New from Basel 2003 – Jaquet Droz Novelties

Hello Forumners

Jaquet Droz is a brand with a history ranging back to the 18th century. While they had been making a small range of wrist-watches in the recent past…

…everybody who’s visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Neuchatel, Switzerland will associate their name with these incredible “automatons” like the ones built in 1774 shown below.

The writing “droid” can actually hand-write any given sentence up to 40 characters long, “The Painter” can draw images like a butterfly, a dog or a portrait of Marie Antoinette, and “The Piano Player” will actually hit the keys while playing! Jaquet Droz still produces “The Writer” on request but with a pre-programmed sentence. Movie clips of some of their historic work can be viewed on their French language website under “Film Musee” in the “Historique” menu:

About two years ago, Jaquet Droz were taken over by the Swatch Group and this year for the first time showed their new collection at the Basel Fair. I think some of these watches are simply lovely, especially the most basic ones. As far as I know they’re still all fit with movements from Piguet but I can imagine that something exclusive to them is in the works for the future. The prices are comparable to those of the high-end brands, cases are all out of precious metals. Here’s a gallery of their current catalogue taken from their press-kid CD, enjoy!