Loving Butterfly Automaton by Jaquet Droz
Image: Jaquet Droz

Jaquet Droz: an ode to love with nature at heart

Jaquet Droz unveiled the latest version of its Loving Butterfly Automaton. This newest chapter in the company’s 300- year exploration of natural fibers showcases its watchmaking artistry in a series strictly limited to 28 timepieces.

The animated objet d’art takes its inspiration from a drawing titled Le papillon conduit par l’amour (Butterfly Driven by Love) sketched in 1774 by The Draughtsman, an automaton created by Henri- Louis Jaquet-Droz. Today, it is transformed into a three-dimensional journey of ancient mineral. The piece features a dial made from wood petrified 140-180 million years ago called Chinchilla Red. The name comes from the far-eastern locale in Australia where it originates.

This mineral has a remarkable history. “When dinosaurs ruled the Earth 150 million years ago and birds began to hatch, the first flower bloomed. That is also when Chinchilla Red came to be,” Jaquet Droz explains. Fir trees covered in volcanic ash, swept away by lava, formed this Chinchilla Red. It is an exceedingly rare and dense mineral. It took countless hours of manual labour to make its surface smooth.

Nature at heart.

This new rendition magnifies the Cherub and the Butterfly, a classic metaphor for labors of love. The chariot symbolizes victory and the butterfly represents Cupid. Like the chariot, the butterfly comprises several dozen stationary and moving appliqués, hand-etched by Jaquet Droz. The scene unfolds on a veritable stage of nature with a set that actually rises up all around the dial. The butterfly’s wings flutter in time, placed close against the sapphire crystal to make it seem like the butterfly is about to break free and fly out of the scenery. While a handcrafted gold backdrop embraces the figures, while each tree spans a mere 0.2 mm.

As a result, the autumnal hues of the stone blend with the warmth of the 18-carat red gold. Each of these one-of-a-kind timepieces has a slightly different mineral dial.

Part of the proceeds from the sales will go towards reforestation.

Consequently, in view of the global deforestation and by the fires in Australia in recent months, Jaquet Droz announced that part of the sales from the Loving Butterfly Chinchilla Red automaton will be go towards reforestation. “Plant a Tree for Me” or “One Tree Planted” are the chosen associations that dedicate their work to reforestation and the preservation of endemic species.

After all, the timepiece presented today was possible thanks to Australian wood petrified 150 million years ago. Jaquet Droz says it affirms its commitment to give back what the nature offers, carried out within an eco-responsible, ethical and sharing framework.