Jaquet Droz is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer known for its exquisite pieces and mechanical devices since 1738. After the unfortunate events during the late 1700s, the brand returned in 2000 and gained a newfound success. Today, the company manufactures masterpieces inspired by its 18th-century creations, enchanting watch lovers all over the world.
When it comes to luxury watches, Jaquet Droz is surely one of the brands that first come to mind. Its founder’s legacy still lives on through the brand’s innovation and watchmaking legacy. The Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute watches with off-centered dials and the Jaquet Droz Automata are what bring the brand to the limelight, once again.
Today, Jaquet Droz is recognized as one of the best brands in the world of prestige and luxury watchmaking. The Jaquet Droz Grand Seconde, its leading collection, revives the style of the timepieces created in the 18th century, offering a distinct look. The brand is also known for exceptional artistry, which is evident in the Bird Repeater models.
The Jaquet Droz’s creative adventure has resulted in the production of several collections of exquisite watches. To learn more about their creation and inspiration, here’s some information about the collections that would interest you.
Prices for the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde: The Collection with Infinite Variations
Inspired by a pocket watch that Jaquet Droz’s founder made in 1785, this legendary timepiece has truly evolved. TheJaquet Droz Grande Seconde started capturing people’s attention in 2002 with its avant-garde design. The design of this timepiece, as well as its sophisticated complication movements, is what would make you have a second look. It features overlapping dials that form figure 8, which the company believes is a lucky number. This design features the hours and minutes dial on top and the larger seconds dial at the bottom. With the size of 43mm, this Jaquet Droz watches collection would look perfect on a man’s wrist.
Some models in this collection come with added features that created their certain distinction. For instance, the Grande Seconde Dual Time, which can cost up to $26,800 USD, added a date window and a second time zone. The Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel did the same, but instead of a second time zone, it threw in a moon phase indicator. This Jaquet Droz watch price can cost about $28,900 USD. If you want one of those Jaquet Droz men’s watches with a more conservative design, you may try the Grande Seconde Skelet-One. It offers several models you can choose from with a tag price that can go up to $33,600 USD.
The Grande Seconde collection mirrors the conventions that the brand upheld throughout history. Its absolute simplicity and uniqueness of design surely make it a great option for collectors.
Prices for the Jaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art: Timepieces Made with Exceptional Artistry
There are a lot of things that Jaquet Droz is popular for, and luxury decoration is surely one of those. TheJaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art collection is where the brand with two stars showcases its craftsmanship and skills in decorative art. These art skills include painting on enamel, which they applied to a few remarkable Jaquet Droz watches. The painting process, which doesn’t include any machine, takes at least a week to finish, making every piece a one-of-a-kind.
The brand also continues to revive ancestral techniques such as the art of engraving and sculpting and applies it to its timepieces. Also part of the art skills are enameling and paillonné enameling, which are crucial processes. These techniques are the founder’s expertise, which the brand reinterpreted in their collections.
Under this collection is the Petite Heure Minute that features the use of materials, minerals, and complications. Some models that showcase the art of painting are Petite Heure Minute Carps, and Petite Heure Minute Lion. These Jaquet Droz watches cost $30,200 and $32,200, respectively. There are also Jaquet Droz men’s watches that exhibit the art of paillonné enameling such as the Grande Seconde Paillonné. This model, which has a tag price of about $47,000 USD is a limited edition as there are only 8 pieces produced.
Prices for the Jaquet Droz Lady 8: The Collection Exclusively for Women
The Jaquet Droz Lady 8 collection instantly became a favorite in the watchmaking realm when it launched in 2013. It has a distinctive look that makes it stand out as not all watch models have a case shaped in a figure 8 design. It has a small circle on top of a big circle that houses the dial, forming the number eight figure. The small circle houses a unique material that varies depending on the model, making it an interesting element in the design. As mentioned earlier, Jaquet Droz believes 8 is a lucky number which the brand also incorporates in the Grande Seconde’s dial.
The Jaquet Droz Lady 8 is available in steel or 18K gold case, but gemstones or diamonds may be included depending on the model. For instance, the Lady 8 Aventurine, which costs $12,399 USD, has diamonds on its case and an aventurine stone that you can play with on the small circle. This watch collection for women also includes the Lady 8 Petite, which, as its name suggests, is a smaller version with a 25mm size. Some of its variations come with a double-wrap strap, and it costs a little less with a tag price of $11,699 USD.
In 2015, the collection included a model flaunting a mechanical animation of a blossoming lotus flower which is the Lady 8 Flower. Its design expresses femininity and it’s one of the Jaquet Droz watches that make use of automata, making it an exceptional piece. As for how much you’d need to have it, this Jaquet Droz watch price can cost up to $168,970 USD.
Prices for the Jaquet Droz SW: Classic and Sporty
For the sporty interpretation of the brand’s iconic model, the Jaquet Droz SW collection does not disappoint. This was launched in 2008 when the collection was still called SUW, which stands for Sports Utility Watches. It was only in 2012 that the brand renamed the collection to Jaquet Droz SW, which, you guessed it, stands for Sports Watch. While the collection is inspired by the brand’s pocket watch, Jaquet Droz innovated and enhanced details to make it sporty. Thanks to its scratch-resistant bezels, excellent steel cases, and rubber straps, it’s more than ready to do some activities.
For instance, the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde SW Acier with a tag price of $16,270 USD, uses natural black rubber straps. There are also models under this collection that use different materials which give off a heftier and rugged look. This is evident in the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde SW Steel models that use, well, steel with a textile strap. The price for the SW Steel series can vary depending on the model, but for the SW Steel- Ceramic, it costs $17,200 USD. This collection comprises sporty yet classic Jaquet Droz men’s watches that would look good on the wrist of any sports enthusiast.
Prices for the Jaquet Droz Heure: Minimalism at Its Finest
For the minimalist look, there is theJaquet Droz Grande Heure collection, which features timepieces with simple dials. The Grand Heure One Hand GMT watch, in particular, is a crowd favorite, featuring, well, only one hour hand – the other one being the GMT hand. The hand on the Grand Heure collection only rotates once every day and only points on the current hour of the day. At the top of the dial, you’ll see the number 12 which marks noon and the 24 at the bottom marks the last hour of the day. The other hand, the GMT hand, allows you to read the time in two different time zones. That can be confusing for some, so you may opt to align these two hands by setting the time zones to display the same time.
As for the price of the Grand Heure, it can have up to a $26,200 USD tag. If you’re someone who likes an elegant and clean watch while offering complications, the timepieces in this collection would suit you.
Prices for the Jaquet Droz Astrale: Minimalist Yet Complicated Timepieces
This collection showcases horological complexity without losing the timepieces’ elegance. Its use of clean lines that give it a classic look and the complications it offers make it a great option. While the designs and looks of the watches under this collection are simple, the mechanical functions would surprise you.
For instance, the Jaquet Droz Perpetual Calendar Eclipse boasts various complications. This includes the perpetual calendar, retrograde, and moon phase. There is also the Astrale Twelve Cities model, which, as its name suggests, can show you the time of 12 cities or time zones. All you need is a push of a button to check the time for each.
Jaquet Droz Automata: The Masterpieces Collection
The automaton, which is the mechanism that made the brand known in the 18th century, reflects in the timepieces of today. Through the skills of the Ateliers d’Art and superior technology, the development of the Jaquet Droz Automata became possible. It continues to fascinate everyone the same way the royal families experienced when they first saw the founder’s pieces. Instead of painted objects, the watches under this collection boast three-dimensional mechanisms.
In 2012, an automaton of three birds in front of a waterfall background, the Bird Repeater, was presented. Come 2013, Jaquet Droz found an opportunity to make history on its 275th anniversary when it unveiled its 47mm watch, The Charming Bird. This masterpiece is the first wristwatch created with a singing bird automaton, earning its Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve win.
Another masterpiece under the Jaquet Droz Automata collection is the Loving Butterfly Automaton. The inspiration for this is one of the sketches of Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz, bringing us back to 1774. This sketch is a butterfly pulling a chariot where a cherub sits and the brand turned it into reality and included new touches.
It’s not all the time that you’ll see timepieces with great artistry and luxury at the same time. With this said, this collection of rare, elegant timepieces is something a collector would enjoy wearing.
Jaquet Droz’s Milestones and Innovations
As a pioneer in the art of the Haute Horlogerie jewelry watch, the brand’s founder is no doubt a man of innovation. Their creation of the three-life-sized humanoid figures which they call the Writer, the Draftsman, and the Musician, has put them on the map. The excellence in these automata earned them a place in the Museum of Arts and History in Neuchâtel. Today, the brand continues to reinstate the legacy that the brand had during the 18th century while introducing new touches.
The Tapestry Pocket Watch in 1780, for instance, was an inspiration for the Petite Heure Minute Paillonné’s design. This shows that traditional expertise can still live today through the recreated timepieces. Some models also remain to this day a popular model from the brand, such as the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde.
On its 280th anniversary, Jaquet Droz held a touring exhibition to showcase the wonderful diversity of the brand. The exhibition starred the Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch, a masterpiece that is three years in the making for the brand’s 280th year. This unique piece shows various decorative techniques that the brand is known for. These techniques include engraving, miniature painting, and grand feu enameling. It also features paillonné enameling, which Pierre Jaquet-Droz is a master of. This technique is a meticulous decorative art, as it requires positioning tiny paillons of gold, one by one while following a pattern.
Reasons to Buy a Jaquet Droz Watch
1. It is a Masterpiece
The brand with the two stars is famous for producing timepieces with the art of luxury decoration in mind. It uses various decorative techniques to make an exquisite design, making the Jaquet Droz watches stand out. The use of paillonné enamel and automaton are what set the brand apart from other high-end watch brands. This masterful craftsmanship needs artistic skills since even one mistake could ruin the entire piece. Their timepieces are one of a kind that you’d surely add to your collection without any hesitation.
2. It Uses the Rarest Minerals
Another feature that the brand is known for is its use of mineral gems, even the rare ones, in its timepieces. The rarest stones, which their partners look for, raise the Jaquet Droz watch value and elevate the timepiece’s beauty. The minerals and stones can also match or say something about the wearer’s personality and can even bring luck.
3. It is Exclusive
Jaquet Droz only produces a few models a year, making the brand exclusive. The reborn Haute Horlogerie brand only makes a limited number of products which can be in Numerus Clausus of 8, 28, or 88 pieces. With this said, it is a timepiece that is worth putting on your wrist and collecting.
The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater: The Timepiece with Ingenious Complications
As Jaquet Droz pays homage to birds, the brand’s excellent craftsmanship radiates in this automaton. This showcases how Jaquet Droz craftsmen established various decorative arts. Apart from the artistry, this also has one of the most virtuoso complications of Haute Horlogerie, the minute repeater. This shows how exceptional Jaquet Droz is in mechanics and decorative watchmaking.
This piece is an automaton that features an off-axis mother-of-pearl dial that rests over a hand-painted waterfall. Now, the major stars of this timepiece are the two bird figures as well as the chicks and an unhatched egg on the nest. The figures are three-dimensional, which makes for a thick dial. Upon the activation of the minute repeater, the birds, chicks, and even the egg start moving. You’ll see a bird spreading its wings, the egg hatching, and an animation of water flowing down in the background. While these movements happen, the chimes of the minute repeater play, making this a masterpiece.
As for its other features, the watch boasts an 18K gold case and a handmade strap made of alligator leather. The bird repeater is a Numerus Clausus of 8 so there’s a limitation on its production. There is a Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Openwork version, which is a part of the collection that costs $427,500 USD.
Jaquet Droz’s History: The Inspiration of Today’s Masterpieces
Established in 1738, this Swiss brand was founded by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, who started his career making longcase clocks. He then became popular when he started including automata and music in his mechanisms, appealing to a wealthy clientele. In 1758, Pierre took his masterpieces to the Spanish Court and experienced great success. His pieces and their unique mechanisms impressed King Ferdinand VI, who bought everything he brought.
In 1774, he opened a workshop in London and made a partnership with his son Henri Louis and Jean Frederic Leschot. They started exporting to different countries and decided to open the first workshop in Geneva. This brought years of success for them and made the company’s musical mechanisms, automata, and other complications famous.
In 1788, the company’s success peaked, but it only lasted for a short duration due to some misfortunes. In 1790, Pierre died and after a year, his son followed him, leaving only Leschot to head the company. He then faced financial problems and with the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, the company’s prosperity ended.
The brand only came back to life in 2000 when it joined other brands acquired by the Swatch Group. Since then, the company has been making timepieces inspired by Pierre’s pieces and mechanisms with automata. It has also had a new tradition to use the number 8, which is evident in some of its collections like Lady 8 and Grande Seconde.
Famous Patrons of Jaquet Droz
The former professional basketball player, who is also now a businessman, has some collections of watches. As someone who is a legend in basketball, Michael Jordan attends various games during the NBA season. In one of the games he attended, he sported a Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ceramic watch.
Luke Bryan is a country music singer, songwriter, and also a watch connoisseur. He has a collection of watches from the brands Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and also Jaquet Droz. When he won the Entertainer of the Year in ACM Awards 2013, he was wearing his favorite Jaquet Droz Grande Secondewatch.
Jaquet Droz: Artistry and Luxury in a Timepiece
Jaquet Droz’s fine jewelry craftsmanship and the unique mechanisms it incorporates on its watches make them worthy of praise. The art it boasts and the luxury vibe it provides would not disappoint any watch connoisseur. With the design that tells a story and the unique features it offers, this reborn Haute Horlogerie brand is a must-collect watch.