Inspired by traditional Chinese art and calligraphy.
By Keef Wong
No stranger to China, as one of the first European brands to discover China and introduced fine watchmaking to the Forbidden City in the 18th century, Jaquet Droz has embraced the Lunar New Year with the release of 4 models that celebrate the Fire Rooster. The craftsmen of the Ateliers d’Arts have created two new models based on the iconic Petite Heure Minute, and each are available in two versions.
Two of the models pay tribute to miniature painting in the form of two Grand Feu enamel dials, which are housed in 39mm red gold cases. The slightly smaller 35mm model is set with diamonds around the bezel and on the lugs. The rooster is depicted on the dial in a watercolor style to echo Chinese calligraphy art. Each model is unique as the artist is given the free reign to depict each dial as his inspiration takes him.
The two other precious models feature the miniature sculpture technique with the first Petite Heure Minute Rooster crafted out of red gold, and the dial inlaid with jadeite and mother-of-pearl. Thy are all hand-engraved in the Jaquet Droz workshops. The dial is then treated to develop a light patina and hand painted to enhance each relief. This showcases the brilliance of the Jaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art, and the ingenuity of traditional Chinese painting. These hand-engraved models are limited to only 28 pieces.
The last Tribute To The Rooster consists of eight limited-edition pieces that are entirely hand-painted. These extraordinarily realistic paintings beautifully complement the diamonds on the watches and the glistening rooster feathers. The incredible amount of detail, such as the soft sun rising in the mist, delicate peony flower petals and sloping mountainsides are enhances with the setting of precious stones. To top it all off, this exceptional work is repeated on the oscillating weight, which is also crafted in gold, engraved, patinated and decorated in previous jadeite.