Minimalism isn’t a quality that instantly comes to mind when you think of Jaquet Droz. However, while its elaborate automata and intricate enameling are certainly hallmarks of this brand, Jaquet Droz includes a more restrained side also. The newest Grande Seconde Quantieme Ivory Enamel is the latest take on the pared-down design that premiered in 2011. It’s a study in why less, so frequently, is more.The star of this series with this particular watch is the dual-technique enamel dial. The most important ivory white floor is made with expansive feu enamel — grand feu means “large fire” in French and expansive feu tooth is layered and then fired at temperatures approaching 1,000 degrees Celsius. While most brands would then use ink or lacquer to bring the black and red markers to the tooth, Jaquet Droz decided to go the more difficult route, layering petit feu enamel — “little fire,” baked at a lower temperature — so the color is really a part of the dial itself, not something added at the top. This means the dial will keep that stark contrast between creamy white and inky black forever.You can see here how beautiful the execution of the enamel is. This is extremely difficult to achieve, particularly once you add the multiple depths to the mix. The large seconds register and date enroll make up the base of the figure-eight motif and the latter is countersunk only a tiny bit. The Roman numerals used for the hours/minutes contrast well with the casual Arabic numerals used below. Overall, the dial uses a lot of subtle contrasts to create a look that’s harmonious but not without tension.
As part of its line of exceptional automaton watches presented since 2012, Jaquet Droz unveils a brand new model inspired by a tropical landscape. Celebrating the beauty of nature, its animated birds and other creatures push the boundaries ever further in the art of wonder. Seven animations bring the Tropical Bird Repeater dial to life and invite to faraway places highlighting the savoir-faire of Jaquet Droz artists and watchmakers. Equipped with a grand complication, a minute repeater chimes on demand the hours, quarter hours and minutes via the vibration of cathedral gongs; this true oeuvre d’art is limited to 8 pieces only.