How Jaquet Droz’s Craftsmen Turn Watch Dials into Wearable Art

Some of the decorative techniques in this atelier cannot be found at any other watchmaker in the world.

By Paige Reddinger 10/11/2019

Many premium watch companies have métiers d’art ateliers, where exceptional artisanal pieces are done by hand. But few (if any) are able to create these works of art on the astonishing scale of Jaquet Droz. Whether it’s a dial made from a mosaic of nearly invisible elements to an automaton dial with miniature moving parts that bring a scene to life, the artistry found within the walls of this small manufacture in the valley of the Swiss Jura Mountains is unparalleled.

Jaquet Droz has been making these creations for almost three centuries, dating back to its founder, Pierre Jaquet-Droz. Its singular mechanical automata figures—which all could move and draw, write or play music—were built for kings, queens and aristocrats at court and were the precursors to our 21st-century androids. In their day, they served as feats of entertainment, and the versions the company now crafts for the wrist look like modern museum pieces still fit for the pleasure of royalty. Some of the decorative techniques in this atelier, such as the eggshell dials, cannot be found at any other watchmaker in the world.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Richard Mille’s New Racing Red Watch

A flash of red took to the racetrack at the weekend.

By Victoria Gomelsky

03/05/2021

Veja’s New Sustainable Sneakers

The ‘Marlin’ is made from sugar can and plastic bottles.

By Nikara Johns

30/04/2021

11 Stylish Harrington Jackets For Autumn

The mid-century classic is great now and all year-round.

By Chris Contonou

29/04/2021

Own Russell Crowe’s Rolex

The Oscar-winning actor’s Submariner is for sale.

By Terry Christodoulou

28/04/2021

A 1-of-5 Rolex ‘Zenith’ Daytona Sold For $4 Million

The platinum timepiece sold for more than six times the pre-auction estimate.

By Bryan Hood

28/04/2021

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected