Two weeks ago I spent the week with F.P. Journe’s high-end quartz creation, and then this past week, I’m back dabbling with Jaeger LeCoultre and another complication that can be a bit of a hard sell — the deadbeat seconds. I’m the first to admit that I — as with most of my fellow enthusiasts — am hardwired to love the delicate sweep of a mechanical seconds hand. The idea of a deadbeat, at a fundamental level, sounds convoluted, not to mention complicated for the sake of being complicated to most of us whose daily lives are by no means impacted by the accuracy of a ticking second hand. It would seem that my Week on the Wrist calendar has brought me a pair of challenging timepieces back-to-back.
Tagged: jaquet droz
Jaquet Droz timepieces are universally acknowledged for their mechanical excellence and fine decoration, including painted dials, engraving and enameling at the hands of master craftsmen at the company’s Ateliers d’Art in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Enameling is notoriously tricky, and to achieve an enamel finish with even grain and color requires knowledge and mastery of high firing techniques, as well as access to the best resources available.
On June 11, in New York, timepieces spanning the years from 1760 to 2015 garnered Sotheby’s its highest-ever total for a “various-owner” sale of Important Watches, achieving $12.5 million. An admirable 88.8% of the lots were sold, and the sale estimate was $6.5 to $10 million.
Twenty-two Swiss enameled automata from a private collection formed the centerpiece of the auction, together bringing $6.1 million. These exquisite examples of fine craftsmanship at the hands of noted makers like Jaquet-Droz and Piguet and Maylan, from the golden age of Swiss watchmaking during the Industrial Revolution, brought to life the marriage of technology and artistry that was a hallmark of that era.