Jaquet Droz and John Howe, a Canadian book illustrator and conceptual designer, best-known for his artwork of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, joined creative forces to reveal the Petite Heure Minute “Dragon” watch. The legend of fantasy art, as well as the illustrator and conceptual artist of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, has become a leading specialist in dragons. He has shaped the Dragon in our collective imagination.
Jaquet Droz gave John Howe the wide-open dial of the Petite Heure Minute with off-centered hours for the artist to demonstrate his own style. On a dark blue Grand Feu enamel backdrop, the Dragon comes to life as its body nestles into the hollow of the 41 mm case, which is available in red gold or white gold. The result is the Petite Heure Minute “Dragon” timepiece that epitomizes the Art of Astonishment so cherished by Jaquet Droz.
John Howe’s creation is a very simple Dragon that returns to the essence of his early designs. It has required the full range of Jaquet Droz decorative techniques to reproduce each relief, contour, and volume.
The Dragon holds a luminous pearl in its claws. Known as the Dragon Pearl, it is associated with happiness, abundance, wisdom and knowledge for its owner. In Chinese imperial symbolism, it represented the Emperor’s wisdom and the perfection of his mind.
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute “Dragon” is available in two very limited series of 18 pieces.
The timepieces are powered by a self-winding movement. The precise attention to detail, in keeping with the Art of Astonishment, extends to the gold oscillating weight, which has been hand-engraved to depict the dragon’s tail with its countless scales.