Baselworld 2017: Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton. Live Pictures, Hands-on & Price.

The history of Jaquet Droz and his automatons is very rich and part of the true heritage of this brand. For Baselworld 2017, Jaquet Droz has released the a new automaton that joins the Bird Repeater, the Charming Bird and the Lady 8 Flower previous released. This new automaton timepiece named 'Loving Butterlfy' is a watch that features a 90-second on-demand animation. Available with a 43 mm case in 18K rose or white gold, the new Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly is exclusively available in a limited edition of 28 pieces for each metal.

The Dial & Operation of the Automaton

By pressing the integrated pusher at the center of the crown, the owner can contemplate a cherub seated on a chariot drawn by a butterfly that flutters her wings vigorously over a black Onyx dial. The animation can be paused before its 90-second power reserve is fully depleted by pushing the button one more time. In order to wind the watch mechanism, the crown needs to be turned clockwise, while the winding of the automaton mechanism is also performed via the the crown but by turning it counterclockwise.

For this new creation based off of the sketches left behind by Jaquet Droz himself, the famous dial configuration of the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute has here been adapted as a naturalistic theater stage. With grace and delicacy, the butterfly comes to life, pulling behind it a cherub in an animated chariot. The chariot’s wheel begins to turn in an exquisite optical illusion made possible by the combination of fixed and mobile spokes, a fabulous play of movements illustrating a technique well-known to automaton designers. Forty hand-engraved parts in white or red gold are assembled manually with incredible meticulousness, from the small Cupid’s arms and defiant face, to the infinitely fragile legs and antennae of the butterfly.

The trees, only 0.2 millimeters thick, are individually driven like the hands of a watch, bringing watchmaking expertise to art: an innovative, patent-pending technique. The fine gold volumes contrast with the dial in onyx on the 18K rose gold model or Polynesian black mother-of-pearl for the 18K white gold reference, making the magic of this timeless scene still more hypnotic. The exclusive automaton mechanism, for which two patents are also pending, took three years to develop. The power reserve, maintained with three barrels manually wound using the crown, allows the butterfly to delicately flutter its wings 300 times over a period of approximately two minutes —90 seconds to be precise.

Video of the Animation

The Movement

The Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly is powered by the Jaquet Droz automtic calibre 2653 AT1 with automaton with mechanism for moving the butterfly's wings and the wheel of the chariot, manual winding for the automaton, crown push-button triggering mechanism, triple barrel, andoscillating weight in 22K gold. The oscillating weight features the same spokes as the chariot’s wheel. Fully visible via the display case back, the movement is exquisitely decorated Côtes Rayonantes and overall nicely finished. The movement provides a power reserve of 68 hours when fully wound.

On the Wrist & Pricing

The new Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton is delivered on a black rolled-edge hand-made alligator leather strap with double folding buckle in matching gold. Wearing true to its size, the watch is a delight to the eye and reserved for true connoisseurs and those that appreciate mechanical automatons. One of the top 10 watches at Baselworld 2017 from a very exclusive brand that makes only around 3,000 watches a year.

Sticker Price $126,000 USD. For more info on Jaquet Droz click here.