Discover enamelling, engraving, guilloche and moving mechanics at this upcoming timepiece exhibition
Some people say watchmaking is a science while others believe it's an art. If you belong to the latter group, don't miss the upcoming travelling exhibition staged by the ultra-niche high watchmaking brand, Jaquet Droz. Entitled Story of the Unique, it follows in the footsteps of its founder Pierre Jaquet Droz, who was known for his itinerant predilections.
This was why Jaquet Droz watches has been found all the around the world including such far-flung regions as China, India and Japan. Indeed, it was the very first purveyor of clocks and pocket watches to the Chinese imperial courts. If you visited the Imperial Palace museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing today, you'll see several Jaquet Droz automata and pocket watches still carefully preserved.
The Best of Jaquet Droz
Specialising in all forms of metiers d'arts and finishing techniques since the 18th century, this 280-year-old manufacture will be bringing some of its most eye-watering grand complications like the Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch and quirky inventions like its Signing Machine. Yes you read that right, a signing machine. It comes in the form of a handy mechanical case that replicates your autograph perfectly over and over again.
Discover the Metiers d'arts
The traditional watchmaking fine arts, as well, are something of an obsession at Jaquet Droz. All kinds of enamelling techniques have been mastered and can be found in all of its watches. Grand feu enamel, cloisonné, champlevé, and even paillonnee, which is the most unique form, intermingle with gold relief engraving, eggshell marquetry, precious woodworking, and most recently a new technique called smalta clara. These beautiful renderings are most often applied to Jaquet Droz's Petite Heure Minute collection.
Automata are mechanical moving figures that perform a range of actions, and are something of a specialty at Jaquet Droz. This is how the manufacture has been able to go one step further and miniaturise the craft, applying them into pocket and wristwatches like the Charming Bird and the Loving Butterfly automaton watches.
One of the manufacture's most iconic creations is the Grande Seconde wristwatch. Launched 16 years ago in 2002, this elegant timepiece traces its roots back to an historical pocket watch made in 1785 featuring an oversized seconds dial and an off-centred hours and minutes display.
This figure-eight design became the single most recognisable element of a Jaquet Droz creation. Today, there are innumerable styles of the Grande Seconde ranging from the classic to the fancy to the sporty.
Jaquet Droz's Story of the Unique exhibition will take place from 28th September to 14th October at the Marine Bay Sands B2 atrium right in front of the Jaquet Droz boutique.