How To Train A Dragon: Jaquet Droz Collaborates With John Howe, ‘Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ Illustrator And Conceptual Artist
Quill & Pad’s Joshua Munchow would say that watchmaking and sci-fi/fantasy easily appeal to the same kind of person. But Joshua is not the only member of the Quill & Pad team to find joy in two such seemingly disparate subjects: I too am a nerd at heart.
Which is why the announcement of Jaquet Droz collaborating with John Howe both pleased me and made me realize that the two fit together far better than I imagined. Starting with Jaquet Droz’s past in making androids – perhaps the science fiction items par excellence of their day – this brand is about as creative as it gets in our traditionally minded world of horology.
Who is John Howe?
John Howe, the Canadian-born book illustrator and conceptual artist, is best known as one of two chief conceptual designers for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy by Peter Jackson and The Hobbit trilogy. He has also illustrated other items based on the timeless story by J.R.R. Tolkien and other well-known genre classics like Game of Thrones and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
A conceptual artist is responsible for the style and look of a film. His or her sketches aid producers, programmers, and 3D artists in understanding how sets should look and the vibe should feel. The conceptual artist’s sketches are vital to the cohesive development of a feature-length film.
Born in Vancouver, 63-year-old Howe has lived in Neuchâtel for 30 years. He moved to Europe after graduating from high school, beginning with a university experience in Strasbourg.
Howe is currently busy working on the upcoming Lord of the Rings television series for Amazon Studios – according to reports, set to become the most expensive TV series ever – which began shooting in New Zealand in February 2020. It is expected to stream in 2021.
Howe keeps a rather low profile, so this collaboration with the imaginative La Chaux-de-Fonds-based brand is one that I find eminently exciting.
The Jaquet Droz dials, as we’ve shown before, do lend themselves very well to artistic endeavors outside “usual” watchmaking. This turn toward the fantasy world could be an immensely exciting collaboration, and not just for nerds like me.
Jaquet Droz collaboration with John Howe
Howe’s collaboration with Jaquet Droz marks the first time that he has been approached by a fine watch brand. From reports, Howe worked alongside the brand’s own artisans in the creation of an as-yet not-disclosed timepiece or timepieces.
It will be exciting to discover what magical, mysterious ideas pop up on the dial of the next Petite Heure Minute or Ateliers d’Art models, which constitute my guesses as to the canvas of the future Howe masterpiece(s). I just hope we don’t have to wait too terribly long to see them!
“The craftsmen and designers at Jaquet Droz strive to bring together precision, poetry, and light in their meticulous work when it comes to materials and movements, something I particularly appreciate,” Howe said. “The technical constraints further stimulated reflection and creativity. Collaborating with Jaquet Droz, renowned for its great creativity, proved to be challenging – but most of all, a real pleasure.”
For more on John Howe, please visit www.john-howe.com.