As a child of the 1980s, I grew up quite a few years before a little thing called the internet was widely available. Games were plaid off-line rather than online and you’d had to time yourself to watch your favourite TV show, otherwise, you’d miss it. Growing up I had a few favourite TV cartoons and board games to play. And to my surprise, two of those things have just reared their head in an ultra-complex Jacob & Co in a collaboration with renowned artist and painter Alec Monopoly. And once again, it is mechanical boldness to the max.
Presented as a special collaboration between perhaps the most extravagant independent watchmaker and the famous street artist, the Astronomia Alec Monopoly combines several artistic crafts within the signature Astronomia theme. The four arms of the movement rotate over a sparkling black aventurine base dial, with four unique and handcrafted characters pretty much all of us are familiar with.
In a playful twist, four money-themed figurines rotate along with the movement. The first is an interpretation of Alec Monopoly himself, donning a mask and spreading his arms into “money wings”. Secondly, we have Scrooge McDuck, the ridiculously wealthy character from the Donald Duck comics. Then there’s Mr Monopoly, from the board game, holding a melting pink dollar-sign ice-cream cone. The last figurine is a dollar sign in red with colourfully painted sides.
Each of these figurines is hand-sculpted and cast in gold and then finished by hand. Next, Alec Monopoly paints each one by hand which is quite a break from his usual work in terms of size, as he’s used to working with canvasses much larger than this. Working at such a small scale is far from easy, yet the result is vibrant and fun.
Of course, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Alec Monopoly is not a simple and restraint watch, and neither is the case. The 18k rose gold case gives an almost unobstructed view of the entire spectacle, thanks to cutouts in the caseband and an extremely domed sapphire crystal. As mentioned, everything seen over the dial rotates, thanks to the in-house JCAM25 hand-wound movement. This movement displays time through a satellite subdial that stays upright. On the opposite end sits a double-axis tourbillon escapement. The other two arms hold a rotating, hand-lacquered globe and spherical diamond with 288 facets.
The Jacob & Co Astronomia Alec Monopoly is limited to 9 pieces and is priced at USD 600,000. For more information, please visit Jacob&Co.com.