For the first time, MB&F puts the work of a traditional artisan in the spotlight, with the LM Split Escapement ‘Eddy Jaquet’ Limited Edition: a series of eight unique pieces featuring the extraordinary imagination and skill of the master engraver, depicting the novels of Jules Verne.
Eddy Jaquet is recognised throughout the rarefied circles of independent watchmaking as the man whose transformative touch can turn a watch into a rich storytelling tapestry. Those who have followed MB&F for a while will already be familiar with his work. The flowing script you see on the Legacy Machines is made in Eddy Jaquet’s hand; it is the merest hint of his true artistic talent. MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser says, “We’ve worked with Eddy for years, but getting him to engrave names on movements is like playing Für Elise on a Stradivarius violin — you couldn’t imagine a more modest use of such an amazing gift.”
The most memorable work of the Neuchatel-based Jaquet is characterised by the depth of its scope and ambition; it is classical in style and heroic in its execution of human figures. In a way, the uniting theme of these 8 Pièces Uniques was inevitable. Says Büsser, “We’re brainstorming around the table, and a theme that comes immediately to mind is the writing of Jules Verne, because I’m so into science fiction, and because the Legacy Machine collection that Eddy has been working on is basically the watch that I would have created if MB&F was founded 150 years ago.”more pictures in press section
Limited edition of 8 unique pieces, with dial plates engraved by Eddy Jaquet, inspired by 8 novels written by Jules Verne.
In certain parts, the dial plate has a thickness of 1.15mm, which allows Jaquet ample space to engrave even in deep relief. However, it sometimes measures only 0.35mm, requiring him to work with an extremely light touch – still making sure that the overall aesthetic of the engraving is not compromised.
To fully bring out each illustrated scene, Jaquet uses the full range of engraving finishing techniques – also applying in certains parts a dark rhodium alloy by hand, adjusting the shading of each detail according to the scene.
The balance of the LM Split Escapement seems to oscillate on its own, without any visible intake of energy. The essential remaining parts of the escapement, which provide the driving impulse – anchor and escape wheel – are concealed on the opposite side of the movement.
Only a handful of connoisseurs would know the name Eddy Jaquet, one of the most gifted artists of his generation and the best storyteller working through the medium of dial engraving.
Eddy Jaquet was born in 1965, in a small village on the outskirts of Neuchâtel. Having learned his trade at the École d’Arts Appliqués in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Jaquet went straight on to pursue his lifelong vocation of engraver after graduation, in a career that has continued uninterrupted from 1987 to this day. Since 1994 he has enjoyed complete professional independence, which has allowed him to create some of the most exquisite works of art ever to grace a watch dial.
His work is often based on existing stories and cultural narratives, but nevertheless possesses a rich vein of mythopoeia. This is amply demonstrated by the LM Split Escapement Eddy Jaquet Limited Edition, a series of eight unique hand-engraved pieces based on the novels of Jules Verne, interpreted anew through Jaquet’s imagination. Eddy Jaquet has been a Friend of MB&F since 2011, when the first Legacy Machine featured his skills in the names of Kari Voutilainen and Jean-François Mojon engraved on a movement bridge.
The engraved dial plates of the LM SE Eddy Jaquet Limited Edition are inspired by the novels of Jules Verne, the 19th-century French writer widely acknowledged to be the foremost pioneer of science fiction. The 8 selected stories comprise some of the most popular books by Verne but also some of his more obscure, though equally creative, tales of adventure: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, From The Earth To The Moon, Around The World In Eighty Days, Five Weeks In A Balloon, The Adventures Of Captain Hatteras, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, Michael Strogoff and Robur The Conqueror.
For each unique piece, Eddy Jaquet read (or re-read, in some cases) the original work by Jules Verne and viewed any significant secondary creative works based on the books, such as the original published illustrations or films. He then created his own original sketches on templates of the dial plate, depicting key scenes from each story, sometimes combining several tableaux in a single dial plate as a graphic tapestry of storytelling.