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!
The ultra-clean styling reflecting Jaquet Droz’s typical figure eight dial thematic, which symbolizes infinity and completeness, glows against the backdrop of a rich red mineral dial on the unique piece Grande Seconde Off-Centered Cuprite for Only Watch 2017.
While “normal” classic watches feature the hours, minutes, and perhaps even seconds in the center of the dial, some timepieces step out of line with off-center indications. Check out these five modern classics introduced in 2017 with interesting off-center configurations.
I had never really paid much attention to opals before, but upon closer inspection I realized this gemstone is extraordinary – shrouded in mystery and well worth learning more about. Looking at an opal is like looking at fireworks or even looking into a galaxy. And two Swiss watch brands specialize in using the fiery gemstone in watches: Jaquet Droz and Piaget.
Jaquet Droz’s history is long, but this gorgeous film is thankfully short – and visually stunning. It begins with a depiction of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s historical feats, which really took off with the famous automata, and follows with beautiful images of the brand’s modern timepieces as well as an artistic look into the métiers d’art workshop.
Sotheby’s June 2017 Important Watches sale in New York City took in $7.4 million. That’s not a sum to be sneezing at for 310 lots sold, with a sell-through rate of 84.2 percent. I was pleased to see that the top ten list of performers at this auction included Richard Mille and Greubel Forsey in addition to Patek Philippe.