Jaquet Droz are known for making incredibly innovative dials on their watches that separate them from the rest of watchmakers in Switzerland. Most of these dials are all done by hand to respect the history and art form of their heritage till today.
Recently Jaquet Droz released the Petite Heure Minute Mosaic Elephant. The watchmaker has introduced the Asian art of eggshell mosaic to the world of watchmaking. Symbol of wisdom and strength, an elephant moves across a landscape of paddy fields. This is the scene depicted on the dial of the NEW Petite Heure Minute.
The ancestral Asian technique of eggshell mosaic was discovered while traveling in Vietnam, this surprising artistic skill involves the use of duck eggshell tesserae to produce unique pictures. The technique has never before been used in watchmaking, and for the craftsmen at Jaquet Droz, the challenge lay in miniaturizing the mosaic to decorate one of its historic models, the Petite Heure Minute (here with a 43mm diameter).
They used quail eggshell, creating the motif ornamenting this horological gem with particular meticulousness and care. Infinitely fragile, the minuscule fragments are sorted manually according to color, shape and purity. About 2,000 pieces are kept and assembled one by one and always by hand, the curve and hue of each considered individually before being positioned on the red gold dial. A layer of transparent lacquer is then applied over the mosaic, which is finally polished to obtain perfect consistency and astonishing visual depth. It takes approximately 200 hours to create.
The case is 43mm and is constructed out of 18k red gold. It has double sapphire crystals and it is water resistant to 30 meters. The Movement is the Swiss automatic Jaquet Droz in-house caliber 2653 with 28 jewels, 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 68 hours (via a double barrel). It has a 22kt red gold rotor that is hand-engraved in relief with an elephant motif. Functions are: fff-centered hours and minutes. The dial is 18kt red gold with an elephant motif in lacquered quail eggshell mosaic, an onyx center and 18kt red gold hands. It’s fitted on a rolled-edge hand-made black alligator leather strap with an 18kt red gold ardillon buckle.
This is a great example of why high end watches cost what they cost. The pains taking strive for perfection, detail. quality and preservation are vital to ensure wearbility for generations to come!