Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater

Limited edition 8 pieces in rose gold, priced at $493,500

A beautiful piece of time and art from Montres Jaquet Droz — the Bird Repeater.  The craftsmanship and micro-mechanical complexity of this watch are superb.  The watch is a combination of a minute repeater and mechanically animated birds — presented in a 47 mm rose gold case fitted on a rolled-edge black alligator strap with a rose-gold folding clasp.  Only eight pieces will be made, each with the series number engraved on the caseback, at a price of $472,500.   Eight pieces will also be produced in a white-gold case with diamonds, priced at $493,500.  Aside from hands-on, the best way to appreciate this watch — with its eight distinct animations and minute repeater chimes — is in the below video, courtesy of Jaquet Droz.

The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater takes its inspiration from the creations of Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790), a Swiss-born watchmaker who was a pioneer in the field of automata (mechanically animated robotic figurines).  The most famous of these — called the Musician, the Writer, and the Draftsman — are on display at the Museum of Art and History in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.   Jaquet-Droz also worked with animatronic birds, including them in many of his famous table clocks, pocketwatches, and music boxes; many of these can be seen today at Jaquet-Droz’s birthplace, the Sur le Pont farm in the watchmaking cradle of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

The dial features two blue tits (a bird native to the Swiss Jura region) on the edge of their nest containing two fledglings and an egg.   A meticulously rendered image of the Saut du Doubs waterfall in the Swiss Canton of Neuchâtel is in the background, and an off-center subdial near the top records the hours and minutes with two rose-gold hands.