Jaquet-Droz tells us a story of love and trust with its latest automaton, the Loving Butterfly, which is inspired by the sketches drawn by an android automaton known as “the draughtsman“. We take a look at this truly spectacular and poetic creation brought to life by refined artisanship and hand finishing.
Pierre Jaquet-Droz was, without doubt, one of the most talented watchmakers in history. In particular, he is famed for crafting (with his son Henri-Louis Jaquet Droz and Jean-Frédéric Leschot) several android automatons that fascinated the whole of Europe in the 18th century. If you have never had the chance to look at these, click here to watch a short video from the BBC presenting the Writer, his most complex creation.
The Draughtsman is another automaton that was manufactured in between 1772 and 1774, mostly by Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz (with Leschot). This remarkable piece of ingenuity inspired by the Writer is made of no fewer than 2,000 parts. It is capable of drawing four different sketches while periodically blowing on its pencil to remove dust. Among the different sketches drawn by the Draughtsman, one depicts cupid riding on a butterfly driven chariot. This allegorical representation of the story of Cupid and Psyche, is that of a myth about love and trust. In Greek mythology, Psyche is the deification of the human mind and is often portrayed with butterfly wings.
The 4 sketches drawn by Henri Jaquet-Droz’s draughtsman – top left being “Le papillon conduit par l’amour”, inspiration for today’s watch
Jaquet-Droz takes inspiration from this sketch and mythto bring to life the Loving Butterfly. This poetic automaton-wristwatch portrays a delicate butterfly pulling Cupid along on a chariot, and is animated with just one press on the crown integrated pusher. The animation has a 90 second power reserve, during which time the wings are flapping 2.5 times per seconds while the wheel of the chariot rotates. The watch is the subject of three patent applications, 2 for the movement and one for the dial.
The Loving Butterly is powered by the self-winding JD2653 AT1 caliber with silicon balance spring and pallets whose automaton mechanism required three years of development. This twin barrel movement offers a 68 hours power reserve for the time mechanism. The automaton is driven by its own power source with the flow regulated by a governor. The winding of the time mechanism is performed by turning the crown clockwise, while the winding of the automaton mechanism is performed counterclockwise. The caliber JD2653 AT1 is nicely finished with cotes de Genève radiating from the balance wheel. The oscillating rotor is superb, especially its spokes shaped like the chariot wheel.
This spectacular work of art demonstrates once again the talent and expertise of the brand’s craftsmen. All 40 parts of the automaton’s deliciously refined design are patiently hand-engraved in-house at Jaquet-Droz. There is amazing attention to details throughout as seen in incredibly fine features such as the butterfly antennae or the trees that are only 0.2mm thick. The contrast of these gold engraved parts with the dial made of onyx (pink gold version) or mother of pearl (white gold version) is a nice touch.
The delightful Jaquet Droz Loving Butterly automaton is proposed in two limited editions of 28 pieces offered in a 43mm white or pink gold case. It is worn on an alligator strap fitted with pin buckle. For more information, visit www.jaquet-droz.com.
Technical specifications – Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton
- Case: 43mm diameter x 16.63mm height – 18k pink gold or 18k white gold – sapphire crystal on both sides – water resistant to 30m
- Movement: JD2653 AT1– mechanical with automatic winding – 68h power reserve (time mechanism) – 90 seconds power reserve for the automaton – 28,800 vibrations/h – 57 jewels – off-centered hours and minutes, automaton.
- Strap: alligator leather with pin buckle
- Reference: J032533269 (pink gold) / J032534270 (white gold)
- Limited editions of 28 pieces
- Retail price : CHF 129,600