Because the minute repeater ranks among watchmaking’s elite complications, it’s usually presented in a proper, traditional form with minimal embellishments other than traditional finishes. Jacob & Co. has always been an extrovert among the few minute repeater watchmakers, but it took the opposite approach. Its latest Astronomia watch features a full display of gongs and hammers, as well as a three-axis tourbillon, a hemispherical constellation globe with two half-carat spherical diamonds, a global lacquer globe and a miniature astronaut orbiting the dial. player, locked in a 40-second spin. The busy 3D composition is layered within a curio cabinet-sized case, 50mm wide x 26mm thick, against a backdrop of stacked gears and aventurine rings, hand-painted with stars, planets and the Milky Way.
Jacob & Co.’s three-axis tourbillon Astronomia watch, first launched in 2014. Other pieces in the collection include the Astronomia Spider, Astronomia Casino, Astronomia Gambler, Astronomia Octopus and several Astronomia Solar watches with spherical stones representing planets. It was the first minute repeater in the line, and in typical Jacob & Co. style, it was a blockbuster in its class: a Carillon minute repeater with three gongs and hammers instead of the traditional two . The gongs are stacked vertically rather than next to each other at the case perimeter, which makes them more clearly visible through the sapphire case sides. Carillon chimes, 15 minutes and minutes, using the notes Do, Re and Mi. A safety feature prevents the watch from being wound when striking the time.
Jacob Arabo and Luca Soprana at the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon, sparkling little universes on their wrists
Jacob Arabo, founder of Jacob & Co., is known for his jewelry and diamond-encrusted fine jewelry watches. He is also known for being the first to mine the intersection between high luxury and pop culture, and while celebrity has been an adjunct to luxury marketing for as long as there have been celebrities, it was Jacob who really made luxury watches desirable. Cloth has featured pop music celebrities and their fans — as well as movie stars, supermodels and other major media personalities. However, in the past 10 years he has also entered the watch industry in a more technical way, making mechanical timepieces with unusual complications that are really different from what anyone else has made.
Jacob & Co.’s first major mechanical complication was the Quenttin Tourbillon, which set a record for the longest power reserve in a replica tourbillon watches at the time: 31 days. Subsequent complications included the SF24, a 24-time zone watch with a split-flap display for the second time zone, based on the information boards that were once ubiquitous in train stations and airports. However, his most notable release over the past few years has been the Astronomia Tourbillon.
The Astronomia Tourbillon debuted at Baselworld in 2013, and it was, to put it mildly, a sensation. The watch is huge: 50mm in diameter with a domed sapphire crystal 25mm high. Under the sky-like dome is a four-armed vehicle. One arm ends with a three-axis tourbillon, and opposite the tourbillon is the movement (which moves the hour and minute hands) and a skeletonized dial. The other two arms feature an enamelled globe representing the Earth and a 288-faceted 1-carat diamond representing the Moon. The idea is not to make an astronomically accurate representation of the orbits of the Earth or the Moon, but to create a visual display that evokes the same sense of wonder as looking up at the night sky. The background of the whole show is aventurine.