Swift & Strong: Jaquet Droz Petit Heure Minute Horses
Did you know that Jaquet Droz was the first watchmaker to have made watches for the Chinese? It’s hardly surprising given its yen for artisanal crafts which is always dearly appreciated by Asian watch aficionados since time immemorial. A timely commemoration of the brand founder’s visionary foresight, three auspicious new models were created, […]
Hand-engraved in relief, the horse motif in 18k red gold is a perfect showcase of the artisanal savoir-faire of the manufacture. In the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute 41mm, it stands prominently against the mother-of-pearl dial which, also hand-engraved and patinated, depicts a scene from the Great Wall of China – a metaphor for longevity perhaps?
Every last detail on the magnificent mustang was captured with stunning likeness, especially the creature’s eyes. Indeed, the eyes are always the most difficult element to portray with perfection. Only when done right do they brim with life. Immortalised in a magnificent 18k red gold case, the watch also has an exhibition case back which would delight the art aficionado as it showcases an oscillating weight meticulously crafted in white mother-of-pearl with a hand-engraved and patinated 22k red gold Great Wall of China applique. Only 88 pieces will be produced.
Featuring miniature painting on an ivory grand feu enamel dial, the next model expresses power, strength and freedom with not one but two robust Arabian thoroughbreds galloping across the plains. The Arabian thoroughbred is one of the oldest breeds of horses and long considered the most beautiful in the world. In the Petite Heure Minute 39mm, this timepiece in 18k red gold is also limited to 88 pieces only.
The oscillating weight of this model had also been painstakingly hand-engraved with a horse motif. Collectors familiar with the artistic mastery of Jaquet Droz or watch newbies alike will swoon at the amount of detail the artisans manage to capture in spite of the minuscule confines of the 22k white gold rotor.
The final creation in this trio of timepieces is the Petite Heure Minute 43mm in 18k red gold featuring a wild horse motif in low-relief hand-engraving. What’s particularly alluring about this model is the use of champlevé enamel – a first for Jaquet Droz – for the horse’s mane and tail. On a base of black grand feu enamel, the horse is prominently portrayed in 22k red gold. Poised at an indomitable stance, the confidence and strength it asserts cannot be mistaken for anything else. Like the previous two models, only 88 pieces of this watch will be produced.