Yesterday, we spoke briefly about our relationship with the night sky, a bond that has existed before language or even technology, but that remains quite mysterious to us still. Today, we review one of the most complex representations of it with the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette.
Presented earlier this year during Baselworld 2015, the Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette is in effect one of the smallest mechanical depictions of our universe, and perhaps also the most expensive. The minute we saw it, we knew it was something special, even though it followed the presentation of this $ 18 million wristwatch.
Our good friend and serious watch collector Santa Laura called this piece one of the most exciting he’d seen this year in Baselworld, but even he had trouble expressing why. Mostly because it’s hard to know where to start with a watch like this.
The Baguette design adds some of Jacob’s renowned flair to the Astronomia Tourbillon (above, left) launched in 2014. Not only did the brand decide to add – quite a few – diamonds to the dial and lugs of the timepiece, it also introduces a modified case to accommodate that change, and give all 342 stones (weighting 16 carats) maximum exposure.
True of any of the timepieces in the Jacob & Co. collection, this is a watch that gets noticed. Because of that dial, but also because of the sheer size of the case and domed sapphire. According to the brand, the watch is 50mm wide and 25mm thick, but none of the details get lost thanks to the four windows on either side of the watch.
The Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette is a unique homage to the exquisite ballet performed every night by the Earth and its moon. All of the elements inside the watch are set in motion, revolving around the dial every 20 minutes via four arms powered by caliber JCAM10, a hand wound movement made exclusively for Jacob & Co that is set and wound at the rear of the case via two “bow-style” fold out crowns.
Hours and minutes are displayed on an off-centered sub-dial (appearing here at 7 o’clock) fixed onto the central axis of the watch, and making a full rotation around the watch every 20 minutes.
The Earth – made of aluminum, lacquered and hand-painted – and its moon, represented by a faceted spherical diamond, are locked in an enchanting dance around the dial, counting down the seconds as each makes a full revolution around the watch and itself every 60 seconds. Note, that neither of them indicates the true positions of the earth and the moon. Rather, they are a poetic reminder of the beauty that surrounds us, and they add a bit of fun and movement to a watch that is clearly meant to be enjoyed.
Finally, the watch features a triple axis tourbillon inside a gravitational cage. The complication rotates on its first axis every 60 seconds; it second axis every 5 minutes, and its third axis every 20 minutes.
The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette is a limited edition of nine pieces, priced at 1,000,000 Swiss Francs, meaning you can get all nine for half of the price of the Billionaire.