On a mission to perpetuate rare artistic crafts, Métiers d’art and various sorts of enameling are familiar themes at Jaquet Droz. It has become a tradition for the brand to unveil exquisite paillonné enamel limited editions every year. This year, these are rendered in blue and red, one of the most delicate colors to work with. Paillonné enameling is an 18th century technique that was used by Pierre Jaquet-Droz himself. The new models bring together historic ‘paillons’ (tiny motifs or paillettes made from gold leaf) and modern elements.
The Grande Seconde in 43 mm
Jaquet Droz’ paillonné technique is a labor-intensive process. Enamel is applied on a guilloche dial and fired in a kiln at about 800°. This enameling operation is repeated several times to obtain the perfect color and ideal shine. It is slightly translucent, which gives a rich depth to the dial. The next step is to apply (by hand of course) the paillons, and the paillons together form a floral motif. They are fired together with a layer of transparent enamel (which is called “fondant”, for those eager to build their French watchmaking vocabulary) to hold them in place.
The handwork requires expert craftsmanship and is really impressive. The result after many hours of work is of exceptional beauty. The paillonné enamel surrounds the typical Jaquet Droz time indication, which includes a large seconds hand in its own sub dial, and a smaller hours/minutes sub dial. These sub dials are separated from the paillonné enamel with a golden rim, while the dials themselves are done in an off-white enamel and form shape of an 8, with elegant faceted heat-blued hands to add a classic touch.
The 2017 collection comprises 3 Petite Heure Minute limited editions: 35 mm red paillonné enamel, 39 mm blue paillonné enamel and 43mm blue paillonné enamel. The Grande Seconde is available in a 43mm blue dialed edition. A red paillonnée enamel dial is graced by the captivating ballet of a tourbillon. Lastly, a pocket watch serves as a nostalgic nod to a bygone elegance.
These exquisite creations house a highly sophisticated movement, which comes as no surprise. All movements (except for the pocket watch) feature a silicon hairspring and silicon pallet horns. The back of the Tourbillon watch is particularly spectacular, and the movement is beautifully finished with an extra touch of enamel. In addition to the traditional Côtes de Genève radiating from the tourbillon, the oscillating weight is adorned with red enamel with two applied gold stars, the signature of Jaquet Droz.
These limited edition wristwatches are worn on alligator straps, while the pocket watch comes with a chain. For more information on Jaquet-Droz you can visit their website at www.jaquet-droz.com
- Grande Seconde Paillonée – 43 mm pink gold case blue dial – JD2663 self-winding caliber – limited edition of 8 pieces – Retail price : 43.200 CHF
- Petite Heure Minute Paillonée – 35 mm pink gold case red dial – JD2653 self-winding caliber – limited edition of 8 pieces – Retail price : 38.900 CHF
- Petite Heure Minute Paillonée – 39 mm pink gold case blue dial – JD2653 self-winding caliber – limited edition of 8 pieces – Retail price : 41.050 CHF
- Petite Heure Minute Paillonée – 43 mm pink gold case blue dial – JD2653 self-winding caliber – limited edition of 8 pieces – Retail price : 43.200 CHF
- Grande Seconde Tourbillon Paillonée – 43 mm pink gold case blue dial – 25JD self-winding caliber – limited edition of 8 pieces – Retail price : 122.600 CHF
- Pocket watch Paillonée – 50 mm pink gold case blue dial – JD2615 manual caliber – limited edition of 8 pieces – Retail price : 48.600 CHF