Jaquet Droz has had deep ties with China since the 18th century. And it is for this reason that the brand observes the change in every Chinese zodiac cycle with a model celebrating a rare technique or new craft skill practiced in its Ateliers d’Art. To celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Goat, the watchmaking firm has now launched two new models in honour of the animal that is a symbol of imagination, creativity, and a world of pastoral riches.
The watchmakers and artisans at Jaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art, in fact, decided to represent not just one goat, but three. Each element of the body, each minute detail, is thrown into relief in three dimensions by the artisan’s skillful touch. The end result is all the more captivating against the backdrop of a stylized dial evoking a motif of plum blossom in pure, simple lines.
Together with bamboo, chrysanthemum and orchid, plum blossom is one of the four noble flowers that featured in Chinese iconography over 1,600 years ago. Unfolding their petals in winter, these blooms are an early herald of the promises of spring and youth refound. They stand out against a background of white mother- of-pearl or black onyx, two materials that reappear on the underside of an oscillating weight surmounted by a ram’s head.
To create the stylized plum blossom, `meihua` in Chinese, the Ateliers d’Art used champlevé enameling, a particularly demanding technique that guarantees a result of exceptional delicacy. The metal is hollowed out according to the desired design and the hollows are then filled with enamel, fired and hand-polished. The finished dial is reminiscent of the exquisitely fragile masterpieces of `Jianzhi`, the Chinese art of paper cutting that dates from the middle of the first millennium.
Limited to just 28 pieces each, these two models work equally well in the fresh palette of white gold and Jaquet Droz blue and in the warm tones of red gold paired with a delicious wine burgundy.