Watch manufacturer Jaquet Droz shows off its naturalistic quintessence with a new animation. The Magic Lotus Automaton invites meditation and contemplation in an animated Zen garden. Fauna and flora come to life in breathtaking detail in this luxurious showcase of artisanal techniques. This latest creation is an ode to life and its everlasting new beginning.
The Automaton is a new development that was designed and assembled in house and features an exceptionally long animation that runs for more than four minutes. In this time a naturalistic fresco unfolds with the grace and serene beauty of a Zen garden.
The eternal cycle of life is a millennia-old concept that is part of the traditions of Asia, Ancient Greece and all major monotheistic faiths. Rebirth and reincarnation are experienced in the everyday, in the continuous movement trough the seasons that is made possible by the movements of the Earth, Moon and Sun. It is this perpetual movement that Jaquet Droz has chosen to represent with a Lotus in the Magic Lotus Automaton. Four flowers represent the four seasons or, for some, the stages of life.
A mother-of-pearl button at 3 o’clock symbolizes the unopened Lotus bud. In relief upon a corolla of gold petals, it evokes the first season: spring. To its left, a Lotus flower in full bloom symbolizes summer. This simple miniature incorporates a number of Jaquet Droz decorative techniques. The petals are carved from mother-of-pearl, and finished with a thin coat of translucent paint that accentuates the relief. At its heart a yellow sapphire with gold prongs represents the pistil and stamens, poised to fly away and give life in turn to new Lotus flowers. By its side, a Lotus flower fallen onto the water represents the third season, fall, carried away by the current. Finally, winter is marked at 6 o’clock by the seed pod of the aquatic plant. In this season the pod sinks to the bottom of the water to be naturally buried, thus protecting the precious seeds that will foster new Lotus flowers the following spring. Jaquet Droz sets the pod with seven diamonds that represents the seeds – visible symbols of the life glittering within.
The dial of the Magic Lotus Automaton comprises three sections. The first is immobile: the onyx watch dial with gold hour and minute hands. It is surrounded by a crescent-shaped fixed disk that attaches the Lotus life cycle to the piece, with reed stems and three suspended Lotus leaves in Grand Feu enamel on a white gold or red gold base.
This composition of four seasons is suspended above the third peripheral disk, which fully rotates. It represents the perpetual movement of the water, the perfection of the circle, and the continuous return of life. Bobbing gold water lilies reveal the eddies of the water. This mobile disk houses two utterly exceptional animations. The first is a Koi which seems like it’s swimming through the water.
The Koi is complemented by the floating Lotus animation opposite. Mother-of-pearl petals surround a movement at the heart of the Lotus: each time it passes beneath the dial or leaves, it acquires a new stone – alternately blue sapphire, yellow sapphire and ruby.
The Magic Lotus Automaton measures 43 mm in diameter and is available in a choice of red gold or white gold – both are a limited series of 28 pieces each. Turning over the timepiece, the bridges and oscillating weight are hand-engraved with naturalist motifs, echoing the carvings on the dial side. The non-engraved elements on the movement are also decorated and chamfered. The movement contains more than 500 components.
The animation lasts more than four minutes, with eight full rotations of 30 seconds each. A power reserve between 8 and 9 o’clock depicts the progress of the animation, as symbolized by a dragonfly in red gold. The power-reserve is approximately 68 hours and the mechanical movement operates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per minute.
Jaquet Droz has equipped the Magic Lotus Automaton with a dark green alligator leather strap.