News: Jaquet Droz Unveils Three New Versions of the Loving Butterfly Automaton

For Baselworld 2017, Jaquet Droz released the Loving Butterfly automaton, a watch that features a 90-second on-demand animation —read our hands-on review here. Today, Jaquet Droz has decided to add three new versions of the Loving Butterfly Automaton to their collection. The three new versions of the Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly include new choice of dials in meteorite, aventurine and opal. Each of the compositions draws on the Jaquet Droz codes: automatons, Ateliers d’Art, exceptional mechanisms, mineral dials and numerus clausus —limitation.

Considering that the history of Jaquet Droz and his automatons is very rich and part of the true heritage of this brand, this creation pays homage to the two-centuries-old story of a genius watchmaker, Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz and his android automaton that drew breathtaking sketches. One of those sketches was of a cherub in a chariot drawn by a butterfly, celebrating love and passion. 

While the meteorite and the aventurine dials are available in a limited edition of 28 pieces each, the opal dial version is offered as a unique diamond-set piece. Just like on the first two versions of this watch released in 2017, the attention to detail is unparalleled and each element on them is hand-crafted. For instance, each tree on the motif spans a mere 0.2 mm with its slender grooves carved using purpose designed tools. The butterfly, like the chariot, is composed of several dozen fixed and mobile appliques carved by artisan jewelers. The motif is staged in a theater of nature, the set emerging from either side of the dial. Multiple levels lend the piece a unique depth of perspective that invites the gaze to wander, drift and stray. A striking realism takes shape, proliferating with details that bring the scene to life.

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 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.

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 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.

Meteorite Loving Butterfly

The meteorite dial version features an animated composition in red gold, alongside hour and minute hands on an onyx background. Shades of gray, gold and black lend new depth to the animated scene by Jaquet Droz. In the foreground a butterfly beats its wings, drawing a chariot behind it. The wheels, too, are in motion. The standing cherub evokes Pierre Jaquet-Droz, who also set off to explore the world in his day. This particular version is priced exactly the same as the onyx dial previous versions released in 2017.

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

Aventurine Loving Butterfly

The second Loving Butterfly Automaton features white gold and mother-of-pearl on an aventurine dial. Like a dream of a starry sky, this composition places the cherub and butterfly before a shimmering silver Moon, symbolized by the mother-of-pearl watch dial whose tones are echoed in the diamond setting of the bezel and lugs.

Sticker Price $136,000 USD. For more info on Jaquet Droz click here.

Opal Unique Piece Loving Butterfly

The final opal dial version gleams with an unprecedented richness of color. Blues and greens compose a bright, colorful canvas for the red gold of the trees, cherub, chariot and butterfly. The hours and minutes dial at 12 o’clock is set with baguette-cut diamonds throughout, in an invisible setting. They are arranged in a sunray pattern, allowing this one-of-a-kind piece to glitter and shimmer in a blazing aura of gold, opal and diamond.

Sticker Price $262,500 USD. For more info on Jaquet Droz click here.

Video of the Animation