Jacob Arabo has a flair for showmanship. Over the years, the founder of Jacob & Co. has shaped a company like no other in the watchmaking industry, with a truly unique vision. His brand creates spectacular timepieces, technically and visually. The way these statement watches stage complications has become something of a brand signature… Talking about statement pieces, the Astronomia Art Phoenix blends impressive watchmaking skills and meticulous decorative arts like no other.
The Astronomia Art Phoenix is a spectacular take on a concept originally presented in 2013. It combines tridimensional displays, unique complications and artistic crafts. Following editions such as the Imperial Dragon or the extravagant Octopus, the latest Astronomia is characterized by the outstanding complexity of its miniature sculpture. This unique piece showcases a gold phoenix rising over the movement and spreading its wings around its different elements.
The Jacob & Co. Astronomia is a fascinating 3D mechanical microcosm in constant motion. The display is composed of a centrally mounted carrousel with an element in constant motion at the end of each of the four satellite arms: a 1-carat exclusive Jacob-cut diamond with 288 facets rotating on itself in 60 seconds; a magnesium hand-lacquered globe rotating on itself in 60 seconds; an hours and minutes sub-dial; and finally, a double-axis tourbillon regulating this mesmerising ballet. The main cage rotates classically in 60 seconds, while it also rotates on a 5-minute basis thanks to a vertical axis.
To develop this hand-wound movement, Jacob & Co. worked with Studio 7h38 (owned by Luca Soprana), a movement maker specialised in high complications and based in Vaumarcus, near Neuchâtel. Made of no fewer than 368 parts, its power reserve is of 60 hours when fully wound.
The impressive sculpture that is coiled around the movement has been crafted by one single artist over the course of 7 months. It is engraved and finished by hand. The artisan casts the solid 18k rose gold phoenix from several parts. These are meticulously polished and finished before being assembled together seamlessly. The attention to detail is evident throughout. As there is a lot of negative space, the engraver had to create specific tools in order to work in areas that would be otherwise almost impossible to reach.
This captivating ballet and sculpture are housed in a 47mm white gold case. Its impressive highly domed sapphire crystal invites you to admire ever-changing details from different angles. The lugs are hollowed out, just like the case flanks. You may have noticed that the watch has no crown. Turning the watch over, two symmetrical flip-up keys sit flush with the caseback. One is used to wind the movement and the other to set the time. The watch is worn on an alligator strap with a white gold folding buckle.
There is naturally nothing understated about the bold Jacob & Co. Astronomia Art Phoenix… but it is outstanding for the technicality of its movement and the attention to details involved in its making. Tridimensional and different every time, it offers a dynamic and truly hypnotic experience.
Price and availability
This spectacular watch, a unique piece, retails for USD 1,000,000. It is available at the Jacob Four Season Hotel des Bergues boutique in Geneva. For more details, visit www.jacobandco.com.