Van Cleef & Arpels

Fontaine Aux Oiseaux automaton

Yellow gold, White gold, Pink gold
Urushi lacquer
Number of carats
Dial finish
411.3 x 441.5 mm
Manual-winding mechanical
Power reserve: 192 h, 18000 vph
Retrograde Hours, Retrograde Minutes, Automaton, Musical watch
Launch date
Extraordinary Objects™ / 1-piece limited series
Price incl. VAT

Extraordinary Objects Collection, Fontaine aux Oiseaux automaton, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, colored sapphires, emeralds, tsavorite garnets, mandarin garnets, amethysts, diamonds, lapis lazuli, turquoise, chalcedony, rock crystal, mother-of-pearl, vegetal lacquer, lacquer, enamel, eggshell marquetry, ebony, glass, aluminum, steel, black PVD, goat leather, automaton and mechanical movements, function 12-hour/minute with retrograde indication, on-demand animation, on-demand music animation, bellows and beechwood.

Combining on-demand animation and a retrograde time display, this creation offers a double spectacle. On the side of the base, a feather moves progressively along the time scale. Once it reaches 12 o’clock, it returns to its point of departure to repeat its journey for the next half-day. When activated – up to five times in a row – the automaton comes to life for about a minute, revealing a tender scene. Thanks to the movement of its various elements, the water in the basin starts to ripple, as if in a light breeze. A water lily slowly blooms while a dragonfly rises into the air, beating its wings and slightly whirling about. The birds at the edge of the basin wake, their song ringing out – thanks to an assembly that includes a bellows and a clicking box, imitating chirping and beak sounds respectively. They raise their heads and move their wings to begin their courtship display. As they move closer together, their articulated legs rise one after the other in a strikingly realistic movement. When the scene is finished, the dragonfly returns to its hideaway, the birds take up their original positions, and the water lily gracefully closes.

This spectacle is made possible thanks to the collaboration of accomplished craftsmen – automaton makers, jewelers, setters, lacquers, enamellers, lapidaries – who have recreated the grace of nature in the most noble materials.