Home » A Brief Tour of Jaquet Droz’s History in Five Watches 

A Brief Tour of Jaquet Droz’s History in Five Watches 

Photo: Jaquet Droz

Jaquet Droz, established in 1738, is known for its elegant and opulent timepieces that naturally impress. This is all thanks to its peerless combination of accuracy, functionality, and beauty. The company specializes in decorative pocket timepieces, snuffboxes, as well as singing birds.

The mind and soul behind this well-known brand was Pierre Jaquet-Droz, who was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1721. Within a short period, his love for creating precise and intricate timepieces turned him into a truly legendary. In 1758, he traveled from his humble farm in Switzerland to Spain.

King Ferdinand VI of Spain, who was a fan of Droz’s watches, gave him the type of fame that only a select few brand owners could hope to achieve. Louis XVI also acknowledged the artistic brilliance in 1775 for his trio of humanoid automata.

In addition, the label successfully established itself in China by attracting the Qianlong Emperor’s interest. After that, Droz’s creativity made a big impression in Geneva and London.

As part of the renowned Swatch Group, Jaquet Droz timepieces now have a platform to display their interesting history. These watches, which draw their inspiration from the Age of Enlightenment, blend excellent horological knowledge with creativity as well as elegant artistry to meet evolving demands.

In general, the Jaquet Droz products are all one-of-a-kind and grab your attention. This is due to their impeccable designs, decorative elements, considerate dials, and use of quality material. Moreover, the attractiveness is enhanced by the use of vibrant, rich minerals plus handmade patterns.

Here is a brief tour of Jaquet Droz’s modern history in five watches:

  1. Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde

This iconic watch developed from the pocket piece that Jaquet Droz’s inventor created in 1785. With its cutting-edge design, the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde first came to public prominence in 2002.

You would take a second glance at this watch because of its intricate design and complicated movements. It has dials overlapping to create the number 8 that the manufacturer considers lucky. The bigger seconds dial sits at the bottom of this model, with the hours, minutes, and seconds dials on top. Hence, this set of Jaquet Droz timepieces, which measure 43mm, would appear fantastic on any man’s wrist. Moreover, some of the designs in this series include extra features that have given them a unique identity.


Considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time and sometimes mentioned as also the best athlete ever, retired Michael “MJ” Jordan, is wearing a 44mm Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde “Black Enamel”, featuring a dial with a power reserve and small seconds, limited to 88 pieces worldwide. Photo: Getty Images


  1. Jaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art

The luxurious decoration is undoubtedly one of the many qualities that Jaquet Droz is well known for. The two-star company’s decorative art expertise and artistry are on display in the Jaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art line. They used their enamel coating expertise to create a few outstanding Jaquet Droz timepieces. Each item is unique since the painting technique, which uses no machines, requires at least one week to complete.

The company keeps reviving ancient methods for its watches, like the craft of carving and engraving. Enameling as well as paillonné enameling, which are essential procedures, are also included in the list of art professions. The label’s lines reimagine these approaches, which are the owner’s area of expertise.

The Petite Heure Minute, which is part of this series, highlights the utilization of materials, minerals, as well as complexities. Also, Petite Heure Minute Carps and Petite Heure Minute Lion are two examples of variants that demonstrate the craft of painting.

Photo: Jaquet Droz


  1. Jaquet Droz Automata

The system that made the brand famous during the 18th century—the automaton—is still present in modern watches. The creation of the Jaquet Droz Automata was made possible by the talents of the Ateliers d’Art and cutting-edge tech. Similar to how the monarchies felt as they first set eyes on the founder’s works, it continues to amaze everybody. Besides, the timepieces in this line use three-dimensional mechanics rather than painted graphics.

The Bird Repeater, automata of 3 birds with a waterfall setting, was unveiled in 2012. While Jaquet Droz launched its 47mm watch, The Charming Bird, in 2013, it saw a chance to create history during its 275th anniversary. This masterwork won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve for being the first watch made with a humming bird automaton.

The Loving Butterfly Automaton is one of the numerous masterpieces in the Jaquet Droz Automata series. Definitely, one Henri-Louis Jaquet-sketches Droz’s from 1774 served as the basis for this. The company took this drawing of a butterfly dragging a chariot on which a cherub is seated and made it genuine while adding new elements.


The Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, 52 year old Teodorín Nguema Obiang – known for his lavish lifestyle, is wearing a 47mm Jaquet Droz “The Bird Repeater” in 18k red gold, with the two famous hand-engraved birds in the dial, limited to only 8 pieces worldwide. The makers of the watch have united all the symbols of Geneva on a white gold mother-of-pearl dial and reproduced Lake Geneva, the Jet d’Eau fountain and lighthouse Le Phare des Pâquis, as well as the silhouette of the Salève – the pre-Alpine peak. Photo: Getty Images


Photo: Jaquet Droz


  1. Jaquet Droz Grande seconde SW

The Jaquet Droz SW series delivers on the label’s classic style in a sporty rendition. This was introduced in 2008 while the line was still known as Sports Utility Watches (SUW). The company didn’t rename the line until 2012 when it became known as Jaquet Droz SW, which means Sports Watch.

Despite drawing inspiration from the company’s pocket watch, Jaquet Droz developed and improved the label’s elements to make it sportier. Rubber bands, robust steel casings, and scratch-resistant bezels make it more capable of handling certain activities.


Jaquet Droz Grande seconde SW Steel


  1. Jaquet Droz Lady 8

Once it debuted in 2013, the Jaquet Droz Lady 8 series quickly rose to popularity in the watch industry. It stands out due to its unique appearance because not all timepiece models feature a casing with a figure-8 pattern. The dial, which is housed in a large circle with a smaller circle above, is shaped like the number eight. The little ring is also an intriguing part of the design since it contains a special substance that differs based on the version.



Bottom Line

Timepieces created by Jaquet Droz has a long and fascinating heritage that dates back over 250 years. This label, which was the creation of an imaginative Swiss clockmaker, has won the respect of both royal individuals and contemporary, fashion-forward customers.

The primary advantages of Jaquet Droz include outstanding accuracy, technical finesse, superior materials, and elegant hues. It produces a distinctive range of watches that honor the brilliance of miniature paintings, etching, sculpting, and enameling. Swatch Group presently owns it. Timepieces from Jaquet Droz, which are available for both sexes, are essential for any formal occasion.

Shop our favorite products

Subjects in this article: