Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz created the first timepiece featuring a singing bird more than 200 years ago. Today, the 280-year-old watch brand has launched an elegant wristwatch with an automaton songbird that sings and dances vividly.
Set in a 47mm, 18 ct grey gold case and equipped with the brand’s hand-wound 615 movement, The Charming Bird – only one piece has been produced – is designed with the brand’s signature emblematic Arabic “8” on the dial.
While the upper section of the “8” is a black onyx subdial displaying the hour and minutes, the bottom is a hand-painted tit bird housed in a sapphire crystal dome. By pressing a button, the miniaturised singing bird sculpture comes to life, generating a touching song.
The automaton songbird is driven by an innovative air compression mechanism comprised of three crystal tubes. When air enters the first tube, it is stored inside the second tube, then pushed into the third. The melody is regulated by the volume of air and the piston speed.
Awarded the Mechanical Exception prize at the 2015 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève), the watch is adorned with a hand-engraved and hand-painted mother-of-pearl dial portraying a scenic Swiss countryside, an inspiration from a traditional paper cutting technique.