Close Up: Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater

Being at Baselworld, you get access to some of the most amazing pieces, including limited edition productions that are so rare the chances of seeing them again is very slim. During BaselWorld 2013, I got to see one such piece – Jaquet Droz’s creation called “The Bird Repeater”.

This watch pays respect to company founder Piere Jaquet-Droz, who was a pioneer in the field of automata (mechanically animated robotic figurines), with a pair of Blue Tits, birds from his native Jura region. This timepiece has a 47mm rose gold case fitted onto a rolled-edge black alligator strap. Each individual piece of this limited edition model has its serial number engraved on the caseback. The highlight of this watch is the Bird Repeater on the dial, which is done by hand and is incredibly detailed, demonstrating the expertise and imagination of Jaquet Droz’s craftsmen. The dial is in mother of pearl and all done by hand, with the birds and a nest hand-engraved and painted.

The Bird Repeater not only demonstrates traditional decorative crafts; it also bears an authentic automaton, with a cam system inherited directly from the century of Enlightenment. In a stunning visual show with no less than eight different animation mechanisms acting in synchronism, the Bird Repeater shows the Blue Tits together over a nest where their fledglings appear. Check out our exclusive video of this timepiece in motion:

Eight pieces of the Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater will be produced in red gold, for a price of $472,500. Eight pieces will also be produced in a white-gold case with diamonds, priced at $493,500.

Photos and video by Seth Semilof.

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