Poetry in motion – the new 2020 release Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton is a horological wonder

Poetry in motion – the new 2020 release Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton is a horological wonder

The new 2020 watch release Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton is dream of a watch that features a golden butterfly chariot! Jaquet Droz does it again – their habit of creating artistic and horological wonders is getting to be one of the most joy bringing aspect of our watch reviewing work.

The Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton

The Loving Butterfly Automaton is one of the most visually striking of this year’s watch releases, that has so far seen products launched by Zenith, Vacheron Constantin, Montblanc, TAG Heuer among others. 

Set in a very Jaquet Droz universe, this release has a very familiar yet distinctively charming appeal to it.

This new release marks a new chapter in Jaquet Droz’s 300-year exploration of natural fibres and honing their watchmaking artistry.

What’s special about the Automaton

The animation on the dial is inspired by a drawing titled Le papillon conduit par l’amour (Butterfly Driven by Love), which was sketched in 1774 by The Draughtsman, an automaton created by Henri- Louis Jaquet-Droz.

Courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

Our homeland connection 

As the readers might be aware, Watch Ya gonna Do About It is an Australian website, and any watch related news that’s got anything to do with Australia, is closer to our hearts.

The Chinchilla red petrified wood forms the basis of this stunning dial. This wood was petrified between 140-180 million years ago.

It was formed by fir trees covered in volcanic ash that were swept away by lava. The product is an exceedingly rare and dense mineral.

And it is named after the far-eastern locale, right here in Australia.

Just for contextual reference, a 150 million years is dinosaur territory. Did we just hear Ross gasp? (Hope we have some F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans reading this).

More of that Aussie connection 

As these watches were made possible thanks to Australian wood petrified 150 million years ago, it is good to note that parts of the proceeds from the sales of the Loving Butterfly Automaton will go towards reforestation. 

Deeply affected by global deforestation and in particular by the fires that have had a devastating impact on Australia in recent months, Jaquet Droz has announced that part of the sales from the Loving Butterfly Chinchilla Red automaton will be donated to associations dedicated to reforestation and the preservation of endemic species such as “Plant a Tree for Me” or “One Tree Planted”.

Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton
Courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

The symbolism

Another aspect we love about this release is that the watch is full of symbolism.

  • The watch is meant to be a metaphor for labours of love. 
  • The chariot symbolises victory and the butterfly represents Cupid. 
  • The butterfly’s wings flutter in time, placed close against the sapphire crystal to make it seem like the butterfly is about to break free and fly out of the scenery. 
  • Even the wheels on the chariot turn, but not all of the spokes rotate, creating an optical illusion.
Courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

Features of the Reference J032533275

The Movement

The heart used — calibre 2653 AT1 — is a mechanical self-winding movement featuring silicon balance spring, pallet horns, double barrel, flat bridges, and a 22-karat red gold oscillating weight. It beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h).

The movement is encased inside a 43mm diameter and 16.63mm thick polished 18K red gold case. It comprises of 57 jewels and boasts of a very decent 68 hours power reserve.

Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton
Courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

The Dial 

The dial like many Jaquet Droz watches is where most of the magic for this watch occurs.

The dial is made of chinchilla red petrified wood and black onyx with hand-engraved 18-karat red gold appliques.

The watch face shows the off-centered hours and minutes at 12 o’clock, and a whole lot more. The multiple levels and details on this dial lends the piece a unique three-dimensional feel. 

The dial also features a hand-wound automaton with crown-push button triggering mechanism to move the animated chariot wheel and wings. Like the chariot, the butterfly comprises of several dozen stationary and moving appliqués, that have been hand-etched by Jaquet Droz artisan jewelers. 

Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton
Courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

Figures of trees — each tree spans a mere 0.2 mm & its slender grooves are carved one by one using purpose-designed tools, and is then individually placed in its very own setting —circumvent part of the dial, that in turn are surrounded by a gold backdrop entirely crafted by hand. 

Artistically, the autumnal hues of the stone blend with the warmth of the 18-carat red gold. The watch is essentially poetry in motion.

To complete this look, the watch comes on a rolled-edge hand-made black alligator strap with an 18-karat red gold folding clasp.

Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?

The new 2020 watch release Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton is a thing of beauty and joy. And a wonderful example of the mastery of watchmaking. 

That combination of gold and black is not only classic but elegant to the max. 

The combination is further enhanced by the details on the dial, and even if you ignore the automaton on the dial, the watch is stunning regardless. The off-centred hour/minute hands provide great legibility as well. The beautifully decorated display case-back features an engraved individual limited serial number (No. X/28).

Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton
Courtesy ©Jaquet Droz. All rights reserved.

The watch is not really a daily wearable watch, but it’s not meant to be as well. It’s an art piece, something like the Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts minute repeaters, and given its highly exclusive and high-end look, this one is not to be missed by any serious watch collector.

To find out more about this and other Jaquet Droz watches, visit the Jaquet Droz website here.