Jaquet Droz’s Magic Lotus Automaton is Poetry in Motion

By Paul Joseph

Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz have carved out an impressive reputation for opulent, extravagantly designed timepieces and their latest creation certainly meets that billing.

Three years in development, the new Jaquet Droz Magic Lotus Automaton wristwatch boasts an ultra-sophisticated dial that offers a 4-minute-long circular animation depicting an Eden-like garden with budding lotus flowers and frolicking koi fish.

Each of the four flowers represent the four different seasons. A hand-carved mother-of-pearl button at 3 o’clock symbolises an unopened lotus bud, which stands for spring. To its left is a blooming lotus that symbolizes summer.

The flower that’s fallen into the water, as one would expect, evokes fall, while a diamond-set seed pod at 6 o’clock marks winter, completing the symbolic circle of life.

The dial of the new Jaquet Droz timepiece is made of three parts: the off-centered subdial made of onyx and featuring gold hour and minute hands; a crescent-shaped fixed disk sit around it which displays the life cycle of lotus flower; the third element is a fully rotating peripheral disk that features two animations.

The first animation involves a handcrafted gold koi fish that flaps its tail and also moves up and down. The second involves a lotus flower; each time when the lotus passes beneath the dial or leaves, it acquires a new stone – blue sapphire, yellow sapphire and ruby.

“The same stone never appears in the same place from one rotation to the next,” according to its maker. “The colour of the lotus heart changes, invisibly, four times for every rotation around the river, and the same stone is never seen twice in a row.”

The hand-wound mechanical automaton movement that makes this whole exceptionally-sophisticated mechanical artistry work is made of more than 500 components, making it come of the most complicated watches ever made by the brand.

Limited to just 28 pieces, the watch is available in a 43mm red gold or white gold case, each priced at $210,000.

By Paul Joseph