Jaquet Droz: Loving Butterfly Automaton Chinchilla Red Dial10 March 2020
After the success of the onyx and meteorite models, Jaquet Droz unveils a new version of the Loving Butterfly Automaton with an extraordinary Chinchilla Red dial.
The animated objet d’art 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. Today, it is transformed into a three-dimensional journey of ancient mineral. Set against a backdrop of a forest of gold, the piece features a dial made from wood petrified 140-180 million years ago called Chinchilla Red, named after the far-eastern locale in Australia where it is found.
This mineral has a remarkable history. When dinosaurs ruled the Earth 150 million years ago and birds began to hatch, the first flower bloomed. That is also when Chinchilla Red came to be. 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.
This new rendition magnifies the Cherub and the Butterfly, a classic metaphor for labors of love. The chariot symbolizes victory and the butterfly represents Cupid. Like the chariot, the butterfly comprises several dozen stationary and moving appliqués hand-etched by Jaquet Droz artisan jewelers. The scene unfolds on a veritable stage of nature with a set that actually rises up all around the dial.
The artful watch complication breathes life into an animated nature scene. 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, which creates an optical illusion that Pierre Jaquet-Droz began using nearly three centuries ago.
Inside the new Loving Butterfly Automaton beats the heart of the 2653 ATI automatic caliber with silicon balance spring and pallet horn, and a double barrel that guarantees 68 hours of power reserve. This limited edition of only 28 pieces in petrified wood “Chinchilla Red” is offered with a 43mm case in 18k red gold and a black alligator leather strap with a red gold folding clasp. (Price €.130.800)