For Baselworld 2015, Jaquet Droz presents the Petite Heure Minute Butterfly Journey, an homage to beauty and nature in two series of eight timepieces. The fruit of the Atelier d'Art's unique expertise, twin sets of Petite Heure Minute models are dedicated to the elegance of the butterfly, that fragile, romantic creature embodying the beauty of time. An angel passes, drawn along by a butterfly, and time seems to hold its breath in a moment of pure poetry. This motif, discovered in an old book devoted to Jaquet Droz, has been depicted just once before, in the Age of Enlightenment, by one of the legendary automata created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz. In 2013, it was given pride of place on "The Loving Butterfly" a watch paying tribute to putti —sculptures of children used to decorate some of Italian architecture's most beautiful buildings as well as the cultural treasures of Renaissance and Baroque Europe.
This year, the butterfly returns to the center of the watchmaking stage, taking a form that is unprecedented and spectacular in equal measure: two sets of Petite Heure Minute models comprising eight pieces each are like the chapters of a horological novel presented in its entirety. The subject of the novel is ephemerality, with eight scenes describing a butterfly's flight, thus reviving the brand's passion for 18th century naturalism.
Following this narrative thread —the beauty of nature, its fragility and the transitory quality of each moment— the Jaquet Droz artisans dreamed up two complementary stories. The dials are as blank pages, given over to the artistic imagination of painters and engravers. Within a 43 mm diameter 18K white gold case —or 18K red gold on the second set— set with 264 diamonds totaling 1.99 carats around the bezel and lugs, on the lower part of the ivory 'Grand Feu' enameled dial, a butterfly —sculpted by hand in 22K white gold to contrast with its intensely blue hand patinated champlevé wings— flutters between pale pink peonies. On the second set, the butterfly in 18K red gold flies around a spray of feijoa flowers. Each watch within the 8-piece set, depicts the butterfly in a different position and flying pattern.
The relief of the butterflies, their champlevé enameled wings, the fine patina on their slender bodies, the striking colors of the floral decor —every minute detail contributes to the arresting beauty of the scene. A decorative challenge achieved through a combination of the brand's expertise and the virtuosity of the craftsman's hand, the Butterfly Journey timepieces are also a testament to the attention Jaquet Droz never fails to pay to the splendor inherent in the most fleeting instants and the fugitive magic of nature, its creatures and plants.
Visible via the display case back, the Jaquet Droz automatic calibre 2653 powering this watch can be fully appreciated. The calibre with a power reserve of 68 hours features a 22k white gold oscillating weight with a butterfly motif that is hand-engraved in bas-relief. Each piece is individually numbered in the 8-piece limited edition.
The was is equipped with an elegant rolled-edge handmade dark blue alligator strap with matching pin buckle in 18K white gold.
Sticker Price CHF57,000 for each piece in the 8-piece set. For more info on Jaquet Droz click here.