The opening of the automaton exhibition, which is the only one of its kind, was celebrated in the well-known Shin Kong Place shopping mall, dedicated to the most prestigious international brands in fashion and luxury, including the Jaquet Droz boutique. At the heart of such an elegant and exotic setting, the most demanding watch lovers encountered the unveiling of the Tropical Bird Repeater: a piece of art truly brought to life, enhanced by hand with engravings and miniature paintings. David Lu, Vice President of Jaquet Droz in China, attended the ribbon cutting alongside Christian Lattmann, CEO of Jaquet Droz.
© Jaquet Droz
Guests also had the opportunity to discover more about the richness of Jaquet Droz’s mastery, and to discover a selection of the House’s most iconic models, combining craftsmanship and mechanical expertise. The Bird Repeater, the Charming Bird, the Loving Butterfly Automaton and the Lady 8 Flower as well as three exceptional automaton androids stored in China, showcase the strength of the tradition that Jaquet Droz Dragon Watch Replica has shared with the country for centuries. The founder of Jaquet Droz was the first western watchmaker to seduce the Qianlong Emperor and the court of the mysterious Forbidden City in the 18th century. Visitors were also able to learn about miniature painting techniques on enamel dials, thanks to one of the brand’s artists who made the trip especially from Switzerland.
After Droz demonstrated that the mechanism worked via natural means and wasn’t caused by sorcery, the King paid handsomely to the “Shepherd’s Clock” that is still on display in the Spanish palace tradition. The fame and funds from this venture led Droz to make ever more amazing works of automata, such as The Writer. In various ways, these were precursors to modern computers, and a testament to the astounding engineering skill of Droz because of his time.Despite his fame and skill, Droz’s workshop went into liquidation in 1790 when drafts built in their principal correspondent in China came back unpaid and their principal client in London failed. In 2000, the Swatch Group obtained the brand and also re-established Jaquet Droz within their city of origin, La Chaux-de-Fonds. Since then, the brand was paying tribute to the abilities and passions of their founder, releasing the initial Bird Repeater at 2012 (revisited hands-on here) and refining it farther with all the scenic Bird watch in 2015 (hands-on). The hottest Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater combines two of the maison’s eight “codes” or primary areas, automata and Ateliers d’Art, or the cosmetic arts.The dial on the Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater is made from mother of pearl, hand-engraved and painted to depict a lush forest scene. When the moment repeater function is activated, you will find just seven animated components on the dial which spring to life:The waterfall in the background appears to flow.The hummingbird occupying the centre of the dial goes towards the shrub of bright orange birds of paradise near 9 o’clock and beats its wings around 40 times per second.The peacock at 5 o’clock opens and shuts its tail feathers.The toucan near 3 o’clock emerges from the palm leaves and also may open and shut its beak.Three dragonflies near 9 o’clock flit around and flap tiny Super-Luminova coated wings, which should look especially attractive in low light.
Tropical Bird Repeater © Jaquet Droz
With a limited edition of only 8 pieces, the Tropical Bird Repeater combines the best of the Ateliers de Haute Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds. A mesmerizing model that enchants the eyes just as much as the ears, thanks to the minute repeater striking the hours, quarters and minutes in synchrony with the seven automaton animations.