The “Saqr” Singing Bird by Frères Rochat pays tribute to Babylon, the illustrious capital of one of the great civilisations of the ancient world. The name of this exceptional unique piece evokes the powerful monarchs of the era, who were past masters at falconry. Reputed for its majestic flight and lightning attacks, the Saqr falcon is a fearsome predator. Its extraordinary eyesight gave it divine status and it was held to be a messenger of the gods. The Frères Rochat “Saqr” falcon represents a powerful and conquering dynasty, benefactor of a city that it watches over with a benevolent and protective eye.
The “Saqr” Singing Bird by Frères Rochat,
messenger of the gods
Its case is inspired by the ancient ziggurats, the emblematic features of Mesopotamian architecture, the most famous of which is that of Babylon. Dedicated to the powerful god Marduk, protector of the city, it inspired the story of the Tower of Babel and its name, Etemenanki, means “temple of the foundation of heaven and Earth”. The sky where the Saqr falcon reigns is symbolised by a magnificent sheet of glass, while the Earth is represented by the base in solid 18-carat gold of a rare thickness.
At the heart of this unique work of horological art, bounded by four fine and translucent plates that reveal its uncommon beauty, the highly complicated bicolour movement seems as weightless as the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Four solid pillars in 18-carat gold, magnificently set with 288 baguette-cut diamonds of exceptional clarity, support the entire structure. Their extremely complex spiral recalls that attributed to the Tower of Babel, which can be seen on just about every artistic depiction of the legendary edifice.
The nest is in gold, delicately openworked and patiently engraved by hand in a “Fleurisanne” style. The monochrome bird combines the refinement of white gold with the low weight of titanium. Its eyes are set with round diamonds of great clarity and its body is delicately engraved by hand. It sings three tunes — two birdsongs and an extract of Mozart’s 40th symphony — demonstrating its mastery of the 12 semitones of its vocal repertoire. The invisible setting on the pillars is particularly attractive: each baguette diamond has been shaped to fit and adjusted by hand to follow precisely the helical columns. Together they amount to 22ct of exceptional quality and clarity. Finally the perfectly smooth surface, the mirror-polished trimming and the sanded insides of the pillars combine in a play of incomparably brilliant light.
FR2903, 20 complications, 1227 components, 14 cams, 74 jewels, 4 cycles power reserve
2 bird songs (troglodyte and wood warbler) and an extract from Mozart’s Symphony No. 40
18ct Rose Gold
Pillars set with 288 baguette cut IF VVS white diamonds (22 carats)
18ct Gold body and head finely hand-engraved
Wings, beak and tail in Titanium
Eyes with black spinel stones
18ct Gold with hand-engraved “Fleurisanne“ motif
18ct Gold with hand painted cold enamel illustration