The artisans at Jaquet Droz created two new “Year of the Monkey” Petite Heure Minute watches this year– and each is a stunner. Each is based on the legend of the Monkey King (Sun Wukong), widely referred to in Chinese literature, who, although tasked with the job of protecting the Garden of Celestial Peaches (whose fruit offers eternal life), ate them instead. Thus, the monkey in both watches is portrayed amid the garden of peaches, which is also supposed to bring good luck and signify long life.
One version utilizes an ivory Grand Feu enamel dial with painted monkey amid bright orange peaches with green leaves. This version is in keeping with the brand’s other Ateliers d’Art dials that feature finely drawn, meticulously painted scenes that come to life on the ivory enamel dial. These hand painted masterpieces are offered in rose gold cases in either 35 or 39mm diameter. The smaller version is diamond set. The watch is powered by the Jaquet Droz 2653.P movement with hand engraved oscillating weight and off-centered hours and minutes dial. It offers 68 hours of power reserve and just 28 of each will be made.The 39mm version retails for $30,200, while the 35mm set with diamonds retails for $37,100.
The other “Year of the Monkey” watch features a sculptured gold monkey, created in relief, upon a lacquer and mother-of-pearl dial with carved foliage in the background. Perched on the branch of a peach tree, the monkey has a playful, but sophisticated appeal. This 41mm watch is offered in either 18-karat 5N rose gold or in 18-karat white gold, bedecked with diamonds. The oscillating weight, designed to match, combines engraved and black-onyx-patina finished gold. Each model features a domed sapphire crystal that has been specially designed to accommodate this three-dimensional motif. The watch houses the off-centered hour/minutes movement and each version is created in a limited edition of just 28 pieces.