Charlie: the newest addition to Jaquet Droz’s family tree of automata

Jun 07, 2013,19:07 PM

In honor of Baselworld 2013, Jaquet Droz presents Charlie, its latest automaton. Nearly 250 years since it brought out its first humanoid automata, the tradition is intact, along with the emotion.

They are a unique family of a special sort. A family of artists, including writers, musicians, magicians, whose family tree goes back to the Age of Enlightenment, the age that saw the birth of Pierre Jaquet-Droz.

Versailles, 1775. Before the most refined and powerful royal court of Europe, Pierre Jaquet-Droz presented three creations which astonished nobles and courtesans: an organ player, a draftsman and a writer. Stunningly realistic, the automata driven by mechanisms of impressive complexity to recreate  human movements gave the brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds a spectacular  boost. It would be 2012 before the public would discover The Magician, the Manufacturer’s new humanoid creation who played with birds, unveiled at the exhibition “Automates & Merveilles” dedicated to Jaquet-Droz and Leschot.

To mark its 275th anniversary, the watchmaker is therefore carrying on this unique craft. In collaboration with François Junod, who has lent his talent following in the footsteps of Pierre Jaquet-Droz, Jaquet Droz is proud to present Charlie, the latest scion of this fabulous dynasty. An authentic sculptural work, this 1.65-meter-tall dandy with his meticulous proportions is perfect in his role of brand ambassador. A truly charming diplomat, Charlie is particularly careful about his attire: the blue of the ribbon girdling the top of his  body represents the top of his frock coat, in turn inspired by the blue of the  Grand Feu enamel of historical watch creations. His hair is carefully bobbed,  and frames his mischievous face, animated by several movements, complete  with nods and winks. Elegant and charming, Charlie will make a four-minute performance presenting the brand’s new watches, combining the charmed imagination of this one-of-a-kind family with the mechanical and aesthetic virtuosity of this year’s new models.

Press Release

This message has been edited by Kong on 2013-06-07 20:58:14

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Key dates in the extraordinary 275-year history of Jaquet Droz and the Art of Amazement

 By: Kong : June 7th, 2013-20:57
1738 Pierre Jaquet-Droz sets up his first workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He produces a whole series of long-case clocks with increasingly sophisticated movements that surpass anything before seen. His manual dexterity, meticulous nature and serious approa...