Jaquet Droz has always placed a lot of emphasis on its Ateliers d’Art watches. Developed in the company’s La Chaux de Fonds workshop in Switzerland, these watches boast centuries-old artisanal techniques that have been passed down the family line from one generation to another throughout its 250-year heritage. These include miniature painting techniques and relief engraving, both of which are used in the new Petite Heure Minute Buffalo watches that celebrate the year of the ox in the Chinese zodiac.
In the same way that Jaques Droz released a Petite Heure Minute watch to mark the year of the rat last year, the brand carries on tradition with these four new models limited to just 8 pieces per design. They comprise a 35mm and 41mm 18k rose gold model with an enamel dial adorned with a miniature painting of an ox, and two 41mm models that have been relief engraved to depict a realistic-looking three-dimensional ox against a black backdrop (one gem-set in 18k white gold and one plain 18k rose gold version).
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Buffalo with miniature painted dials
The Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute watches with dials rendered in the miniature painting technique feature an ivory Grand Feu enamel dial representing a stealth-like ox stood in front of a misty mountain scene. Both sizes feature slightly different dial designs but share the same soft pastel colour palette. The Petite Heure Minute counter, set towards the northern hemisphere of the dial, is represented in rose gold hands and traditional Roman numerals. The lady’s version foregoes the Roman numerals for a more minimalist look but features 232 diamonds set into its bezel and the lugs for a more luxurious execution. Through its sapphire exhibition caseback is a personalised rose gold appliqued rotor.
The gent’s variation instead features an 18k rose gold hand-engraved open-worked rotor. Both models are powered by the 2653.P self-winding mechanical movement which performs at a rate of 28,800vph and provides a 68-hour power reserve. Both are also finished on a rolled-edge handcrafted brown leather strap with a rose gold ardillon buckle.
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Buffalo with relief-engraved dials
The two 41mm relief engraved dial versions of the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute watches boast a three-dimensional effect and feature a forward-facing ox stood beside a plum tree. In China, the plum tree is said to have several symbolic connotations. The fruit is represented by rubies, chosen for their association with victory and bravery like the ox itself.
Powered by the same in-house movement with silicone parts for improved resistance and protection from magnetic damage, craftsmen at the company’s Ateliers d’Art quarters have engraved the oscillating weight seen through the sapphire caseback of these models with the head of an ox against an onyx background. The white gold version is finished on a rolled edge handcrafted black leather strap with an 18k white gold diamond-set ardillon buckle.
Prices for the new Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute watches are yet to be confirmed, but more information direct from the manufacturer’s site can be found here.