Ever since watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz created his first automata mechanisms back in the late 18th century, these jaw-dropping, precision engineered creations have been a significant part of the illustrious history of the haute horology label he founded, Jaquet Droz. Now, 280 years after its foundation, the brand has unveiled the latest iteration of one of these dazzling designs – the Loving Butterfly Automaton.
First launched in 2017, the Loving Butterfly Automaton has seen several different avatars across the years in a variety of dials, including onyx, mother-of-pearl and aventurine. This latest model, though, plumbs the depths of Mother Earth’s history to create a dial lovingly crafted from Chinchilla Red, petrified wood dating back some 140-180 million years in far-eastern Australia.
Inspired by an artwork titled Le Papillon Conduit Par l’Amour, which was sketched by The Draughtsman – an automata created by Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz back in 1774 – this latest 43mm timepiece depicts a backdrop of a golden forest through which the chariot-riding Cherub and the Butterfly meander.
Here, the haute horlogerie label’s expertise in automata comes literally to life, with the butterfly’s wings fluttering as if about to take flight, and the chariot wheels turning in unison, all combining to create the optical illusion of life on the dial, an effect further enhanced by the 3D-effect of the hand-engraved 18K red gold applique work.
Just 28 pieces of this shining example of high-end watchmaking will be produced, and part of the proceeds of the Loving Butterfly Automaton will generously be donated to reforestation efforts across the world, and in Australia in particular, where wildfires have devastated the country. To find out more, visit this website.