Jaquet Droz – known for their marvelous automata and dials of dazzling beauty has delivered on both fronts with this pair of delicate beauties, both twists on the Loving Butterfly, with an Australian angle.
First of all, the Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Chinchilla Red, a 28-piece limited edition, that takes its name from the distinctive dial, which, the more observant readers might have noticed, appears more brownish-orange than red per se. That’s because Chinchilla red isn’t a color, it’s a tree. Or rather it was when it was growing on the land that became Australia some 150 million years ago. Ancient firs, lava, volcanic ash and a lot of time combined to create an exceptionally rare petrified wood that is found near the town of Chinchilla, in rural Queensland. The mineral shines in a red gold case and provides a lush backdrop for the titular loving butterfly automaton, with its cherub and butterfly, and the delicate gold forest in which is lives.
The fires that ravaged Australia over summer proved just how delicate those forests are – and the Chinchilla Red provides the perfect opportunity for Jaquet Droz to do its part – a portion of sales from this limited edition will go towards reforestation and protecting native species, a worthwhile pursuit if ever there was one.
The second set of unique timepieces with an Australian link is the Jaquet Droz Opal Loving Butterfly Automaton. Offered in two versions – one cased in red gold, the other in white. It takes a lot to overshadow the fine gold work on the dial, but the Opal dial, with its shifting iridescence, very nearly manages that feat. Opals are mined almost exclusively in Australia, and the stone shows off the skill of Jaquet Droz’s artisans. The stone dial is gradually polished down to a mere 0.8mm thin, drilled and burred down to a perfectly circular dial – a nerve-wracking proposition given the fragile state of this brittle material, and the distinct lack of second chances. The result is a dial as charming and entrancing as the automaton itself.
Jaquet Droz 2653 ATI hand-wound mechanical automaton movement with push-button triggering mechanism moving the butterfly’s wheels and the wheels of the chariot; automatic winding for the hours and minutes movement; power reserve of 68 hours
43mm diameter, height of 16.63mm, red or white gold for the Opal dial, red gold for the Chinchilla Red; splash resistant to 30 metres