The new Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird by Jaquet Droz is a demonstration of mastery in the ancient art of plique-à-jour enameling. Unlike cloisonné or champlevé, the technique consists of applying the enamel to bottomless molds.
The watch is effectively a stained glass window in miniature, with each color making up the picture set in gold partitions. Jaquet Droz has established itself as one of the rare artisanal ateliers to use the ancestral technique of plique-à-jour enameling which first appeared 1500 years ago. Unlike cloisonné or champlevé, the technique consists of applying the enamel to bottomless molds.
After creating white gold partitions of different shapes and sizes, the empty spaces are filled with different colours of enamel, then undergoing several successive firings, each passage in the oven gives the enamel its color and density, yet with the constant risk that only a few degrees hotter will break it. Just like a miniature stained-glass window, this plique-à-jour process results in a perfectly transparent enamel that plays with light, shadows and reflections.
The dial layout of the Petite Heure Minute, with its off-centered white mother-of-pearl dial at 2 o’clock, is ideal to leave the hummingbird a large space. The hummingbird crafted in a subtle gradient of green. Jaquet Droz created seven different shades to express the joyful vision of this famous bird.
Housed in a 35 mm case crafted from red gold and set with 100 diamonds on the bezel and pallet lugs, the Jaquet Droz 6150 calibre is equipped with silicon balance spring and pallet horns as well as a platinum oscillating weight with 18-karat red gold applique. Beating at the frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations per hour), this self-winding movement has a power reserve of 38 hours. Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara Hummingbird is a limited edition of only eight pieces. jaquetdroz.com
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