watches : Some Jaquet-Droz watches, pre SWATCH

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(Information on the recent history of Jaquet Droz, provided to Michael Ting, moderator of the JD Forum on http://www.thepurists.com by Ms Kottelat, marketing director of JD.

Q: There are a lot of questions surrounding watches with the name Jaquet Droz on the dial from the 1960-2000 when SWATCH acquired the company. Does J*D have any archived catalogs or information regarding these models. It may help enthusiasts "bridge the gap" between Pierre Jaquet Droz and the current J*D line. It will also help new enthusiasts distinguish between the mediocre pieces made in 1960 and the amazing quality/workmanship of the new Jaquet Droz models.

A: A consortium of watch components suppliers, under the name Jaquet Droz created and distributed in the period from 1960 to 1970 (around 10 years) some lower prized products. This low segment orientation was mainly due to the very difficult market environment at that time. These watches are identifiable by the logo representing an arrow.

As a matter of fact, there is no direct link between Montres Jaquet Droz SA as it exists today and that consortium. Today, we are in no position to give more details regarding this old production nor to guarantee any customer service as we have no archive nor spare parts whatsoever.

In the Nineties, the name Jaquet Droz was re launched under the roof of Breguet. At that time, a few exclusive timepieces were created on the request of end consumers mainly, like the King of Morocco. The production was very limited and high-end but the product philosophy and the design were far from the spirit of the collection today. After a few years, the company faced financial problems because of a too limited distribution network.

In the year 2000, the Swatch Group took over the brand and officially re launched it the year after. The product philosophy has been rethought for a more powerful design and contemporary approach blending the tradition of fine craftsmanship.

With our new models, we aim at perpetuating the spirit of exclusivity and uniqueness of the creator, Pierre Jaquet Droz, by demonstrating the same thirst for invention, innovation and excellence. We have decided to limit the production of our models and to give a new lease on life to the technique of grand feu enamelling. We devote extreme care to design and respect the skills of fine craftsmanship that made the 18th century dials shine with such splendour. Moreover, thanks to our made-to-measure dial concept based on natural minerals chosen by the future owners, each Jaquet Droz timepiece thus becomes unique, peerless, rare and precious.


More albums:
A 1000-meter JD Diver

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A JD Tonneau-cased Watch4

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Some older JD watches in the collection of Larry Seiden5

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A skeletonized gold Jaquet Droz 6


Jaquet Droz, Swiss, .. and certificate.1

C. three body, solid, polished, reeded band, winding crown winds clockwise for the watch and counterclockwise for the automaton and music, transparent case back with erotic scene of two figures painted on enamel. D. matte silver with applied yellow gold arrowhead indexes. 'Feuille' yellow gold hands. M. mechanical, bidirectional winding crown, two train movement with automatic winding and for the first time, music on four blades.Dial signed.Diam. 37 mm. sold, $34,500 09-28-2000

Jaquet-Droz, a la Ch..uartz wristwatch.1

C. massive, polished, "torsade" band, bezel set with diamonds weighing 0.72 ct., sapphire-set crown. D. matt silver with Breguet gold numerals. Jaquet Droz gold hands. M. with quartz standardization. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 27 mm

Jaquet-Droz, Swiss, .. by a fitted box.1

C. Three-body, solid, polished, transparent case back,fluted band repeating the buckle decoration, roundedbezel, concave lugs, cabochon sapphire-set windingcrown,sapphire crystals. D. Textured imperial blue withapplied luminous white gold triangular "fancy" indexes.Luminous white gold "cathedral" hands. M. Cal. 1150.4,rhodium-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, 29 jewels,straight line lever escapement, monometallic balanceadjusted to 5 positions, shock-absorber, self-compensatingflat balance-spring, 18K gold rotor.Dial and case signed.Diam. 36 mm. Thickness 8 mm. sold: $3,220 on 6-15-2005

Jaquet Droz, Swiss, ..llow gold buckle.1

C. Three-body, polished, curved bezel,curved lugs, fluted band, transparentback with dedicated rim, cabochon set/winding crown, sapphire crystals.D. White enamel with applied yellow-gold skeleton indexes, outer blue paintedminute markers, blue day of the weeksector at 6, date aperture at 12. Bluedsteel "Jaquet Droz" hands. M. 12''', rhodiumplated, "fausses côtes" decoration,25 jewels, straight line lever escapement,monometallic balance, free-sprung selfcompensatingbalance-spring, shockabsorber, engine turned gold rotor.Dial, case and movement signed.Diam. 34 mm. Thickness 9 mm. Sold 39,100 HKD on 07-10-2005

Jaquet-Droz a la Cha..ox and guarantee.1

C. massive, polished, reeded band, back with monogram sapphireset winding-crown, concave lugs. D. white enamel with painted Breguet numerals. "Metropole revidee, corps renfle" blued steel hands. M. 12 1/2 "' signed Lemania, rhodium plated, "fausses cotes" decoration, 25 jewels, lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating flat balance-spring. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 34 mm. Not sold on 12-15-1998($4,500 - $5,000)

Jaquet-Droz, La Chau..e and fitted box.1

C. massive, polished, curly lugs, sapphireset windingcrown, transparent back, reeded band. D. satinecl and engraved silver with applied gold fancy indexes, aperture for the date. "Lozenge" skeleton blued steel hands. M. 9 "' rhodium plated, "fausses cotes" decoration, 25 jewels, lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, double barrel, self-compensating flat balance-spring, 18K "guilloche " gold rotor. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 36 mm. Sold $4,370 on 12-15-1998

Unsigned, attributab..ather fitted box.1

C. Fully articulated and realistically decorated as a caterpillar, it is composed by 11 turquoise set red translucent enamelled and black mottled body sections fitted into each other with alternate splitpearl set links. M. Gilt brass shaped with going barrel and fly regulator, driving the two small knurled wheels imitating the realistic movements of the caterpillar by means of cams and levers. Dim. 75 x 14 mm. Sold 113,500 CHF on 10-18-1995.
Literature: Similar pieces are described and illustrated by A. Chapnis and E. Gdli.s in Le Monde des Automates, vol. II p. 154, fig. 427 and by A. Chapnis and E. Droz, Les Automates, pp. 248-249, fig. 294. Two similar caterpillars, from the N1: unite and Edonard Sandoz Collection, part of the exhibition in Le 1ocle, Chateau des Monts, are described in the catalogue pp. 88-89 and 110-11 I. Apparently, no more than 3 caterpillars of this type are known to exist: one, in Le Monde des Automates was formerly in the Bernard Frank Collection, in Paris; the other illustrated in Les Automates was formerly in the lkle Collection in Saint Gall. Both seem to be now in the Sanrloz Collection. The newly discovered one, now offered for sale, is almost identical to that of the Sandoz Collection, illustrated page 89 of the catalogue. With fete other small automaton animals such as mice, hogs and lizards, these Ethiopian dtenilles Abr, as they were designed, were the pride of Henri Maillardet, partner of lagnet-Droz in London, and according to a poste', they were exhibited in 181 I. They were certainly produced in his workshop in Geneva, by craftsmen such as Lentaire or Frizard. This superb caterpillar is so realistically made that it could provoke a nervous reaction from somebody allergic to crawling animals, although the wonderful colours of this magnificent jewel, should incite to take even more into consideration the marvels of nature. Looking at this wonderful automaton, one might think, that with his genius, Man inspired by Nature, is sometimes able to grow it lovelier, However, such small automaton animals certainly are, the most precious and extraordinary toys ever made.

Attributable to the ..ather fitted box.1

C. Realistically decorated as a mouse with onyx eyes, the body entirely inlaid with split-pearls, with black champleve enamelled separations. Chased gold paws and meshed gold tail. M. Gilt brass shaped with going barrel and fly regulator, driving the two small knurled wheels imitating the realistic movements of the mouse, running forward, then rising its legs to pivot on itself and running back to its starting point. Dim. 53 X 17 mm, excluding the tail.

Jaquet-Droz "Erotiqu.. and certificate.1

C. three-body, solid, polished, transparent case back, fluted band repeating the buckle decoration, rounded bezel, curved straight lugs, sapphire crystal. The coaxial button on the winding-crown operates the automata and music on the case back, representing an erotic scene with a gentleman and lady in a forest, music playing the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's 9th Symphony with libretto by Schiller. D. "guilloche" silver with 18th century tapestry decoration, applied gold triangular fancy indexes"Métropole" yellow gold hands. M. Cal. 8816, double-barrel, 25 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, self-compensating flat balance-spring, 18K gold rotor.Dial and case signed.Diam. 38 mm. Not sold on 6-14-2003(25,000 - 30,000 SFR).
A limited edition of 10 examples, each one with a different and unique motif.

Jaquet-Droz, "Tourbi..by a certificate.1

C. three-body, solid, polished, transparent case back, fluted band repeating the buckle decoration, rounded bezel, curved lugs. D. three-quarter plate engraved silver, off-center dial with applied gold fancy triangular indexes, auxiliary "guilloché" sunk ring dials for the day of the month and of the week, sector graduated for 20 seconds over the aperture for the visible tourbillon cage with three revolving blued steel hands. M. 13''', three-quarter plate, engraved gilt brass, 21 jewels, lateralever escapement with one-minute flying tourbillon regulator, cage with three equidistant arms, Breguet balance-spring.Dial, case and movement signed.Diam. 36 mm. Sold 63,250 SFR on 6-14-2003

Jaquet-Droz, Perpetu..by a certificate.1

C. three-body, solid, polished, transparent case back, fluted band repeating the buckle decoration, rounded bezel, curved lugs. D. white enamel with painted radial Roman numerals, auxiliary dials for the seconds and the 30 minute register in red Arabic numerals, for the days of the month, of the week and the months in blue painted Arabic numerals, outer second scale in red, sector for the age of the moon in blue, aperture for the moon phases and the leap year. "Métropole" blued steel hands M. 1''', rhodium-plated, 21 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, 5 adjustments, shock-absorber, self-compensating Breguet balance-spring.Dial, case and movement signed.Diam. 37 mm. Not sold on 6-14-2003($15,500 USD - $20,000)

Jaquet-Droz, 'The Wr..s Produced, 1997.1

C. Depicting Pierre Jaquet-Droz sitting at a writing table. The figure is entirely mechanical, activated by a winding key. Once wound, Jaquet-Droz's head follows his quill pen as he writes 'I Love You'. His right hand holds the pen as his left hand is lowered to hold the paper. His eyelids are raised and lowered with each movement. The winding key allows the figure to perform 10 repetitions.The figure of Jaquet-Droz is wearing period dress: a royal blue velvet coat over a light blue waist coat with brassbuttons, all over a white shirt with a ruffled collar and cuffs, stockings and colonial black shoes with a brass buckle. He is holding a brass quill feather pen in one hand. He is sitting on a black lacquered stool and leaning over a black lacquered writing table with a scalloped edge and cabriolet legs, the top inset with burgundy leather. The table and stool rest on a wood base with a parquet-like wood floor inset. The base and automaton measure 19 1/2 inches long, 11 3/4 inches wide and 19 inhes high.This exceptional automaton is constructed of 1,000 minute components, with the mechanism of the automaton taking place in the body of Jaquet-Droz. Offered 09-28-2000 Not sold(est. $130,000-$150,000)

Jaquet Droz from 1970s2

Sold on eBay on 5-8-2006, for $77.54. Text on the face is: JAQUET DROZ/ 17 JEWELS/ INCABLOC/ SWISS MADE, on the caseback: STAINLESS/ STEEL BACK/ SWISS/ 1064

A NOS JD Diver3

This watch was often used by the French Navy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Here are some of the particulars:
  • Screw-down crown
  • Stainless Steel, 38mm case
  • Automatic ETA Movement Cal. Exclusive 17 jewels shock resistant (signed)
  • Water resistant to 250 meters
  • Luminous hour markers and hands

The Empress Josephin..es Freres Rochat.1

Les Frès Rochat, No. 116. Made circa 1810. A magnificent and exceptionally rare, gold and mother-of-pearl table jewel box, with Singing Bird and musical movements. Accompanied by a fitted plush-lined, tooled and gilt fitted case, two keys and two reference books: Automata by Chapuis Droz, 1958 and Antique Automatons, A la Vieille Russie, Inc., loan exhibition, 1950.
C. Rectangular jewel box with a gold framework (master mark JI) chased with leaf decoration, enclosing mother of pearl panels at the sides and base, the center containing the movements with concealed winding hole for the bird in the base and for the music at the front with a gold shutter, at each side a silk-lined compartment with hinged mother of pearl cover, six gold bun feet (one lacking), surmounted by a very fine octagonal filigree gold birdcage with foliate and pinecone finials, opening door to the front, mirrored base, two feeding bowls, one glazed and containing seed. M. The singing bird movement: 76 x 40 x 33 mm., gilt brass, in two tiers, massive cylindrical pillars, fusee and chain, circular bellows, eight cams and a piston with sliding whistle for the song's modulation, the multicoloured feathered bird on a ring perch decorated with gold foliage, the bird with flapping wings, wagging tail, opening beak and rotating on its axis, long duration of singing, rack for rotating the bird on its axis, large fly governor. Musical Movement: 80 x 50 x 15 mm., bedplate with pinned brass cylinder, steel comb, going barrel and fly-controlled wheel train, playing two tunes released and changed by levers in the back of the case, metal protecting box housing the movement. Signatures: Bird movement: punched FR twice - within an oval, No.116. Punched French hallmarks. Maker's mark: JI. Dim. 21 x 11 x 17.78 cm.
Provenance: By tradition, The Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814) Thence by descent. Mr & Mrs Louis von Cseh by 1950. A la Vieille Russie Inc., New York. Coll. Berry-Hill., New York.
Exhibited: “Antique Automatons”, a loan exhibition, A la Vieille Russie, 785, Fifth Avenue, New York, November 3rd – December 5th, 1950. (Cat No. 87, lent by Mr & Mrs Louis von Cseh).
Literature: Automata, Chapuis Droz, 1958, p.210 illustrates the same piece.
"This magnificent object typifies the kind of singing bird boxes that the Freres Rochat were famous for. The cage and mounts are made from gold and the musical and singing bird mechanisms hidden within the base. This object is highly unusual in that it is also a jewellery box. By repute, this box was once owned by the Empress Josephine of France, the box itself is certainly of high enough quality to support this provenance."
FR (Frères Rochat) Sons of David Rochat (1746-1812), who was received Master watchmaker in 1766 - François Elisée, Frédéric, and Samuel Henri. David Rochat and sons worked for Jaquet-Droz and Leschot, providing ebauches of singing bird mechanisms, at the end of the 18th century. Around 1813, these three Rochat brothers moved to Geneva and went into business on their own, soon splitting up into two groups. François remained on his own (later aided by his son, Ami Napoléon), and Frédéric and Samuel worked together, (with Frédéric's sons, Antoine and Louis). FR is usually thought to stand for these Rochat brothers, although it is possible that the signature FR may stand for a single name: François Rochat, or Frederic Rochat. There were also other Rochats working in Geneva at the time. Among them is Louis Rochat, originally from l'Abbaye in the Vallée de Joux, who is considered to be the maker of a piece with clock and singing birds (today in the Peking Museum) which won a prize from the Genevan Réunion des Industriels in 1829. In 1814, Louis and his brother François formed an association along with Pierre Daniel Campiche, called Frères Rochat et Compagnie. To complicate matters, there were ties between the various Rochats. For example, Louis Rochat from l'Abbaye worked with Antoine (son of Frédéric) for a time, around 1850. It is however clear that the Rochat family produced a majority of the finest and most complex singing bird objects
09-10-2010 Sold including buyer's premium: 2,120,000 HKD

Eight-Tune Triple-Me.. Made circa 1770.1

A magnificent and extremely fine and rare, Louis XV, mahogany and ormolu, 8-day going, hour and quarter-striking on two bells, musical bracket clock with two pipe organs and a cylinder musical mechanism playing on eleven bells with nineteen hammers, playing a selection of eight tunes with sequential consecutive movements on the hour or at will.
C. Waisted form veneered with mahogany, rococo gilt bronze scroll and rocaille mounts, scroll and flower finial, foliate scroll feet, sides with pierced brass grilles, the gilt bronze door cast with foliate decoration at the edge and at the lower edge three-dimensional figures of a lady and two putti, the lady playing a harpsichord and the putti playing the viola and violin. D. White enamel, convex, bold radial Roman numerals, outer minute track, outermost Arabic five-minute numerals, dial mask applied with fine gilt bronze foliate and floral mounts, white enamel tune selection dial for the large organ at the lower left, tune selection and damper levers for the musical bells. Fine pierced and engraved gilt brass hands. M. 27 x 10 cm., horizontally rectangular, brass plates, four pillars, massive fusee and gut for the going train, fusee and chain for the striking train, verge escapement, steel rod pendulum with circular brass bob, striking the hours and quarters on two bells with two hammers, rods and levers for hourly musical activation on the backplate. Musical bell movement: rectangular brass plates, massive fusee and chain, fly governor, 16 cm pinned brass cylinder, playing a selection of eight tunes on eleven bells with nineteen hammers. Large organ movement: driven by two massive fusees with gut lines, mounted between plates above the organ adjacent to the musical bell movement, winding in unison, brass fly governor with adjustable wings, 30 x 16 cm., organ below the musical bell movement, with brass plates, large pinned wooden cylinder playing 14 pipes. Small organ movement: mounted in the cresting of the clock, two massive fusees with chains mounted in separate plates behind the organ, winding in unison, brass fly governor with adjustable wings, organ with brass casing, pinned wooden cylinder playing 9 small pipes. Movement signed. Dim. 123 x 65 x 29 cm.
Very few clocks by Jaquet Droz with organs exist, this clock is exceptional because it has not only one, but two organs and a musical bell movement making it extremely rare and possibly unique. The clock is exceptionally well-made, the double barrel and double fusee arrangement for each of the the musical movements assuring long duration. On the hour the clock strikes the hours and then the musical bells activate, immediately after the bells finish the organs are then activated, the lower organ with a deeper tone, the upper small organ with a more high-pitched tune. The heavy, compacted brass movement is typical of Jaquet-Droz, the case is also exceptionally well made. During this period Jaquet-Droz was the only maker in Switzerland producing complicated musical clocks.
29-03-2009 Sold including buyer's premium: 126,000 CHF

Venus & Cupid Clockw..et Droz, London. 1

Made for the Chinese market, circa 1785. Very fine and extremely rare, two-train, quarter-striking, gold, painted on enamel, pearl and ruby-set clockwatch with shuttered winding and cylinder escapement.
C. Two-body, sprung and hinged bezel set with half-pearls alternating with rubies, band decorated with dark blue, turquoise and white enamel panels with gold paillons, the reverse decorated with a painted on enamel scene of Venus and Cupid in a gold paillon border, outer border of dark blue translucent guilloché enamel, half-pearl surround and ruby-set outer border, shuttered winding holes opened and closed by a button in the back of the case. Gilt metal dust cap. D. White enamel with radial Roman numerals, outer minutes/seconds divisions. Pierced gold Jaquet Droz hands. M. 39 mm., matte gilt, full plate, cylindrical pillars, two-train with going barrels, cylinder escapement, three-arm brass balance, pierced and chased continental balance, diamond endstone, silvered regulation dial, strike/not strike selection lever in the dial plate. Dust cap signed. Diam. 53 mm
27-06-2009 Sold including buyer's premium: 300,000 HKD

"Gold Pair-Cased" Ja..sed pocket watch.1

C. Outer: two-body, "bassine" polished. Inner: two-body, "bassine" polished. Gilt-metal dust cover. D. White enamel with radial Roman numerals, outer dot minute indexes, Arabic five minute numerals. Gold "Louis XV" hands. M. 34.5 mm., frosted gilt, full plate, conical pillars, fusee and chain, verge escapement, three-arm brass balance, flat balance spring, finely pierced and engraved foliate balance cock, diamond endstone, silver regulation disc. Dial and dust cap signed. Diam. 49 mm. Property of an Gentleman
12-11-2006 Sold including buyer's premium: 11,800 CHF

Sources:

  1. Antiquorum, via search engine http://www.antiquorum.com
  2. eBay #8932147486 sold on 05-08-06 for £41, http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8932147486
  3. For Sale add on thePurists on 05-12-2006, sold for $975. http://www.thepurists.com
  4. Personal collection of cme2c (Jeff Geisert), offered for sale on http://www.timezone.com for $2900 on 06-17-2006
  5. Personal collection of Larry Seiden
  6. The European Watch Company in Boston

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