Clearly, this watch is far from usual standards, in terms of elegance and proportions. Clearly, it is not meant for the masses – whether we talk about design or retail price. Clearly, it is not the average vision of a classic timepiece. Yet, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is quite a watch, especially from a technical point of view. It is bold but mechanically fascinating. This year, Jacob & Co. unveils an exceptional new version of its uber-complicated piece, the Astronomia Tourbillon Clarity Octopus.
Unveiled in 2014, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia is an extravagant, uber-complicated timepiece staging a poetic rendering of the celestial world. Every element is in constant motion, all under the control of a triple-axis tourbillon regulator. The latest take on this epic complication transports us to the fabulous world of Jules Verne, somewhere in between “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea” (and its giant Octopus) and “From the Earth to the Moon”.
The Astronomia Tourbillon Clarity Octopus is built around a 3D octopus stretching its tentacles over the movement, which in turn rotates on a central axis, every 10 minutes. Four planetary indications on four arms balance the movement: The hours and minutes indication; the triple-axis tourbillon regulating the movement; a globe rotating every 60 seconds on two axes; and a round diamond, also rotating every 60 seconds on two axes.
Beyond the complexity of the triple-axis tourbillon and the other rotating planetary elements, one of the key challenges of such an ambitious movement is how to manage the energy to power the action. Given its huge dimensions, the inertia and balance of the movement need to be dealt with.
The movement displays meticulous craftsmanship. All the parts are hand-polished and hand-chamfered, and the barrel bridge is made from sapphire. Fashioned out of titanium, the spotted octopus weighs just 2.90g and is engraved, painted and lacquered by hand. The Earth is a magnesium-lacquered globe rotating every 60 seconds on two axes. The spherical 1-carat diamond is an exclusive Jacob & Co. cut emanating light from its 288 facets.
This mechanical microcosm is protected under an impressive, highly domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. A veritable technical feat, the case is fashioned out of pink gold and features several sapphire crystal windows allowing you to view the complicated movement from all angles. Measuring 50mm in diameter and over 25mm thick, it features no visible crown. The movement is wound and set via two fold-out crowns at the rear of the watch.
The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Clarity Octopus is teamed up with an alligator strap secured on a folding buckle. A quick release spring bar system allows you to change the watch strap easily.
As you can imagine, this spectacular timepiece makes a statement on the wrist with its strong personality and oversized dimensions. But there is much more than just “look-at-me” wrist presence… From a technical perspective, this superlative watch is downright impressive and an authentic piece of fine horology. A unique piece with an unconfessable price tag – well, it does have a price, at CHF 880,000. More on www.jacobandco.com.