Known for its exceptional technical fineness, Jacob & Co. unleashes the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon and the Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin Rainbow to celebrate horology’s relationship with automobiles and the symbol of eternal optimism.
Jacob & Co. X Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon
A homage to the Bugatti Chiron hyper car, the watch reveals many facets that resemble one of the fastest road cars, from aesthetics to the actual sensation when wearing it. Watchmakers and carmakers spent nearly a full year in development with the objective of reproducing Bugatti’s iconic 16-cylinder engine within the limited confines of the 54mm x 44mm black titanium case. Succeeded they have with the in-house manual-winding JCAM37 movement that captures the essence of mechanical precision, raw beauty and raging speed. Even by taking into account Jacob & Co.’s propensity to produce ingenious movements, the JCAM37 movement is a watchmaking triumph.
Apart from boasting a newly designed one-minute tourbillon cage at 30° inclined, what really makes the movement ground-breaking is the automaton. The brand calls it “animation on demand,” encapsulating the unique function of the movement. By pushing the right crown of the watch, the engine encased in sapphire crystal is activated with the crankshaft turning and the pistons pumping up and down – just like Bugatti Chiron’s W16 engine would. According to the brand, the crankshaft made of a single solid piece of steel is one of the smallest and most complicated watch parts ever manufactured. To heighten the visual impact, the pistons are mounted onto the crankshaft at varying angles. In addition, a pair of turbochargers (reduced from four in the actual Chiron engine) on the side of the engine block spin while the engine runs.
The movement alone contains 578 components. It is suspended in four places with the help of shock absorbers. The engine block is flanked by two exhausts. More evidence of its automotive pedigree can be found on the window of the tourbillon where it is modelled after Bugatti’s horseshoe grille.
Function-wise, the left crown sets the time, the middle crown winds both the movement and the automaton (clockwise for the movement, counter-clockwise for the engine animation), while a push of the right crown starts the on-demand animation. To support both time keeping and animation, there are two separate power reserves whose mainspring barrels can be seen at 3 and 9 o’clock. The power reserve for time keeping is rated 60 hours.
Jacob & Co. isn’t known for being discreet and with a watch like the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, one requires a suitable over-the-top platform to do it justice. The visual reward is expected of many Jacob & Co.’s avant-garde pieces where they are designed to burst into life, but the seamless marriage of an engine and a watch, as well as the miniaturisation of the concept, hints at Jacob & Co.’s mastery as a watchmaker.
There is no mention of the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon being a limited edition, but don’t expect it to be a ubiquitous encounter.
Jacob & Co. Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin Rainbow
Long regarded as a beacon of hope as the sun re-emerges after a storm, the rainbow is the inspiration for the Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin Rainbow – Jacob & Co.’s interpretation of the verdant garden after the rain. The Fleurs de Jardin was introduced last year to redefine what an ultra-feminine watch could achieve from a technical standpoint. By incorporating the craftsmanship and techniques from the Astronomia and the Astronomia Solar, the Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin was the brand’s first high complication designed specifically for women.
With the Fleurs de Jardin Rainbow, the challenge lies in the sourcing and selection of stones of the exact colour and cut to form the rainbow. The transition between one colour to another is also a major consideration. After a stringent process, the 42.5mm 18k rose gold bezel of the Rainbow is set with 40 rainbow sapphires (approximately 3.7ct), while the inner ring features 48 rainbow sapphires (approximately 1.31ct). To evoke a lush garden teeming with life, the top of the movement is set with a shimmering green, 288-facet Jacob-cut tsavorite, while the frame carrying 11 flowers with kite-shaped multi-coloured sapphires rotates clockwise once around the dial every 10 minutes.
Further spell-binding dynamics can be seen as the flying tourbillon and the time display also rotate clockwise in 10 minutes, while the mother-of-pearl base set with 46 rainbow sapphire flowers (approximately 1.05ct) rotates counter-clockwise in 10 minutes. To breathe life into the garden, the vertical Astronomia double-axis butterfly flying tourbillon manual-winding JCAM31 movement has 48 hours of power reserve. It makes a full clockwise revolution in 10 minutes around the central axis, with the patented Differential Gears System enabling the time display to maintain the 12/6 o’clock position regardless of where it is in the rotation. In addition, the flying tourbillon cage rotates on itself once every 60 seconds.
While legibility remains excellent, it seems the Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin Rainbow is designed as such to draw the admirer in where she succumbs to the artistry and tranquillity of the watch, and eventually forgets about time.
The Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin Rainbow is limited to 101 pieces and is offered in satin or alligator leather strap whose 18k rose gold, butterfly-shaped clasp is set with 44 rainbow sapphires (approximately 0.76ct).