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Jaquet Droz and the art of minerals

All Jaquet Droz watches have a distinctive style, with dials that transform wristwatches into art pieces. Different techniques like enamelling, painting, sculpture and engraving are used to enrich them.

Jaquet Droz also uses precious stones for the dials of its creations. Adorned by such treasures of the Earth, each watch becomes one-of-a-kind.


It all starts with the selection of rare and exceptional minerals like opal, aventurine, petrified wood, lapis lazuli, meteorite, black onyx, spectrolite and others.



In order to carry on the art of mineral dials, Jaquet Droz is partnered with one of the greatest artisans of semi-precious stones. The stones are collected from the four corners of the globe, from Asia to Europe to the Americas. Then, they are brought to Switzerland to start the delicate cutting process.



After selecting the ideal rocks, they are carefully polished by hand and sliced into disks that are about the size of the final piece. Done with traditional saws and grinders, this simple cut alone takes an hour to obtain an initial dial form.



Every dial is then polished once again and drilled to create tiny openings for the hands, apertures and appliqués.




This is a crucial step because the pressure of the hole-making tools can still crack the mineral, depending on how hard it is.




Extreme care must be taken during the final hand-polishing step when the artisan gradually pares down each dial until it is 0.8 mm thick. Some stones, even the most opaque, become translucent when they are this thin.




A miniature burr is used to deburr all around the edge, and then the outer rim is smoothed. This step is equally precarious because the thinnest parts of the stone can still break. It is now almost a perfect circle, entirely done by hand.



The mineral dial is polished one last time, and then come the adornments: gold hands, round bands, appliqués or moving parts for automatons.



Throughout this long process, the artisan only uses his own instruments that he usually makes himself. These tools can send the slightest vibration from a stone right to the artisan's hand. These are the tools that reveal every dial's radiance, beauty and subtle reflections.




Mastering the art of mineral dials, Jaquet Droz breathes life into Earth's treasures.  jaquetdroz.com

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Time and Watches | The watch blog: Jaquet Droz and the art of minerals
Jaquet Droz and the art of minerals
Jaquet Droz and the art of minerals. Jaquet Droz uses precious stones for the dials of its creations. Adorned by such treasures of the Earth, each watch becomes one-of-a-kind. It all starts with the selection of rare and exceptional minerals like opal, aventurine, petrified wood, lapis lazuli, meteorite, black onyx, spectrolite and others.
Time and Watches | The watch blog
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