Jaquet Droz’s New Bird Repeater Geneva

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Geneva bird thumb 150The Jaquet Droz brand has made a name for itself by combining fine watchmaking and elaborate mechanical inventions. Now Jaquet Droz has turned its attentions to the capital city of watchmaking. With the new Bird Repeater Geneva, the brand has adapted its automaton-bearing minute repeater to include some of Geneva’s landmarks.

On the Bird Repeater Geneva’s dial, timekeeping takes a backseat to grand effects. Most prominent on the dial are the bird automata, which are hand-painted and hand-crafted in gold. There are two fully grown goldfinches: the one on the left leans forward to feed its young, while the one on the right moves its head and extends and retracts its wings. In the gold nest between the birds, two hatchlings sit on either side of an egg. The egg cracks open, revealing another baby bird inside. Meanwhile, the painted gold dial behind the birds displays recognizable symbols of Geneva. The nest sits on Île Rousseau, an island in Lake Geneva. On the right of the dial is Salève, a pre-Alpine mountain that is visible from the city. On the left is the Phare des Pâquis lighthouse, and above it, an additional automaton element: the iconic Jet d’Eau fountain. The fountain looks to be continually cascading, thanks to a rotating disk visible through an aperture in the dial. In total, there are eight distinct animated parts of the watch display.

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Geneva glamor 560

The Bird Repeater Geneva contains manufacture caliber RMA88, a manual-wind movement. It has a single barrel (48-hour power reserve) to power the automata and the repeater. The movement beats at 18,000 vph. It has 69 jewels and 508 components in total. In terms of time display, the watch is very simple: an offset subdial of black onyx at 12 o’clock tells you all you need to know. The hands are made of rose gold. The minute repeater mechanism is activated via a slide on the left side of the 47-mm rose-gold case. Through the caseback, one can see the cathedral gong, which encircles the movement in two rings. In total, the case is 18.7 mm thick. It is not water resistant. The watch comes on a black alligator strap with a rose-gold folding clasp.

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Geneva all birds CU 560
Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Geneva engraving 560

Jaquet Droz’s first Bird Repeater watch debuted in 2012. That piece, also using the RMA88 movement, showcased another bird species and landmarks of the Swiss Jura region. The watches all hark back to the brand’s namesake, the 18th-century Swiss inventor Pierre Jaquet-Droz, who was known not only for his pocketwatches but for his automata – including very popular singing bird mechanisms. (For more on Jaquet-Droz the man, see “Pierre Jaquet-Droz, Marvel Maker” in the February 2015 issue of WatchTime.) Eight pieces of the Bird Repeater Geneva will be produced, each with its limited-edition serial number engraved on the caseback. The watch costs $472,500.

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Geneva soldier 560
Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Geneva back 560
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