Traditional metiers d’arts may no longer be a novel idea but Jaquet Droz still manages to astonish and enthral. Depicting a cherub seated on a chariot drawn by a butterfly, The Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton is a unique motif that traces back to the company’s heritage of creating automata. Fittingly, this timepiece is equipped with its own automaton that allows the butterfly to flap its wings, and the wheels of the chariot to spin. With thickets of trees as a backdrop, everything on the dial is relief engraved in either red or white gold. No fewer than four layers of tree trunks and foliage had been carved in order to give the dial its three-dimensional effect. Push the button set into the crown to animate the automaton.
In a technique well-known to automaton designers, the chariot’s wheel comes with fixed and mobile spokes, and only the mobile spokes turn. This creates the illusion that the entire wheel is spinning very quickly.
The Jaquet Droz Loving Butterfly Automaton is available in a 43mm case in red or white gold ($201,000), with a self-winding Calibre 2653 ATI, 68-hour power reserve, water-resistant to 30m and is paired with an alligator leather strap with matching gold folding clasp.