The Charming Bird Watch by Jaquet Droz

Proudly unveiled earlier this year at Baselworld fair, meant as part of the Jaquet Droz’s 275th anniversary celebration, 28 Charming Bird watches were crafted by the La Chaux-de-Fonds based manufacturer for exclusive retail. 

The Charming Bird watch by Jaquet Droz is actually the world’s first singing bird automata wristwatch – ever made. In line with a long tradition and to celebrate its 275th anniversary, the Charming Bird is actually the fourth installment of a watchmaking saga that began back in 2010 with the introduction of miniature painting – followed by engraving and sculpture in 2011. Finally, the songbird celebrates the brand’s DNA by reviving the techniques of the automaton and the miniature.
By combining them with the artistic skills of the Ateliers d’Art, it pays tribute to the continuity of the exceptional expertise perpetuated by the one and only Jaquet Droz. So this is not just a watch, it’s a bridge between past and present, really.

Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721–1790) was a Swiss-born watchmaker of the late 18th century that lived in Paris, London, and Geneva. There he would design and build animated dolls and automata, in order to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds. His astonishing mechanisms fascinated the kings and emperors of Europe, India, China and Japan. Up to this day, some consider his devices and their complex mechanisms to be the oldest examples of the computer.

And yes. For all those who do wonder, thanks to an amazingly intricate mechanism, this little bird turns, flaps its wings, moves its head and tail, and even opens its beak to chirp. See, in The Charming Bird, the Jaquet Droz craftsmen have indeed succeeded in creating a singing automaton. How? By developing a piston-driven bellows system and miniaturizing the techniques inherited from the dark and mysterious 18th century.

Priced at $450,000 USD, this wristwatch is definitely not an everyday watch, though. But a collector’s hidden treasure, carrying the heavy signature of Jaquet Droz.

 

Technical details:

MOVEMENT:

Jaquet Droz 610, hand-winding mechanical movement, single barrel Singing bird automaton movement, hand-winding mechanical movement and push button automaton triggering mechanism. Sapphire crystal whistle system

INDICATIONS:

Off-centered hours and minutes

JEWELLING:

29 rubis

POWER RESERVE:

40 hours

FREQUENCY:

21,600 v.p.h

CASE:

18-carat white gold Height 1: 15.65 mm Height 2: 22.80 mm

DIAMETER:

47 mm

DIAL:

Metallized sapphire crystal Indications by galvanic growth

HANDS:

Blued steel

STRAP:

Rolled-edge hand-made black alligator leather, with black stitches

BUCKLE:

18-carat white gold folding clasp

NUMERUS CLAUSUS:

28

 

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