SOLD! 291,750 Swiss Francs (about $305,000 USD
on Nov 9, 2014
The top highlight of Antiquorum’s mega-sale this weekend in Geneva is unquestionably the Small Singing Bird Cage Clock with Automaton Jumping Bird & Automaton Waterfall, attributed to Jaquet-Droz et Leschot Geneva. At upwards of 400,000 Swiss Frances, it is projected to be the top selling lot of the auction, out of more than 1,000 lots which include such exceptional pieces as a Patek Philippe Ref 2499, a Blancpain 1735 Grand Complication and a Patek 5004.
But forget the price — this is one of those truly rare, special and exceptional pieces of horological history that happens to not be a pocket or wristwatch — and I absolutely love it. You have to see — and hear — this amazing piece of horological history. It really is an awe-inspring piece of automaton, particularly when you consider it was made circa 1785 (!!!!). And here it is:
The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater was launched in 2012, featuring two birds and their young created in remarkable detail by the hands of Jaquet Droz artisans. The following year, The Charming Bird watch marked the brand’s 275th anniversary with a new interpretation of the bird in an ultra-modern decorative setting and this time singing. Now, the story continues with a new version of The Bird Repeater – a more streamlined, contemporary-looking model that has nonetheless retained intact the animated features that made it a success: a duo of birds feeding their fledglings, the spreading wings, the tumbling waterfall and the hatching egg.
Unveiled with three new dial colors earlier this year, Jaquet Droz describes the Grande Seconde SW Steel as a “subtle mix of cool elegance.” Looking at the watch, however, you’d be hard pressed to find that subtleness, as the dial pops with a gadget-y tech look that recalls a robot’s face and everything other than the understated praise that Jaquet Droz showers the design with.
How many watch brands get to celebrate 275 years of history? Not many (understatement of the day!). But Jaquet Droz, first established in 1738, can and is celebrating its 275 years of history this year with a world tour showcasing some of the brand’s most intriguing antique and modern timepieces. The exhibit has already made stops in Moscow, Basel, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau — and now it is the U.S.A.’s turn.
The Jaquet Droz “Enchanted Journey” Exhibit is opening at the end of this month, at The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas. There is a Tourbillon Boutique there, in fact it is the Swatch Group’s largest Tourbillon boutique in the world. Tourbillon Boutiques are a retail concept conceived, developed, and owned by the Swatch Group to showcase its prestige brands (Breguet,
Harry Winston, Glashütte Original, et al.).
The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater — A Superlative Piece of Art and Time
Limited Edition 8 pieces ($493,500)
The exhibit opens to the public from September 30 to November 12, and exclusively on the opening day a Jaquet Droz’ master artist will be demonstrating the art of hand engraving and miniature painting on watch dials.
Check out all of my prior coverage of Jaquet Droz, and you’ll see why I think this is definitely worth a visit if you are in Vegas, or looking for a reason to visit. Hope to check it out myself and if I do I’ll be sure to report (as with my last two visits to Vegas, for this, then this)!