Jaquet Droz – Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird

by Chamath Gamage
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Some watches do more than just tell the time. The Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird is just that. This timepiece stands out to the collector for its creativity and originality as it embosses a beautiful artwork all the while still telling the time. With this latest creation from Jaquet Droz, they have set themselves apart from other manufacturers as one of the few that can use the ancestral technique of plique-à-jour enamelling. This enamelling technique started over 1500 years ago and has many similarities to miniature stained-glass windows. 

This masterpiece first starts with the gold dial being created with partitions of different shapes and sizes which will be the outlines for the enamel. Each of the empty spaces from the partitions will then be filled with different colours of enamel, after which they will be put through several successive firings. Each time the dial enters the oven, the colour of enamels will gain more density and depth of colour. The risk of successive firings however is that it only takes a few degrees of extra heat before the enamel will break. The plique-à-jour enamelling process will create a perfectly transparent enamel that will play with light and reflections to bring the motif to life!

Design:

The Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird comes in a 35mm case and features 100 diamonds set on the bezel and pallet lugs. The miniature dial that tells the time at the 2 o’clock position features mother-of-pearl. The strap option offered is a hand-embroidered green satin strap. 

The motif of the hummingbird is a beautiful display that is created in a somewhat subtle gradient of green. Over seven shades of green were used to create this image of this joyous bird. With the time dial created in a miniaturised version, it offers the hummingbird more space to show its true colours and the virtuosity of the plique-à-jour. The case back offers an inside peek into the movement all the while retaining the beautiful enamel work. 

Limited to just 8 pieces, Jaquet Droz showcases that they have masted the art of plique-à-jour enamelling, by creating the Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird to be seen in such a naturalistic and lively manner.

Specification:

  • Case: 35mm and Thickness 10.83mm
  • Case material:18-karat red gold case set with 100 diamonds (0.89 carat)
  • Dial: 18-karat white gold dial with “plique-à-jour” Grand Feu enamel and white mother-of-pearl with 18-karat white gold applique.
  • Crystal: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Movement: Jaquet Droz 6150, self-winding mechanical movement, silicon balance spring and pallet horns, platinum oscillating weight with 18-karat red gold applique.
  • Power reserve: 38 hours
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