Easily one of the top Swiss watch brands when it comes to artistic talent, Jaquet Droz is long known for its automatons and its hand-painted and hand-crafted dials. This brand regularly brings its dials to life with scenes that either move or are so elegantly carved or painted that they have multiple dimensions. Now, the brand works its magic — bringing the beloved tiger to majesty on the dial of the Petite Heure Minute Tiger watches.
There are two different versions of the watch, and each vies for your attention because they capture the essence of the tiger — commanding respect and adoration. Jaquet Droz’ artisans hand paint in miniature against a Grand Feu enamel dial the likeness of the tiger’s eyes. One version features a black and white tiger with bright blue eyes against a black enamel background, while the other version is an ivory Grand Feu enamel dial with the traditional tan/orange and black striped tiger with golden green eyes.
The tiger painting takes up the entire lower portion of the dial, with an off-center hours and minutes dial at 12:00. Just like the tiger itself, the watch exudes a sense of power, grace and natural beauty. Each painting takes a master artisan hundreds of hours to complete. Using fine brushes with hairs as thin as a human hair, they toil for hours — achieving a thick, lustrous coat of fur a single stroke at a time.
The tiger’s gaze is so enchanting that it is hard to remember that it was hand painted with the help of a microscope. The eyes are painted with such depth and dimension that they almost look as though they are following you. It is like nature come to life on the wrist.
Each watch is being made in a limited edition, individually numbered, of 28 pieces. The black dial version with black-and-white tiger is crafted in 18-karat white gold, while the traditional tiger in orange and black stripes with green eyes is in a 43mm 18-karat 5N rose gold case. The Jaquet Droz 2653.P self-winding movement with silicon balance spring and double barrel powers the watch. It features a gold oscillating weight and offers 68 hours of power reserve. The complex movement with meticulously hand-finished components is visible via a transparent sapphire case back.
Jaquet Droz is a master at creating hand-painted watches that mesmerize and delight. This Petite Heure Minutes Tiger watch is no exception. Just watch out because once you look at it, it will be very difficult to look away. It’s a good thing that the watch is so reasonably priced for the incredible hand craftsmanship inside and out: $32,000.