Jaquet Droz open a boutique in Geneva . . .

by Ian Skellern (c) March 2006

and present a stunning Ladies' collection.


Standing on the outside looking in.

Building works outside prevented me from getting a long view of the front of the boutique;
however, they presented Jaquet Droz with another marketing opportunity, which they seized.

After a two century absence, Jaquet Droz returns to the city that shaped its history: Geneva. Pierre Jaquet set up his first manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1738, his second in London in 1774, and the third in Geneva in 1784.

At the official opening of their new Boutique in Geneva's prestigious Rue du Rhone, Jacquet Droz had on display a few incredible timepieces from their museum collection; the new Hommage Paris line, which is dedicated exclusively to women and starts with the very limited edition La Fleur du Temps (the flower of time) models; as well as their regular models - if any watches from Jaquet Droz can be called 'regular'.

Inside the intimate boutique with its relaxing ambience and feeling very 'Jaquet Droz'.

Another view of the interior of the boutique.

Looking at the size of the boutique, and its lack of preperation for a large gathering, I wondered where the presentation
was to take place. A high security elevator took us downstairs to reveal the large and well organized space below.

Jaquet Droz's managing director, Manuel Emch, makes a final adjustment to the display before the guests arrive.

This oasis of calm featured a TV showing a superb film about Jaquet Droz. With a
little luck we may be able to see parts of that on the forum in the coming weeks.

Gold and enamel singing-bird watch set with pearls and rubies.

One of the very first applications of the whistle with sliding piston, considered as one of Jaquet Droz’s major inventions, perfectly imitating bird songs. The piston whistle was an innovation which allowed for the miniaturization of the mechanism while also rendering a truly convincing imitation of bird song.

Only two other watches of this type are known to have survived; one bearing the N0. 1 was sold by Antiquorum on 13 November 1999 and the other from the Gustave Loup Collection is now part of the Sandoz collection at the Château des Monts in Le Locle.

The incredible paillonnee and enamel work of both the old and the new

Just before Showtime and the hospitality staff are ready and waiting.

(left) Gold and enamel wath set with pearls, centre sweep seconds, three-tune chime. Watch with carillon – exclusive product, and a type of watch for which the Jaquet Droz has virtually no rivals. The back panel with split-pearl and ruby inlaid border attributed to Abraham Lissignol, painted with a mythological scene inspired by an engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi : depicting Hebe quenching the thirst of Jupiter’s eagle with nectar. Movement with a 5-bell chime.

(right) Gold and enamel watch set with pearls, independent seconds hand. 1785. Double-train full-plate movement, the single foot of the balance cock being sunk into the back plate, which is engraved with scrolled foliage and pierced with rosettes above the barrels.

The room quickly fills up with appreciative guests.

Manuel Emch explaining the finer points of watch design.

These ladies appear to have seen something they like in one of the displays.

(left) “Morning Walk” Magnificent and highly important 18K gold and enamel,
pearl-set, center-seconds form clockwatch, designed as an amphora. Jaquet
Droz, Genève. “This amphora, is not only magnificent and rare, is also
important from an historical point of view because the movement is oval.
Jaquet Droz were the first to introduce oval-shaped watches for the
Chinese market. Antiquorum

Jaquet Droz's marketing manager Nathalie Kottelat (right), admiring a museum masterpiece with a guest.

Gold and enamel musical scent-bottle with a built-in watch with a visible balance set with rose-cut diamonds. Engraved with the signature of Jaquet Droz London; movement with a five-bell chime. Movement with a five-bell chime. Made for the Chinese market c. 1785.

As nice as the men's models are, . . .

especially the moonphase and grande date, . . .

it is these three watches in the center from the La Fleur du Temps collection that are beckoning for a closer look.

Click here for Part Two : La Fleur du Temps Ladies' Collection.

Ian Skellern - March 2006

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