Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well no, obviously it’s a tortoise. But rather a special one all the same. With this fantastic piece of jewelled clockwork, craftsman Raúl Pagès has brought one of horology’s more obscure and intriguing arts smartly up-to-date.
Automata have traditionally been associated with 18th-century masters such as Pierre Jacquet Droz, who brought vastly complicated forms such as bizarre menageries, writing machines and music boxes to life.
Pagès, worked at Parmigiani’s legendary restoration department (horology’s equivalent to an All Souls fellowship), and used the experience he gained there on both automata and Fabergé pieces as a springboard for his career as an independent automaton maker.
The Tortue, which relies on a massive movement to move its consequently heavy white gold and enamel body (complete with nodding head) is his first piece and took a year to complete.
And with this as is debut, there seems little doubt that Pagès’ star will be rising at a very un-tortoise like speed.
Further information: www.pages-automates.com