The Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara: A New Chapter In Transparancy
When Jaquet Droz launched in 2018 their first pieces utilizing the plique-à-jour enameling technique, the world was in awe. Not so surprising, because while this very demanding technique already exists for over 1500 years, very few still master it. What makes it so unique is that it doesn’t have a base. Instead, a frame of gold wire is created in a pattern. The parts in between are filled with enamel powder, after which successive firings at high temperatures create the mesmerizing, translucent enamel with the look of a miniature window of stained glass.
When it comes to the temperature, the firings have to be just right. Even the slightest deviation can make the enamel crack. Jaquet Droz masters this technique to such a great extend that they can even apply different colors in the same gold partition. The result is spectacular, especially when light also hits it from behind. To ensure that this is possible, Jaquet Droz also fitted the latest edition of the Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara with its smallest movement. Caliber 6150 is a modern, self-winding caliber with a silicon balance spring and pallet horns. The oscillating weight is made from platinum with a beautifully engraved 18-karat red gold applique.
This all is placed in a 35mm large case, made of red gold and set with 100 brilliant-cut diamonds, decorating the bezel and lugs. In its vibrant green, yellow, and blue colors, the hummingbird sits wrapped around a small dial placed off-center, made from white mother-of-pearl. The plique-à-jour enameling technique created such a lively effect that one would almost expect the hummingbird to move. This is also what makes the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Smalta Clara such an exceptional watch, and a rare one as well as it is limited to just eight pieces.