The Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch is a one-off piece you won't forget
It looks simplistic to list a masterpiece like the Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater among pocket watches, despite the timepiece layout belonging, without a doubt, to such a class of products. Revealed in 2018 to celebrate Jaquet Droz's 280th anniversary, it's a one-of-a-kind collector's piece combining the brand's centuries-old expertise in engineering miniature automata with unmatched skills in mastering the finest, and somehow forgotten, decoration techniques synonymous with the cradle of Swiss Made watchmaking. The Parrot Repeater is the pinnacle of a decade marked by several Haute Horlogerie pièces pairing automatons to exquisite hand-made decoration whose most incredible achievements are, among wristwatches, the Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater, first, and the Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton, then.
The Parrot Repeater is a call to action to top worldwide collectors and holds as Jaquet Droz's "talking piece" par excellence, pushing the brand awareness to new heights and uncharted territory so far. It helps to pursue that "wow factor," which makes every Jaquet Droz watch outstanding and not ordinary since Pierre-Jaquet Droz founded the brand during the early 18th century. You will easily spot pocket watches offering additional mechanical complications and superior engineering. However, you'll hardly find anything nearly as unique as this one, where the combination of decorative art, automaton, and a minute repeater mechanism belongs to a class of its own.
As stated above, Jaquet Droz introduced the Parrot Repeater during the long-gone Baselworld 2018; back then, the Swatch Group was still joining the fair. The pocket watch was housed in a big box with two macaws standing out on the box's opening doors. Once opened, you were allowed to admire this masterpiece, retailing for 1,000,000 CHF. Congratulations to the lucky owner who brought this one-of-a-kind timepiece home. The two parrots hold center stage and are the main characters of the micro-mechanical animation, confirming Pierre-Jaquet Droz's legacy in celebrating nature's beauty and tropical sceneries as proved by the superb Tropical Bird Repeater. Macaws are native to tropical America's humid forests, thus providing further explanations of the background scenario.
Once you trigger the minute repeater slide, the parrot on the left starts moving and feeding the chicks, while the one on the opposite side moves his head and deploys the plumage instead. Two chicks start hopping at once, while the third one pops up as its egg is opening. The minute repeater mechanism works, therefore, as a kind of animation's soundtrack. You can spot a tiger inside a natural scene of uncommon depth and visual engagement on the sculpted and finely engraved mother-of-pearl dial. Master artisans at Jaquet Droz combined various techniques, including miniature painting and fine engraving out of a three-dimensional sculpted dial; the result is a rare combination of vivid colors and plenty of details, placed into a three-dimensional wild natural setting.
I think watchmakers and artisans at the brand's manufacture overperformed, and even more so when you look at precious stones setting, and more. Different kinds of stones grace case and covers and complement the Grand Feu decorated back cover, on one side, and the vines across which you can get a glimpse of the dial, on the front. The Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater pocket watch is a halfway high-end timepiece and jeweled decorative art. Stone setting includes various kinds of sapphires, rubies, diamonds. You can unlock the covers by quickly rotating the winding crown base in one direction or the other. The Jaquet Droz Parrot Repeater pocket watch houses the Jaquet Droz RMA 88 caliber; a top-end mechanical movement engineered to perform as a minute repeater with cathedral gongs along with powering an automaton, capable of running for 48 hours when fully wound. Please read here the full specs sheet of Jaquet Droz's most remarkable work of art so far.
(Photo credit: Peter Tung for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®