Jaquet Droz is committed to supporting historic regional projects, funding the Association Automates et Merveilles for the restoration and renovation of the Musée d’horlogerie du Locle ) A clock made by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, purchased in 1984. This magnificent timepiece may be a gift from Napoleon to a princess of Wurttemberg. It is equipped with a mahogany clock case decorated with First Empire style bronze inserts, a bird cage on the clock case, and a songbird in the cage. , A masterpiece of Neuchatel’s watchmaking heritage.
The Le Locke Clock Museum (MHL) and La Chaux-de-Fond International Watch Museum (MIH) workshops work together to carry out a comprehensive overhaul of the mechanism; other master craftsmen are responsible for repairing birds, refurbishing the clock case, re-plating the inserts, and working to restore the clock , While improving the understanding of historical craftsmanship and art knowledge. After two years of careful restoration, the work will be displayed in 2018. As the second chapter is about to end, it is the ideal time to take stock of the status quo and share expert appraisals.
This priceless treasure is equipped with a sophisticated complication watch movement with the signature ‘Pierre Jaquet-Droz à La Chaux-de-Fonds’ engraved on the brass base plate. The entire movement has been completely disassembled, researched and cleaned, and its different components-double equalizing conical wheels, shaft escapement, spring barrel, spring barrel, etc.-have been inspected and adjusted. The timekeeping driving mechanism has also been rigorously analyzed for mechanical adjustment. The master craftsman then rewinded the movement to observe its operation. A number of top experts are involved in this long and meticulous restoration process, including Mr. Gérard Vouga, Ms. Aurélie Branchini, and Mr. Masaki Kanasawa from La Chaux-de-Fonds International Watch Museum. In the age of enlightenment advocating naturalism in the 18th century, birds were fascinating and amazing objects, and they have appeared in the brand’s works since the birth of Jaquet Droz. The canary on the top of this clock was hand-built by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, providing a unique entry point for understanding the history of Jaquet Droz.
Within the framework of the project, Mr. Pierre-André re-installed his feathers to make the birds more modern, while maintaining the original bird feather texture. As for the bird’s wings, clearance analysis showed that, in contrast to the restored beak, tail, and throat samples, the wings were not movable. Birds can automatically sing wonderful tunes on demand or at every hour, showing the sophisticated mechanism of this timepiece. The six tunes are played by a small organ equipped with rollers with sharp teeth. The small organ uses sophisticated mechanics to store air in the flute cavity, making it easy for the canary to make a tinnitus. Today, after about 75 hours of research on the small organ movement by Mr. Walter Dahler, and long-term tireless measurement, inspection and reassembly, the small organ has been restored as before. The task of recreating the same four-link metal chain as the original drive of the small organ and table clock was entrusted to the watch department of the Interregional Training Center (CIFOM) in the mountainous region of Neuchâtel to make preliminary cuts under the guidance of Mr. Sylvain Varone , Strength analysis and metal testing. At present, the mold has been made, and the parts have been customized and ready for the last turning operation before reassembly.
The appearance of the clock, the superior quality of the gold-plated bronze decorative inserts has been confirmed by Olivier Bauermeister, but their time and color differences also raise new questions. The current text supports the hypothesis that the work has been repaired halfway: in addition to the typical empire-style bronze inserts (sphinx, statue of victory, Egyptian hair ornaments bust, bead chain, and lyre) Period style elements. The study of the bell case confirms the above theory. The clock case is a huge mystery of this art history investigation and requires more precise date estimation. First, Mr. Patrick Gassmann, an expert on tree rings, observed and researched the local wood ring used to make the inner bell case, and concluded that the structure of the bell case and the early days of Pierre Jaquet-Droz The tabs coincide.
However, the holes and small nails on the base are still puzzling: why are the clocks mounted in two bell cases? The Medical Imaging Research Center provided a preliminary answer. X-ray photography showed that the clock contained metal nails, a variety of add-ons, and plywood. Master wood joiner Christian Schouwey confirmed these obvious inconsistencies: the pins are rough, the screws and solid mahogany cylinders are added, the coating thickness is different, and some parts are re-cut … The conclusion is self-evident: the base of the movement and the The first case is the original Pierre Jaquet-Droz period, and the second veneer is a masterpiece of a handy antique dealer from the 19th century! The antique dealer is far more than just contenting the movement in any clock case, but reappearing the celebrity masterpieces-Jaquet-Droz and ‘retour d’Égypte’ style clock cases This clock is crowned with the noble aura of the legendary empire. The restoration and reconstruction, which is highly unified with the original appearance of the clock, has now become a precious witness of Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s reputation and vision.
Funded by Jaquet Droz, this long-term restoration project made an important page in the history of the brand and the watch industry known. Jaquet Droz used this to build a bridge between the past and the present, demonstrating the brand’s active investment in training future master craftsmen and preserving regional heritage. Although the hole in the bell case is unknown, the feathers used by the original bird are still unsolved, but it is evidence that Jaquet-Droz’s works have been refined for three centuries and continue to rely on superior technical performance. And emotional meanings make watch lovers interested and enchanted.