Ma­caw-toma­ton —

WatchTime - - Watch talk -

— Pierre Ja­quet-droz made scores of clocks, watches and mu­sic boxes that fea­tured singing bird au­tom­ata and his epony­mous brand, now owned by the Swatch Group, has paid trib­ute to this his­tory in re­cent years with its Bird Re­peater wrist­watches. The Par­rot Re­peater, the first of the so-called Au­tom­ata Col­lec­tion to use a pock­et­watch case (which would have been the pre­ferred style of Pierre Ja­quet-droz), is the most com­plex and most lim­ited to date – a lit­eral one-of-a-kind time­piece with five an­i­ma­tions on the dial and a host of dec­o­ra­tive tech­niques and gem-set­ting adorn­ing its 56-mm, 18k rose-gold case. Perched on the mother-of-pearl dial are a fam­ily of macaws. Po­si­tioned in front of the white moth­erof-pearl sub­dial, on which the of­f­cen­ter hours and min­utes are dis­played by gold hands, each of the fam­ily of birds is an­i­mated: the par­rot on the left moves its body while the larger one on the right wig­gles its head. One of the chicks emerges from its egg while the other hops back and forth. Other de­tails emerge such as a tiger paus­ing for a drink at an an­i­mated waterfall in the back­ground and an­other tiger crouch­ing be­low the macaws’ nest at 6 o’clock.

The whole tableau in­volves minia­ture paint­ing for the daz­zling col­ors of the jun­gle and minia­ture re­lief en­grav­ing for the 3-D depth of the el­e­ments; the tree trunks, birds and nest are solid gold ap­pliqués, hand-painted and hand-ap­plied to the dial. e com­plex­ity in both con­struc­tion and dec­o­ra­tive em­bel­lish­ment ex­tends to the rose-gold case, whose rim boasts a rain­bow of col­ors achieved by gem-set­ting. It uses two cov­ers to pro­tect the dial. One is on the back, with a grand

feu enamel paint­ing of a ma­caw, en­hanced with span­gles and ex­e­cuted in a spe­cial tech­nique that mixes hand-ground enamel pow­der with oil, adding the span­gles by hand, then adding a pro­tec­tive layer of translu­cent enamel be­fore a fi­nal fir­ing in the kiln and a fi­nal hand-pol­ish. On the front is a dial cover, of­fer­ing a peek at the dial’s scenery through its sculpted vines and trop­i­cal fo­liage, which are set with mul­ti­col­ored gem­stones. The man­ual-wound, minute re­peater move­ment inside is com­posed of 668 com­po­nents and stores a power re­serve of 48 hours. The slider at 9 o’clock si­mul­ta­ne­ously ac­ti­vates the au­tom­ata and the minute re­peater, whose cathe­dral gongs chime the hours, quar­ter hours and min­utes. Price is avail­able upon re­quest.

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