For Jaquet Droz, watchmaking is regarded as an art form. Watches, it seems, are not just to tell time. They are objects of beauty to be appreciated, or creations that can stun and astonish.
It is not difficult to see why the brand believes so. The designs it offers are out of this world. A lotus with petals opening and closing? How about macaws that come alive? Only Jaquet Droz can achieve such wonders in watches.
According to CEO Christian Lattmann, each of the pieces created is unique. Jaquet Droz’s watches are made by hand, and they represent a strong collaboration between craftsmanship and innovation.
“It’s not a one-man effort,” he points out, adding, “The designer works with the technician and watchmaker. They come together as a team. There is no problem of ego at Jaquet Droz.”
More than that, Lattmann believes in eliciting an emotion in customers. He says that his watches can be seen as art in the purest form and they are not your everyday timepieces.
“No, you don’t have to have a certain level of refinement to appreciate our watches. You just need to be sensitive and realise that there is beauty in the intricate details,” he states.
Objects Of Wonders
One of Lattmann’s favourite designs of 2018 includes the very colourful Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch. He says that it is amazing and represents a design that “has everything”.
The watch depicts an animated naturalist scene. Each of its family of five macaws is animated. The bird on the left hand side moves its entire body, and its partner on the right wiggles its head.
While the first chick hatches from its egg, its siblings hop back and forth. This family grouping, another favourite theme of Jaquet Droz throughout its history, is sighted in a lush jungle of vines and hibiscus.
“It’s all hand engraved. It contains all the know-how and expertise we have in craftsmanship. We asked our eight artists to work together and create this. So it’s not only a piece of art but a human project.”
Another design favoured by Lattmann is the Grande Seconde Skelet-One. It marks a true stylistic turning point in the brand’s heritage, as part of its prestigious 280th anniversary celebrations.
“It’s really an amazing model. It’s eight-shaped with a twist of Arabic and Roman numbers. This model also shows the very minimalist and contemporary style of our brand,” he explains.
The watch’s theme is transparency. The sapphire dial, on which the large second hand turns, perfectly complements the skeleton movement, constructed in successive layers, themselves visible from the side.
Some other designs of the year from Jaquet Droz include the stunning Petite Heure Minute Lion, which features a painting of the king of the beasts – brought to life by details barely perceived by the naked eye.
There are also two new Lady 8 Flower models. These watches feature a lotus flower with gold petals that open to reveal either a diamond or a sapphire. The precious stone is also animated, swivelling in opposite directions.
“We are not selective when it comes to our watches. I would like to think they connect to everyone. That is the beauty of emotion, the very emotion that our designs can evoke,” Lattmann says.
“For us, there is this need to really push the boundaries. Or to create our place in the watchmaking industry. And in our automatons, there is this value because not everyone can create such things.”