Birds occupy an important place in the history of Jaquet Droz. Pierre Jaquet-Droz, a child of the Enlightenment, was keenly attuned to the love of nature that was then the height of fashion. In those rational times, birdsong was considered an appropriate subject of study in the quest for universal knowledge, and it was an unending source of inspiration for baroque artists. In his native region of La Chaux-de-Fonds, the young watchmaker would observe the many local birds each day, and he listened to their song. He would immortalise several local species in the form of mechanical singing birds, which were incorporated into pocket watches, table clocks and automata, which were enriched with engraving, miniature-painting and enamelling, and set with pearls and precious stones. In keeping with the spirit of the time, these automata driven by bellows and pistons reproduced their particular bird songs as faithfully as possible.
Though its predecessor donned a classic brushed and polished steel match, this brand new version presents a more virile attire courtesy of the black PVD coating that covers the 44mm-diameter case. In addition, the PVD coating is great protection against everyday wear and tear and provides the chrono a sportier and more contemporary edge.The chronograph is the among the most popular complications from the eye arena, as well as the proliferation of inexpensive quartz chronos available on the current market, the purpose is often taken for granted. This is hardly the case here, as manufacturing and developing a chronograph complication is, well, pretty complicated. So, when Alpina announced the introduction of its AL-760 in house calibre this past year, ears pricked up in the watch world. For a company of its size to come up with a flyback chronograph movement from scratch and do struggle in this fiercely competitive part of the marketplace was in itself remarkable. A fresh new look for the watch is definitely a welcome addition to the collection and for buyers that would rather have a cool PVD look.The refreshed, dim expression of this Alpina “Full Black” Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph gives a wonderful variation on the line and, really, we expect to see even more come out. Price for your PVD coated watch is really around exactly like the original version at $4,750.
Almost three centuries later, Alpina 4 Watch Review Replica reconnected with the history of these mechanical birds. 2012 saw the unveiling the animated blue tits of the Bird Repeater; the following year came the highly contemporary Charming Bird, the first ever singing bird on a wristwatch. Back in 2010, Jaquet Droz had reintroduced the ancestral artistic crafts of miniature painting, engraving and sculpture to its manufacture. Birds became favoured motifs, as seen in the Petite Heure Minute Bird of 2011 and the Petite Heure Minute Relief Oiseaux of 2012.
The Petite Heure Minute Relief Seasons Eté of 2017 is not an automaton, and it does not make any sounds. But that doesn’t matter. The blue tit and its chick are sculpted so realistically out of engraved and hand-painted 18K red gold, that they seem almost about to burst into song and flutter their wings. The extraordinarily rich colour palette used for the birds and the pastoral scene visible through the special domed glass brings the naturalistic scene to life. The relief engraving on the blue tit’s wing is so detailed that you can almost see the feathers moving. Wearing this rare watch on the wrist, it’s next to impossible not to keep glancing at it. The temptation to look at it through a magnifying glass is impossible to resist. What more can be said about the precise details revealed on each feather, except that the observer can almost hear the soft rustling as the bird hovers in front of its chick with a virtually invisible earthworm in its bill. The downy bodies of the birds are suggested by delicate brushstrokes of pale yellow, contrasting with the precise strokes of the blue tailfeathers, and bold black markings around their eyes.
Three sunflowers of different sizes, interspersed with green stems of wheat and tiny blue cornflowers, echoing the colour of the birds’ plumage, form a compact and unusually vivid backdrop. The stunning realism of the tableau can be illustrated by taking a closer look at the brown hearts of the sunflowers, where cavities have been left by missing seeds. The scene is set against a delicate white hand-painted mother-of-pearl dial, suggesting the hazy skies of a hot summer’s day, where the hour and minutes dial with its warm 18k red gold hands is nestled within the 41 mm diameter case.
Red gold also features on the back of the watch, whose transparent caseback reveals a rotor decorated with white mother-of-pearl, and two wings delicately hand-engraved and finished, also in red gold. The rotor winds the twin barrels which supply the Jaquet Droz 2653 automatic calibre with a 68-hour power reserve. This sophisticated limited edition watch of 88 pieces belongs to the Métiers d’Art Petite Heure Minute Relief Seasons series, where its warm colours and luxuriant vegetation contrast with the glacial diamond-set whiteness of the winter model.