Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute: Inspired by Ancient Chinese Arts

As a pioneering designer in Swiss Haute Horlogerie, Jaquet Droz created exclusive pieces depicting traditional Chinese folklore, incorporating watchmaking expertise and high-jewellery for its new watch collection

Dec 28, 2017 | By Andrea Sim

Launched this year to celebrate the Lunar New Year 2018 and usher in the year of the Dog, Jaquet Droz combined the Metier d’Art craftsmanship and high jewellery to reveal a range of stylish nature-inspired timepiece in the “Petite Heure Minute” collection. Each dial in the “Petite Heure Minute” collection expressed a delicate and artistic imagery of a dog, which is symbolic of the eleventh in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign.

“Some watches tell time, some tell a story” – Jaquet Droz

While most of the watches tell the essence of time through the indicated numerals, the “Petite Heure Minute” collection excluded the index numerals, probably to portray that the beauty of things can often be overlooked as time dominates our lives more than ever. Slow down if you must and get immersed into the natural experience of the world expressed through some of the potentially cute object representations.

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute

Inspired by this character from the Chinese Zodiac, the master enameller in La Chaux-de-Fonds created several exceptional dials with scenes bringing to life a Pekingese dog in all its mighty splendour. The exquisite miniature artworks as shown on the dials has its roots dated back to the Age of Enlightenment (between 1685-1815), and they are full of symbols revered by the Chinese. The marque has interpreted these symbols and encapsulated them onto the dials to take its future owner on a voyage to wondrous lands.

Jaquet Droz: Petite Heure Minute Limited Edition

The first version features miniature paintings of nature-inspired scenes presented in a red gold case set with diamonds, 35 mm in diameter, depicted by the Pekingese playing with a butterfly on a background of peonies, also known as the “Queen of flowers”.

The second version is echoed by the 39 mm, red gold case without diamonds, depicting the friendly canine in a nature-inspired landscape of rocks and plants on the dial. Both versions feature chocolate-brown alligator straps.

Jaquet Droz: The Petite Heure Minute Relief Dog style

The first, features a 35mm, 18-karat red gold case set with 232 diamonds totalling up to 1.23 carat and yellow gold engraving with an onyx centre, and hands matching the case. With a self-winding mechanical movement and power reserve of 68 hours, the dial shows an Ivory Grand Feu enamel with miniature painting, which is part of the watch’s unique feature.

The second, is a play of both contrasting colours and materials, juxtaposed with the white gold case and a white mother-of-pearl centre. For the disk on the dial, the brand selected Mexico’s ‘Sonora Sunrise’ variety of cuprite, a copper oxide-rich mineral.

“Its red hues reference Chinese good fortune, weddings and the Spring Festival, as Chinese New Year is known, whilst the decorative gold details pay tribute to the art of bas-relief openwork, reminiscent of billowing clouds and traditional home decorations,” mentioned Jaquet Droz in the press release.

Year of The Dog: Personality

If you are born in the Year of the Dog, the Chinese sign Dog symbolises passion, tradition and honesty. Beyond its friendly, lively character lies a playful dreamer. In fact, when the Jade Emperor came up with his idea for a race to the Heavenly Gate, the dog was so busy having fun with the butterflies that he only made eleventh place in the Zodiac. Nonetheless, the dog features prominently in its rites and rituals, particularly in 2018, the year of the Earth Dog.

Each version comes with a numbered edition of 28. For further information, please visit

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