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Can a luxury watch be considered art? There is much debate about what exactly constitutes art and whether or not a functional item like a watch can qualify. After all, it’s a widely held belief that for art to be art it can hold no other function.

jaquet droz watches

Source: Jaquet Droz

But whether or not you adhere to this belief, it can’t be denied that Jaquet Droz has surpassed this binary view by encapsulating both art and function with their stunning Automata range of watches that feature real-life 3-D animations.

The history of Jaquet Droz

The company was named for its founder, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, an ingenious French clockmaker who became known for his elaborate grandfather clocks that featured music and automata in the early to mid-1700s. Partnering with his son, Henry Louis, he then started making timepieces and automata that were highly favoured by the royal courts.

This makes Jaquet Droz one of the oldest registered watchmakers in the world. In 2000, the company was acquired by Swatch and since the mid-2010s they have released a number of limited-edition novelty watches and timepieces that feature three dimensional mechanically automated artworks.

The Automata range

Jaquet Droz’s Automata range features some of the most exquisite and valuable timepieces in modern watchmaking. The watches and pocket watches feature intricate and delicate artworks that are made from tiny mechanical figures that move and sing.

These miniature moving murals are viewed through the openwork dial and include the tiniest details like fluttering wings or swimming fish. The watches are self-winding for time keeping purposes, but the animation mechanisms are usually hand wound.

A few of the most stunning pieces in the limited range are featured below.

Bird Repeater Fall of the Rhine

bird repeater fall of the rhine

Source: Robb Report

This watch features a hand-engraved and hand-painted artwork of two birds feeding their nesting chicks on a mother of pearl dial with an 18-karat red gold case. The birds in the artwork are hand-painted 18-karat gold.

Tropical Bird Repeater

tropical bird repeater

Source: Crown Watch Blog

This watch’s tropical artwork features an animated peacock, tropical leaves, hummingbird, toucan, dragonflies and waterfall on a mother of pearl dial with 18-karat red gold case. The hand-engraved decoration is also 18-karat red gold.

Magic Lotus Automata

magic lotus automaton

Source: Watches by SJX

The Magic Lotus watch is designed to look like a lotus flower pond complete with an animated koi. The subdial is black onyx and the applied decoration is hand-engraved and painted in 18-karat yellow and red gold.

Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch

parrot repeater pocket watch

Source: Jaquet Droz

The only pocket watch in the collection has an elaborate 18-karat red gold case that is engraved, paillonné-enameled and set by hand. The mechanical automaton has an animation that features parrots, a hatching egg and a waterfall.

Loving Butterfly Automata

loving butterfly automaton

Source: A Blog to Watch

The Loving Butterfly Automata’s dial is made from meteorite that has been hand-engraved and has 18-karat red gold appliques. A push-button mechanism triggers the movement of the butterfly’s wings and the chariot wheels.

If you own a Jaquet Droz watch, you can use it to secure an asset-based loan. lamna offers short-term cash loans secured by luxury assets such as high-end watches. Call us on 086 111 2866 to find out how our asset-based loans work or apply online now.

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