Jaquet Droz dedicates six exclusive creations to the Tiger
Jaquet Droz celebrates Chinese New Year for the first time with six unique pieces that pair together, each one taking an artistic approach to represent the Tiger’s iconic attributes.
Extra exclusive, rare and precious. These three characteristics perfectly describe the three pairings that Jaquet Droz is dedicating to the Chinese New Year and the Tiger that represents it. Each of these compositions features the legendary animal portrayed differently and uses different symbolism and techniques to demonstrate the quintessence of Jaquet Droz's Ateliers d’Art and to allude to the brand’s personal history – for over two centuries, it has been renowned for its duo watches. The duo watches were developed in particular for the Chinese Empire where the brand was, from 1774, one of the most important Swiss watchmaking houses (600 pieces sold in 10 years, including a large number to the Emperor himself).
A few weeks ago, an auction confirmed the heritage value of the duo watches, sold for five times their initial estimate. The two pieces that were sold came from the same batch as those intended for the Emperor of China 250 years ago.
The unparalleled art of the automaton
In the first set, the two pieces embody the iconic expertise of the Jaquet Droz art of the automaton. A tiger nestles in the gentle curves of a gold-rimmed onyx dial, above a vast expanse of water made of opal in which a carp floats about. In the first piece, the Tiger dozes on a bed of foliage, seeming to want to touch the carp circling him with the tip of his paw. In the second, the Tiger stands, on the lookout – not for the carp, with who he lives in harmony, but instead surveying his environment for prey of which he is one of the most feared hunters.
These two naturalistic scenes, in the purest Jaquet Droz spirit, unfold above a dial in Australian opal, from the Sanskrit “upala,” meaning “precious stone.” It is also one of the most difficult stones to work with to achieve the extreme finesse required by a mobile dial, onto which the gold motifs of the Tiger and its environment are applied.