Jaquet-Droz’s “Loving Butterfly” Automaton Features Prehistoric Wood

By Paul Joseph

Watchmaker Jaquet-Droz has released a new interpretation of its “Loving Butterfly” automation featuring a dial made from a rare form of prehistoric petrified wood dating back to dinosaur times.

The original Loving Butterfly was released back in 2017 and several different versions have been launched in subsequent years, including opal, onyx, black mother-of-pearl, aventurine, and even meteorite dials.

The automaton depicts a scene in which a chubby cherub can be seen riding on a chariot drawn by a butterfly through an enchanted forest, based on a sketch that was drawn in 1774 by The Draughtsman, an automaton created by Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz.

The entire scene is beautifully handcrafted in gold with different finishes with the Chinchilla Red in the backdrop.

Unquestionably the highlight of the timepiece is its dial made from wood petrified 140-180 million years ago called Chinchilla Red, and named after the place in Australia where it is found.

An exceedingly rare and dense mineral, it dates back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth and was formed by fir trees covered in volcanic ash that was swept away by lava.

Like previous versions of the Loving Butterfly, it is housed in a 43mm 18-karat red gold case and the trigger mechanism for the automaton is discreetly located in the crown.

The timepiece is powered by the self-winding JD2653 AT1 caliber with a silicon balance spring and pallets and an automaton mechanism. It offers a 68-hour power reserve for the time mechanism, while the automaton is driven by its own power source.

Only 28 examples of the new Jaquet-Droz Loving Butterfly will be available for sale across the world, though no confirmation of pricing has yet been made.

By Paul Joseph