Jaquet Droz is writing a new chapter in its special relationship with China. The grand opening of the Xi’an boutique on July 6th thus solidifies a history that the Jaquet-Droz family first began to write 280 years ago.
A shared past exists between the brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Middle Kingdom of which Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz laid the foundation almost three centuries ago. At this time, he established his first workshop for watches targeting Asian customers in London. In 1783, Jaquet Droz became the first watchmaking brand to be admitted into the grounds of the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor Qin Qianlong and his courtiers showed fascination at the originality and sumptuousness of his creations. It is even said that Jaquet-Droz birds sang there night and day.
Some of these historical pieces are still housed at the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City. History also reveals that the name of the brand in Chinese was suggested by the emperor himself, which is indicative of the high quality of the watch parts that were produced. Today, true to its heritage, the brand is continuing to preserve and develop this exceptional relationship.
The choice of the city of Xi’an was no accident. In the image of Jaquet Droz, Xi’an has an exceptional history that dates back more than 3,100 years. It was once the capital of China and was then called Chang’an. Present day Xi’an still ranks among the ten largest Chinese cities, with more than eight million inhabitants.
On the occasion of this increased rapprochement between Jaquet Droz and China, Mr. Christian Lattmann (CEO of Jaquet Droz), Mr. David Lu (Vice President of Jaquet Droz in China) and Mr. Gary Lee (Associate Director of the SKP Beijing Watches and Jewelry Department) gave speeches recalling these shared destinies. Housed within the prestigious SKP mall, the exceptional location has the dual purpose of emphasizing this common heritage while keeping with the modern spirit of the 21st century. The use of contemporary materials was preferred for the sixth Jaquet Droz boutique in Western China. Large, open spaces encourage visitors to explore the boutique freely, like a story whose chapters may be perused at leisure. Warm tones create a luxurious atmosphere with timeless elegance.
Throughout the boutique’s layout, Jaquet Droz has exhibited the main timepieces that illustrate its three central themes: Automatons, Ateliers d’Art and Grande Seconde. At this grand opening, collectors and friends of the brand were able to discover rare pieces, as well as some of the most recent creations, such as the Grande Seconde Skelet-One, the Grande Seconde Ceramic “Clous de Paris” and the Lady 8 Petite.
Bearing witness to a story that continues to be written, these pieces have been featured as part of an exceptional exhibition entitled “Story of the Unique,” which will be on display until July 14. In it, connoisseurs of Haute Horlogerie were able to admire some of the pieces that testify to Jaquet Droz’s contribution in writing its history.
Alongside these, an artist from the brand made a special trip to reveal some production secrets of the unique pieces featuring miniature paintings. These events thus provided collectors and friends of the brand with a complete vision of the very special ties that have united China and Jaquet Droz for 280 years.