Charmian Leong

Charmian Leong

Contributing Writer

After seven years as a full-time scribe, four of them spent writing about luxury timepieces, Charmian has gone the way of the freelancer and is now fascinated by a different facet of time: having it. When not labouring over a story with a martini in hand, she plays video games and takes naps in 8-bit.

Bird's The Word For Jaquet Droz

Last November, a Russian collector paid CHF291,750 ($428,099) for a golden clock in the shape of a bird cage. It was a beautiful thing, made of gilded brass and boasting some truly elaborate metalwork that surrounded a fairly realistic painted bird within. The clock itself, mounted at the base of the cage was a simple two-hand affair with a subsidiary seconds dial. At face value, forking out almost half a million dollars for what was essentially a pretty ornament from the late 1700s may seem excessive – until you flick a small switch on the side. The dusty little bird suddenly springs to life, jumping, chirping and moving its beak, flapping its wings and swinging its tail in defiance of its inanimate nature. Half a million dollars suddenly doesn’t seem like too much for a bit of Jaquet Droz’s magic.

Published in Jaquet Droz Articles
Tagged under minute repeater vintage