Jaquet Droz releases a unique collaboration with John Howe, Artistic designer for the “Lord of the Rings”, to bring a custom made watch with a dragon automation.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Jaquet Droz Dragon Automaton Numerus Clausus
As a highly complicated and associated high value watch, the Jaquet Droz Dragon Automaton is a “Price on Application” watch.
Read the release for information on John Howe, the collaborator for this project. Suffice it to say, John is a remarkable illustrator, as his works with Peter Jackson for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is evidence.
The Numerus Clausus is one of the 8 codes of Jaquet Droz. And once again the limited edition series (numerus clausus), this time Pièce unique watches featuring an automaton of a rather “realistic” dragon. Our words, of course, and having written it, it dawned on us that as nobody has ever seen a real dragon. So we too are unsure what that means, though the descriptor perhaps is in reference to conventional ideas of what a dragon would look like. And to this ideal, especially espoused in the Lord of The Rings movies, the dragon depicted on the watch looks realistic.
Three variants are offered as examples, each unique. One in white gold, and the other two in red gold. The white gold case features an open-worked onyx dial and sub-diall. And the red gold versions are available in either an open-worked dial and white mother of pearl sub-dial or a open-worked black onyx dial. All three are in a case measuring 43mm in diameter which is water resistant to 30m.
The movement used is in all three watches is the Jaquet Droz 6150, self winding mechanical movement with silicon balance springs and pallet horns, flat bridges and 18-karat gold oscillating weight with the JH Signature and black treatment. The movement is the same as that used in many of the automaton Jaquet Droz watches as well as simpler time only watches like the Lady 8 Petite Mother-of-Pearl. The movement is rather small in diameter, in fact the smallest from the Jaquet Droz stable. The movement runs at 21,6000 bph and has an autonomy of only 38 hours.
But the magic is in the automata, as is evident by the jewel count – 78 for the automata, and 29 for the time keeping movement. The hand-engraved dragon is an appliqué in 18-karat red gold. Hand-wound mechanical automaton movement with push-button triggering mechanism. Mechanical automaton with 9 different animated elements of the dragon: the crest moves, the mouth opens, the tongue comes out, the eye opens and closes, the dorsal section and tail undulate, the dragon’s foot moves up and down towards the ball, the ball spins on itself. The animation cycle lasts 10 to 15 seconds. This complex mechanism makes it one of the most complicated watches made by the maison.
As the watch is offered, there are options for other customisations and choices for material of case, dragon, dial and sub-dials and other design features. Perhaps endless possibilities. So, it is best you drop in at your Jaquet Droz authorised dealer and discuss your requirements.
The culmination of three years of work.
A unique collaboration in watchmaking. A custom-made creation that embodies the vision of Jaquet Droz by bringing the extraordinary and the wonderful to life.
The name John Howe is not the most well-known, but most are familiar with his universe and designs: John Howe is the artistic designer for Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. A fantasy prodigy who has lived in Neuchâtel for 30 years, and who is once again in the spotlight with “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”, which will be released on September 2nd.
Jaquet Droz and John Howe have much in common – the ability to create extraordinary worlds, to give life to wonderful things and emotions, to create animations that speak to the heart and soul – and this is what has brought them together. The ability to astonish, to amaze, to move.
Together, Jaquet Droz and John Howe worked as they have always done – with paper, pencil, and lots of ideas. The theme of their watchmaking collaboration soon became clear: the Dragon. It traverses John Howe’s universe as it does millennia, cultures and continents.
Jaquet Droz wanted this Dragon to be alive. And beyond that, with a total of 9 animations, it is probably one of the most complex modern automaton watches ever designed. The sequence that animates it is random, in order to preserve all its magic and mystery. The sacred animal’s spine undulates like its tail; its eye and jaw open and close; its tongue moves; its crest rises and falls; its claws grasp a continuously rotating stone.
In accordance with the new Jaquet Droz Vision 8.0, the manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds now only produce unique orders for clients who are themselves unique.
The 43 mm case is finished in the gold of your choice, and Jaquet Droz is already working on the opportunity of using other materials, such as sapphire. The case can either be engraved or left blank. The solid dial can be fully customized, engraved or replaced by a medallion in the stone of your choice. The Dragon, also made of gold and entirely engraved by hand, can have its scales more or less accentuated. It would be futile to list all the possibilities, as they are nearly limitless.
In addition, Jaquet Droz is currently finalizing a brand new phygital solution, installed right in the heart of its head quarter. Open and connected, it will allow clients to see their own Dragon Automatons being created. This immersive experience is a secret door to some of the richest Métiers d’Art in Fine Watchmaking. They are masterpieces of unique watches with very high added value, embodying the Philosophy of the Unique that has guided the disruptive spirit of Jaquet Droz since 1738.