Did you know that the date, November 11th (11.11) resembles the Singles’ day and now it is the largest online shopping Carnival in the China even in the world?
From 2013, Alibaba choose Nov.11 as the day they promote the sales in their shopping sites Tmall and Taobao, and this year is their fifth year since they launched the event to attract people’s attention. Chinese love this “gimmick”, most of the single prefer seat behind the screen and wait the moment of 0:01 coming to shop online rather than attend the parties for celebrating their singles’ day! In 2016, they sales at US$17.8 billion. This year, their trading volume has already reached US$7.5 billion after 40 minutes’ sale and still growing now.
Almost Every product you can imagine on Tmall or Taobao is on promotion, even what the most appealing to us – the clocks! Surprisingly, they do sell different brand of Grandfather clocks, like Hermle Grandfather clocks and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks; the mantel clocks, like Howard Miller Mantel Clocks and so on.
When we mentioned to the clocks in china, there is one watchmaker brand cannot be ignored nowadays, which is Jaquet Droz. It has a historical origin with the Imperial Palace in Beijing since the Qing dynasty.
In the beginning year of 2017, there is a documentary film “Masters in Forbidden City” were praised by many viewers in China. Through the historical origins of the relics restoration, the film shows the “resurrection” technology of rare treasures, the everyday life of precious treasures’ restorer and their cultivation philosophy. In this film, the clock repair specialist Wang Jin conquered a large audience because of his gentle temperament and unique personality charm.
The film focuses on the “people who repair the cultural relics”, and recorded 12 Forbidden City top repairmen’s personal stories with heritage and how they spend their time with these cultural relics. They are a group of people who have spent three years grinding a knife and spend 18 years repairing a painting….
During the period of repairing day by day, they make the relics to become completion, continue the history, but also fulfill their own soul. “choosing one thing, and persist to the end”, this great heart of the originality and the spirit of heritage touched most of the viewers.
As this spirit is perfectly coincide with Jaquet Droz’s craftsmanship spirit and its support for rejuvenating the historical watch masterpiece. For this purpose, Jaquet Droz especially hold the film and television special screenings in January 3, 2017 in Shanghai to present this ingenuity documentary. And to people feel Jaquet Droz’s history of a variety of classical aesthetics, which supplemented by exquisite techniques and rich enthusiasm to show the beautiful and fascinating timepieces Ingenuity.
In 1783, as the first well-known brand in the West that opened the Forbidden City gate, Jaquet Droz represented the most advanced watchmaking techniques in the Western world came to the palaces of the Qing dynasty. By virtue of the astonishing clockwork and the amazing automatic doll, the exquisite time bird clock won the Qianlong Emperor’s favor. Since then, Jaquet Droz and China have formed a tightly bond.
According to a rough estimate of (existing archives), about 290 products of Jaquet Droz’s were sold between 1781 and 1810, two thirds of which were sold in China. Products include watches, snuff bottles, perfume bottles and shrines. Today, Beijing’s Forbidden City still contains dozens of pieces of Jaquet Droz’s history boutique.
The most loved by the Emperor Qianlong, is this copper-plated writers clock, its independent mechanical device was made by the Jaquet Droz’s family. The foreign missionaries at that time tried many ways to meet the Qianlong Emperor thought. What is special about this clock is that this Europe gentleman, before starting, first helped the artist to dip the brush into the ink and when you switch it on, the gentleman wrote neatly eight characters. “八方向化，九土来王. After getting the clock, Qianlong emperor’s love for the robot became out of control.
So How much Jaquet Droz’s clocks entered into the Qing Dynasty? Unfortunately now is completely out of statistics, but these exquisite masterpieces of Jaquet Droz’s shinning in the Forbidden city become more and more gorgeous and noble.
This is the very rare and exquisite gold-plated brass enamel cage clock. The appearance actually looks very similar to our Kieninger Mantel Clocks and our elegant Hermle Astrolabium and Tellurium Clocks. This cage clock has a pair of songbirds, always equipped with a central second hand, can report hours and engraved clock all the time. The bottom is composed of a fountain with 12 streams, which can automatically sing six chimes at the whole point of time. The movement of this clock constitutes by brass, double deck design, sesame chain drive mechanism and the large barrel.
This copper-plated enamel bird sounding table clock is 21cm high, 8.4cm wide and 4.7cm thick. The base is covered with copper-plated gold enamel with the theme of garden landscape. Unfortunately, the enamel painting on the front and the side is now missing. The picture seen in the picture is in the process of restoration. The other parts of this table clock are painted with different floral patterns on the blue enamel, which the patterns included flower vine, string flowers, and group flowers. Such an incredible masterpiece!
Besides these, there are many other similar collections of Jaquet Droz’s masterpieces in the Forbidden City. Time is endless, but the charm of the clock is to engrave the invisible trace of moment on the precise scale of human behavior, and to freeze the history in the wind. From the ancient glory of Europe to the mysterious Eastern countries from thousands of miles away, Jaquet Droz use the charm of these evergreen clocks burring a secret surging legend in the old days.