Jaquet Droz’s Parrot Repeater Automaton Pocket Watch

In the realm of haute horlogerie, where tradition meets innovation, the Jaquet Droz Pocket Watch Automaton – Parrot Repeater emerges as a masterpiece, encapsulating the essence of the brand’s storied heritage in a single movement. This marvel, brought to life by the skilled hands of ten Jaquet Droz artisans, is the culmination of a year’s dedication, a symphony of craftsmanship that required unparalleled coordination among the Ateliers in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This pocket watch is not just a timepiece; it’s a narrative of devotion, pride, and emotion, showcasing a skeleton tourbillon within a sapphire case that epitomizes Jaquet Droz’s philosophy of Disruptive Legacy.

Unveiling the Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater: A Masterpiece of Time

The Parrot Repeater Automaton is a testament to the artistry and innovation that defines Jaquet Droz. Nestled within its 56 mm red gold case lies a movement featuring a Minute Repeater and an automaton with eight animated scenes, including a flowing waterfall and parrots that come to life, engaging the viewer in a captivating display. Crafted with micro-painting, engraving, and Grand Feu enamel and adorned with 1240 jewels, including emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, this piece is a contemporary homage to the brand’s naturalistic heritage.

The Artistic Genius Behind the Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater Automaton

This pocket watch, the most expensive in Jaquet Droz’s history at over CHF 1.6 million, embodies luxury and exclusivity, appealing to collectors seeking the unique and unparalleled. It serves as a reminder of the brand’s commitment to creating personalized, bespoke masterpieces that resonate with the “Create your own. As unique as you are” philosophy. For those passionate about fine watchmaking, the Parrot Repeater Automaton Pocket Watch stands as a symbol of the pinnacle of craftsmanship. This dazzling creation bridges the gap between centuries-old tradition and modern innovation. 

The Remarkable Legacy of the Jaquet-Droz Family

The story of the Jaquet-Droz family is a tale of innovation, artistry, and global influence that begins with Pierre Jaquet-Droz, born in 1721 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. From a young age, Pierre was drawn to clockmaking and precision mechanics, skills he honed under the guidance of relatives skilled in the craft. Between 1738 and 1747, his dedication to clockmaking led him to produce sophisticated longcase clocks that showcased his talent for integrating music and automata into watchmaking, attracting a discerning clientele.

After losing his wife and daughter, Pierre’s journey took a decisive turn when he met George Keith, Earl Marischal, who advised him to present his creations abroad. This advice led Pierre, along with his father-in-law and a hired hand, to Spain in 1758, where his clocks amazed King Ferdinand VI, resulting in a significant purchase of the royal palaces.

International success

Returning to Switzerland enriched, Pierre focused on creating watches, clocks, and the automata that would define his legacy. Alongside his son Henri-Louis and Jean-Frédéric Leschot, considered his adoptive son, they crafted the celebrated humanoid automata: The Writer, The Draughtsman, and The Musician. These creations were exhibited across Europe, including at the courts of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, as far as Russia and Spain, captivating audiences with their intricacy and lifelike movements.

In 1774, seeking to expand their market, the Jaquet-Droz family established a workshop in London managed by Henri-Louis. Their collaboration with James Cox London facilitated their entry into the Far Eastern markets, particularly China, where the Qianlong Emperor and the Imperial Court highly prized their creations.

Despite the challenges of Henri-Louis’ health, which led to his relocation to Geneva in 1784, the Jaquet-Droz family continued to innovate. They opened the city’s first clockmaking factory, producing timepieces with grand complications and engaging actively in Geneva’s civic life.

The peak of the Jaquet-Droz family’s success came in 1784, with production centers in La Chaux-de-Fonds, London, and Geneva. However, this golden era was short-lived due to economic difficulties exacerbated by unpaid drafts from China, a major client’s bankruptcy in London, and the impacts of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. These events marked the end of a period of great creativity and prosperity for Jaquet-Droz & Leschot.

Despite these challenges, the Jaquet-Droz family’s legacy endures, and it is celebrated for its pioneering spirit in watchmaking, exquisite automata, and profound impact on the art of horology. 

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