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Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater: Singapore Price And Review

Jaquet Droz brings nature to life.

Jaquet Droz is one of the Swatch Group’s high-end brands, renowned for its exquisite traditional decoration methods and use of automata, mechanical devices that mimic life. Their latest masterpiece, the Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater, epitomizes mechanical artistry, paying homage to the Enlightenment-era fascination with nature, a passion deeply ingrained by the brand’s founder, Pierre Jaquet-Droz.

Pierre Jaquet-Droz began his journey in 1738, creating elaborate pocket watches, mechanical singing birds, and automata. His fame soared when he presented the “Shepherd’s Clock” to King Ferdinand VI of Spain in 1759, astonishing the court with its lifelike mechanical dog. This remarkable creation, now displayed in the Spanish palace museum, laid the foundation for Droz’s future endeavors.

Despite his ingenuity, Droz’s workshop faced financial troubles in 1790, but the brand was revived in 2000 by the Swatch Group. They continued honoring Droz’s legacy, introducing the Bird Repeater in 2012 and perfecting it with subsequent releases. The Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater, the latest in this lineage, showcases their mastery of automata and decorative arts.

The dial of the Tropical Bird Repeater is a marvel, crafted from mother-of-pearl and adorned with hand-engraved and painted scenes of a vibrant forest. Activating the minute repeater function sets seven animated elements into motion: a flowing waterfall, a moving hummingbird beating its wings 40 times per second, a peacock fanning its tail, a toucan emerging from palm leaves, and dragonflies flitting around with Super-Luminova coated wings. These animations can exceed 12 seconds, playing out in four different scenarios, all within a 47mm-wide by 18.95mm-thick case.

The case, made of 18 karat red gold, features intricate hand-applied engravings and is paired with a dark green alligator strap. Despite its lack of water resistance, the watch’s exquisite craftsmanship makes it a prized possession rather than a practical accessory.

The Jaquet Droz RMA89 movement, visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback, is a hand-wound minute repeater with a 60-hour power reserve, an improvement from its predecessor. Every part of this movement is meticulously hand-decorated, featuring Côtes de Genève and perlage on the base plate, with a balance spring oscillating at 21,600 vph.

The Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater's true charm lies in the intricate artistry and engineering prowess it represents. With only eight pieces produced, this watch is a testament to Jaquet Droz’s dedication to the decorative arts and mechanical excellence. 

As one of the most unique timepieces from Baselworld this year, Jaquet Droz flexed its creative muscles again, reminding us that in the field of automatons, it really is king. But the bar has been set pretty high this time and we’re already in anticipation of what the brand will come up with next.

 Case

47mm, hand-engraved 18K red gold

 Dial

Hand-engraved and hand-painted white mother-of-pearl dial with black onyx sub-dial.

Hand-engraved and hand-painted peacock, hummingbird and toucan.

Hand-painted dragonflies with Super-LumiNova

 Movement

Jaquet Droz RMA89

 Strap 

Rolled-edge handmade dark green alligator

 Functions

Off-centred hours and minutes, minute repeater, automaton animation with peacock, tropical leaves, hummingbird, toucan, dragonflies and waterfall

 Price

S$1,052,000

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Ex Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".