Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Review Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Reading Time: 4 minutes

At the beginning of the summer, Jaquet Droz launched two extraordinary pieces in the Atelier d’Art Collection. We take a look today at one of them, the delicate Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée. This beauty comes with a blue Grand Feu paillonné-enameled with 18-karat red gold applique and white mother-of-pearl dial in a diamond-paved 18-karat red gold case.

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

The art of paillonné enamelling

The art of matchmaking does not consist only in creating breathtaking movements and exceptional complication. Watchmaking also consists of creating exuberant dials. While the guilloche and enamel is wider spread, the combination of two is quite rare. Unfortunately, the art of paillonné enamelling is an almost lost skill. 300 years ago, when Droz dynasty started to amaze the world, this technique was extremely rare. Today, it remains as one of the most complicated and equally rare dial decorating technique.

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

For the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée, it all starts with a gold base dial. The first visible step is the guillochage of the pattern that will later transpire to the exigent eyes. The dial is covered in several layer of translucent enamel, each step being individually fired in the oven. Using multiple layers of enamel creates a desirable depth and beauty but comes with considerable risks. Each firing can produce cracks or visible flows. Once the dial is compromised, the only choice is to start again, from the beginning. Jaquet Droz’s artisans excel and manage to accomplish superb colours and precision.

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

The next step involves dainty motifs cut from a thin gold leaf – the paillons (or strips). The tiny motifs are hand-cut from gold or silver leaf (in this case gold). These are placed, one by one, to create a pattern or a figure. A new layer of enamel (fondant – a translucent enamel) covers and surrounds the paillons. This manual technique requires extraordinary precision. Any false move or invisible tension will destroy the dial (defects are not acceptable in any stage of the dial making).

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Hands-on Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée is an example of the art of luxury decoration as part of Jaquet Droz’s traditional expertise. This mastery exercise from the Atelier d’Art Collection does not stop here. It extends over the precious case with a delicate diamond pavement. Let's have a look in the short video below. Diana's wrist is about 15cm (approx. 6 inches)

Note: The wristwatch is a press loan / prototype and not a retail piece. Besides the "Not for Sale", a retail watch can have slight variation.

Diamond-paved front

Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée comes in a 35mm red gold case. The proportions are well balanced to include two rows of diamond setting. The curved bezel holds the precious stones in a zig-zag pattern.

Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

The convex case body was mirror polished. The slender lugs come with a rounded face, also covered in two rows set, making a smoothly pass from zig-zag to parallel straight-set towards the end of the lugs by using several stones sizes. The backside of the lugs are dramatically bent in a theatrical game of shapes.

Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

The watch is fitted with the signature crown featuring the Jaquet Droz double star. The watch is covered by a raised sapphire crystal. This choice creates an even more spectacular depth effect. Note how the lugs are slightly raised to reach the bezel’s base height. A sweet and homogenous look is, in this way, obtained.

Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

A sublime blue dial

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée is adorned with the stunning blue Grand Feu paillonné-enamelled face. The time is revealed in a small white mother-of-pearl dial (hence the name of the watch).

white mother-of-pearl dial

The dial is surrounded by a red-gold circle with engraved indexes. The time is shown by two blued steel Jaquet Droz alpha-shaped hands. The top of the dial bears the name and logo of the brand printed in black. The lower side presents proudly the “Made in Swiss” print.

white mother-of-pearl dial

The mother-of-pearl specific properties will increase the beauty of the dial. The natural reflection will enrich the paillonné’s beauty. Any light condition will create stunning views of the Petite’s Heure Minute face.

Jaquet Droz Calibre 2653.P

The expertise of the Maison does not stop on the dial side. Turning the watch will reveal an exquisite movement. While calibre 2653.P does not reveal too much from its technicality, the visible decorations are exceptionally made. The most striking element is the skeletonised 18-karat red gold rotor-weight.

18-karat red gold

The rotor is presented with a nice sand-blasted finish on which the name and the logo are positively engraved. The mass substruction left behind the place for polished chamfering.

Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Calibre 2653.P packs a double barrel and a 4Hz escapement, reaching the impressive 68 hours of power reserve. As you can notice, this watch is number 7 from the limited series of 8.

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Final notes

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée is a gorgeous example of the brand’s capabilities. The exercise of craftsmanship is not something one can often see in the wild. Not only because it is a limited series but because this kind of horological masterpiece are created by a handful of artisans. We are lucky that Jaquet Droz invests time and expertise in keeping this knowledge alive. Unfortunately, the real artisans are an endangered species. I am considering myself lucky to be able to see and enjoy, even with rare occasions, this kind of outstanding work.

Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Diana’s take

A real work of art for the wrist. Not your everyday watch, but when you need to feel special, this is that certain something. The only drawback would be that you could be staring at your own wrist the whole day, all the time…

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée Technical Specifications

Reference J005003244


  • “Blue Grand Feu paillonné-enameled and white mother-of-pearl dial with 18-karat red gold applique
  • 18-karat red gold case set with 232 diamonds, a total of 1.23 carats
  • Self-winding mechanical movement
  • Power reserve of 68 hours
  • Diameter 35 mm
  • Numerus Clausus of 8


  • Jaquet Droz 2653.P
  • Self-winding mechanical movement
  • Silicon balance spring and pallet horns
  • Double barrel
  • Flat bridges
  • 18-karat red gold oscillating weight
  • 28 jewels
  • Frequency: 28,800 v.p.h
  • Power reserve: 68 hours


  • 18-karat red gold case set with 232 diamonds, total of 1.23 carats
  • Diameter 35 mm
  • Height 10.80 mm
  • Individual limited serial number engraved on the case-back
  • Water resistance: to 3 bar (30 meters)


  • Blue Grand Feu paillonné-enameled and white mother-of-pearl dial
  • 18-karat red gold applique
  • Hands: blued steel
  • Indications: off-centred hours and minutes at 12 o’clock

Strap & Buckle

  • Rolled-edge hand-made blue alligator
  • 18-karat red gold ardillon buckle

Total carat weight/diamonds

  • IF to VVSI, Full Cut, D to G
  • Total number of diamonds: 232 diamonds
  • Total carat weight: 1.23 carats

Limited edition

  • Numerus Clausus of 8

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Paillonnée Gallery

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