The lines between form, fun, and functionality have been blurry, especially in recent years. Which is why we see more and more mechanical objects with relationships to time but perhaps not directly related. Here Martin Green explores three such objects by Jaquet Droz, Urwerk, and MB&F.
Whenever Sabine write articles about high-end ladies’ watches, she is fascinated by how masterfully some of them blend technological expertise and sublime design. And to highlight what she’s talking about, here are five recent horological treasures from Romain Gauthier, Jaquet Droz, Breguet, Chopard and Patek Philippe, exquisitely fashioned for the demanding aficionada’s wrist.
Introduced in time for the 280th anniversary of Jaquet Droz in 2018, the Signing Machine was officially launched at Baselworld 2018. The Signing Machine is definitely a worthy descendant of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s Writer automaton, widely considered one of the first computers in the world.
While I know my own ethics, most of you don’t, and such is my appreciation for the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel that I am slightly concerned that some of you might feel I’ve taken a bribe. So to you I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
This visually stunning video is a treat whether you like watches or not. And there’s also a bonus video of the recently released Tropical Bird Repeater.
Despite seeing aventurine in six new wristwatches at SIHH – more than the number of new tourbillons Elizabeth counted – it remains a decorative artisanal element used only by luxury watchmakers in small series or unique pieces for its beauty and decorative properties. While there is some uncertainty about the origin of aventurine, it continues to add mysterious shine and scintillating glamour to watches. Here is what aventurine really is and where it comes from.
It is now a real tradition for watchmakers to observe Chinese New Year by creating beautiful, decorative timepieces adorned with some symbolic depiction of the appropriate sign of the Chinese zodiac, often using rare, artistic techniques to pay tribute to the eastern calendar. And the Year of the Dog beginning on February 16, 2018 is no exception!
What appeals to Elizabeth Doerr about Jaquet Droz is that within the Swatch Group’s 190 separate companies (including 18 marques), the brand operates very much like an independent watchmaker and its artful timepieces reflect this. Here she goes deep into the history of one of the Swatch Group’s oldest brand names.
MB&F rarely introduces objets d’art so visibly rooted in horology as Kelys & Chirp: the Geneva-based independent watchmaker generally specializes in exotic and futuristic shapes. Kelys & Chirp doesn’t tell the time: it is an automaton – and most automata grew from advances made in horology in the 1600s.
Jaquet Droz draws on its long history in automata to continue the line of what is certainly the brand’s most complicated work of art in the modern era, creating what is basically a short film: ‘The Jungle Book’ comes alive on the new Tropical Bird Repeater’s dial!