To celebrate the 275th anniversary of clockmaker Pierre Jaquet Droz opening his first workshop, the company that bears his name — even to this day — has created a fantastic timepiece that uses tiny piston-powered bellows to produce a realistic chirping bird sound. But watches have been doing that for years. What’s amazing about this piece is its tiny mechanical bird that flaps and moves its beak along with those sounds.
In addition to clocks, Pierre Jaquet Droz was also known for a series of wonderfully complex automatons. And so it’s fitting that for the first time one has been miniaturised using modern manufacturing techniques to fit inside a watch. As is usually the case with a piece this complex, The Charming Bird is being limited to just 28 pieces. And presumably the only thing more scarce than this timepiece will be the number of watch enthusiasts who can actually afford it since it will sell for close to half a million dollars. [Jaquet Droz via Time and Watches via Taxi]