Jaquet Droz Charming Bird Baselworld 2013

Baselworld 2013: Jaquet Droz 2013 - L’oiseau chanteur, the QP and the GMT

The Charming Bird - In the genes of the Jaquet-Droz brand there is the automation dimension of one of the most interesting micromechanics geniuses of its time, still visible in the museums of the world. Quite an inheritance, which has just achieved on the 250 years, and which is finally revived not via a minute repeater, the Bird Repeater, but through a time-guard transformed into a songbird aviary.

By Joel Grandjean
Editor-in-Chief

For 200 years the same fight has obsessed the watchmakers: miniaturize, to occupy the smallest space available, to allow it to welcome the most crazy complications.

And within this major constraint, find the means to mechanically produce then store enough energy to indicate not only the hour and its divisions, but also so that the most outlandish additions could work. For the first time, a wrist watch, The Charming Bird, captures a songbird whose twitters and movements enchant the eye and the ears. Admittedly, it has been necessary to inflate somewhat the glass, offering it a bulb whose transparency allows the frolics of the fowl.

Nonetheless, the performance, contained in a 47 mm diameter, will stand out. It involves all the sweetly smells of the blank page inventiveness, the assimilation and the mastering of the current technical advances: barrel specifically dedicated to this complication, pump, air tank and sapphire whistle, piercing on the side of the case - to enhance sound propagation -, opening provided with a musical instrument membrane to avoid dust and humidity penetration, index in levitation, darkened finish of the bridges…

A capital watch in the alphabet of musical watch-making …

Perpetual day Darkens

To what dangerous game could this symbolic shape of the brand lend itself again? To the phases of the moon, the moove of which translates the cycles of the night-celestial body, a perpetual calendar was added. Understand this mechanical programming and this memory which allow a watch calibre to jump from the 30 to the 1st according to the parity of the month, one time a year form the 28th to the 1st then once every 4 years form the 29th in the first.

The difficulty, in this kind of challenging complication. is to know how to stay within the framework of the classic elegance, yet updated by the care of contemporary details called to stay in the timelessness and in the unchanging codes of the brand. As this black or ivory “Big Fire” enamel dial sprinkled with the stud 8 stars answering to two serpentine needles each surmounted of a crescent moon.

On both sides of the dial, the date shells, to the right the day, to the left the day of the week and, discreetly coiled in a counter, the indicator of leap years. 43 mm in diameters served on black leather, 68 hours of power reserve.

The big Hour GMT:

Highlight of a working drawing of forms and inscriptions, this Big Hour adorns itself of one  additional time zone reading. Obviously - but is it even worth mentioning ? - the reference to the famous journeys of the founder could not offer better legitimacy. The link is easy, it can only seduce todays globe-trotters and aesthetes, especially as it expresses itself in an intuitive way. Crystal clear, with its 24 Arabic numerals put on the background of “Big Fire“ enamel, haughty needles, made blue for the remote time, red for the local one.

And when no secondary time is programed, both melt themselves in one two-coloured line, while remaining adjustable by means of one single crown. Red gold 43 mm case, waterproof to 30 meters, inhabited by a 28 ruby Backgammon Droz RN50.5 calibre with automatic winding and double barrel, 22 carats gold oscillating mass, 68 hours of power reserve. JAG / W

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