Last year in 2014, Jacob & Co. launched a very interesting watch, which they called the astronomical tourbillon (it debuted here). When they made their debut, I had no chance to see this piece in person, I am not sure if the original Astronomia Tourbillon case style (check the link above) was actually delivered, because according to these new 2015 Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon In the picture, there is a brand new case design. The sheer complexity of a watch movement requires a lot of adjustments to make it work, and it takes years of effort. However, in 2015, it looks like the Jacobs astronomical tourbillon is back with a new case design and the very “Jacobs”. The version is called Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette, with a lot of diamonds.
Below, you can see the running video of Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon last year. Most of the movement is placed on a series of four arms that revolve around the entire dial every 20 minutes. These arms also move to produce other actions, such as keeping the dial in the correct direction to indicate the time and operating the tourbillon. In summary, the entire ballet of Gears in Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is almost unbelievable. More importantly, although you may like or feel conflicted about the products produced by Jacob & Co., you must make them understand that performing skills are an important part of the luxury watch industry.
Compared with the large sapphire crystal bubble dome on the original Astronomia design, this new 2015 case is more meaningful. We are still looking at the computer renderings, but I believe that the smaller sapphire crystal (now divided into a series of windows and a large window at the top) plus additional metal can make the design more reasonable and more wear-resistant. According to the brand, Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is 50 mm wide and 25 mm thick. The case is made of 18k rose gold and is available in diamond-set and non-diamond-set versions.
Notice that there is no crown or button on the case? The movement is actually set by two “bow-shaped” folding crowns on the back of the case. The movement is of course the most interesting element of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon. It is the unique movement of the Jacob & Co. JCEM01 movement, with a 48-hour power reserve and a tourbillon running at 2.5 Hz. Surprisingly, the movement is made of only 235 parts-considering the complexity of the concept, this seems very effective.
Let’s start with the three-axis tourbillon as one of the four arms of the movement. Pay attention to what you find in the Jacob’s case cavity. Astronomy is the manual winding movement of the entire JCEM01, and the planetary arrangement literally means sitting on the main barrel. It is really a motor barrel, designed according to some systems of American historical pocket watches. The four arms are all connected by a unique differential system that completely rotates around the dial every 20 minutes. This is the first axis of the tourbillon. The tourbillon system itself includes the next two pivot points, which rotate once every 60 seconds, and then rotate in the other direction every 5 minutes. Opposite the tourbillon is a dial that can get the moment, which is so cool because it points vertically regardless of where it rotates around the dial. I just like that. Then there is the arm using a tiny hand-painted titanium globe. On the opposite side of it is a “Jacob cut” diamond, which uses Jacob & Co.’s unique craft record to give the diamond a spherical instance and 288 facets. The planet and the diamond disco ball spin a full circle every 60 seconds. What is the point of all these rotations and movements? Naturally acts as a “hypnotic choreography”; it is about visual grandeur (and effective). So like I said, if you think too deeply about Jacob & Co.. Astronomia Tourbillon, you will keep asking “Why?” It’s not about why, it’s just because it’s cool and because they can.
Technically, because the tourbillon moves around the entire dial every 20 minutes, it is a three-axis tourbillon. The other axis is the normal rotation you see from the tourbillon cage, and the rotation on its connecting arm. It is located on the opposite side of the dial and is used to display the time to help balance the weight. The other two arms have a small hand-painted titanium representing the earth, and its other arm has a spinning disco ball that rotates once every 60 seconds.
Really, disco party? Well, this is what I said. Jacob & Co. claims that the spherical cut diamond uses the exclusive cutting process first introduced by Jacob & Co to cut the diamond into 288 facets. This round diamond should represent the moon-which makes me wonder what the “night life” on your planet would look like if our moon were actually a big disco ball. Although the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon movement looks and feels like it provides astronomical complications-but it actually only does this conceptually. This is indeed a sport for the purpose of viewing pleasure, not strictly a function-at this point, it has succeeded.
If the “standard” Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is not enough, you can choose Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette, which replaces the night sky/space sky on the dial with rectangular cut diamonds. Diamonds are invisible inlaid on the dial and lugs, a total of 342 gems, total weight 16 carats. Although I personally cannot regard myself as a buyer of Jacob & Co. Astronomia, the fact that there may be a few people who can enjoy this kind of wrist-worn mechanical entertainment makes me happy. Jacob & Co. started shocking, amusing and pleasing again… this is what I think Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is all about.