusts the note of the whistle.
While most watches with striking mechanisms draw inspiration from stringed instruments (music boxes) or percussion instruments (minute repeaters), the Charming Bird is designed on the principle of a wind instrument.
The mechanism harnesses not vibrations, but air to produce its sound – in this instance, the chirping of a bird. The whistle has been painstakingly perfected to ensure it reproduces the 3 different notes of the melody flawlessly and amplified to the required volume.
Technicians also carried out in-depth research on the movement components to ensure their vibrations do not create unwanted sound when it is in operation.
Technical Specs of the Jaquet Droz Charming Bird
NUMERUS CLAUSUS : 28
Jaquet Droz 615, self-winding mechanical movement, single barrel. Balance wheel with regulator screw and silicon spring. Platinum oscillating weight
Singing bird action, 15 jewels
18-carat white gold case, Diameter 47 mm
Individual limited serial number engraved on the case-back
Sapphire crystal dial with platinum Roman numerals
Blued stainless steel
Rolled-edge hand made black alligator leather strap with black alligator leather lining and black stitches
18-carat white gold prestige folding clasp
Please Watch the video below