Poised to be the most significant North American luxury watch event of the year, WatchTime New York 2021 is quickly approaching, and anticipation is growing. Among more than 25 participating brands showcasing rare and novel timepieces, Jaquet Droz is once again returning to Midtown Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 22-24, set to showcase its new Bird Repeater “300th Anniversary Edition,” a new automaton watch with a minute repeater that embodies the essence of the House.
The watch debuted at the start of the summer, launched in celebration of the 300th anniversary of founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz. It’s the most recent addition to the Bird Repeater collection, which debuted in 2012 and united Jaquet Droz’s traditional watchmaking aesthetics with its one-of-a-kind automaton expertise to create something truly innovative in the world of haute horologerie. The watch also continues something of an avian theme for the brand this year, following up the recently launch of the Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird, with its intricate, stained-glass-like enamel dial construction and Hummingbird motif.
Designed to showcase over three centuries of heritage, the new Bird Repeater features an 18K rose-gold case, sized large at 47 mm to best showcase the extraordinary movement and artistry on the dial that serves as its canvas. The dial’s multiple bird animations, eggs hatching, and lush green landscape breathe life into this creation, with the intricate weave of animations, all engraved and painted by hand, resonating with brilliant sound as the watch’s minute repeater is activated. The Jaquet Droz manufacture Caliber RMA88 powers the timekeeping, the automaton movements, and the minute repeater function; the hand-wound mechanism stores a 48-hour power reserve in a single barrel.
As with many of Jaquet Droz’s exquisite creations, the maison returns to the theme of nature for this anniversary edition and its animating figures. In the foreground are two robins, one male and one female, like those that are seen and heard all around the Swiss Valleys, known for their song and proximity to mankind. In the background, to the right, is a farmhouse serving as a replica of the place where Pierre Jaquet-Droz was born exactly 300 years ago. This historical nod is coupled with a verdant valley and river flowing through it on the left representing La Ronde, encircling the La Chaux-de-Fonds valley, and a Gentian flower in the foreground, whose especially fine wood grain is used by watchmakers for the ultimate polishing of their components.
Accenting the primary artistic elements on the dial are a swath of other influences showcasing the natural characteristics of La Chaux-de-Fonds: red berries and holly leaves, a blue butterfly announcing the arrival of summer, and other animals hidden in the scene. A dragonfly can also be spotted, a symbol of strength and fighting spirit, as well as a grasshopper, whose powerful leap forward embodies risk-taking, the ability to seize opportunities and move oneself forward — much like Jaquet Droz does today, drawing on three centuries of heritage to move forward in the 21st century built on art and wonders.
The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater “300th Anniversary Edition” is limited to eight total editions, with pricing marked at 544,700 euros (about $647,065) for the ultra-exclusive timepiece.
To see the Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater in person, along with countless other rare, luxurious timepieces, be sure to book your tickets now for WatchTime New York 2021!