Showmanship and extraordinary mechanics are the operative words at Jacob & Co. where watches are transformed into pieces of performance art. Renowned for its exuberant and polarising pieces, nothing is too far-fetched at Jacob & Co. How about a decimal minute repeater in a sapphire crystal case or, for that matter, a music box that plays the tune of The Godfather? Or perhaps a customised version of the uber-complex Astronomia with characters made by Alec Monopoly or even an automaton with a derrick pump? However, there are times in life when a Jacob & Co. devotee might want something a little sportier, a little less expensive but still oozing with personality. The answer is the Epic X Chrono Tourbillon, Jacob & Co.’s interpretation of the high-end sports watch presented in an attractive light blue titanium case with white accents. Equipped with a sophisticated column-wheel chronograph and a one-minute flying tourbillon, the watch is surprisingly resilient and can even accompany you on a dive.
Light blue and white
The Epic X collection, as its name indicates, uses the letter X as a design motif stretching from the claw-shaped lugs and traversing the dial with double vertical bars. As a Jacob & Co. creation, the formidable architecture of the 47mm titanium case is given a metallic blue PVD surface treatment with a sleek satin finishing. The signature lugs reach out from the sloped bezel and dip at an angle to hug the white rubber strap. The steep incline of the lugs is a design feature that makes the watch suitable for a wider range of wrist sizes, although the 14mm case height and jutting pushers and angular lugs give it a bold XL Jacob & Co. visual presence.
The oversized titanium pusher guards for the chronograph on the right are balanced by the protruding elements on the left side of the case. Contrasting with the light blue titanium case are the white ceramic chronograph pushers with red markings indicating Start/Stop and Reset. Both crowns, one at 10 o’clock and the other at 3 o’clock, are also ceramic, as are the inlays on the sides of the lugs.
The screw-down crown at 10 o’clock offers additional functionality and works as a countdown timer in tandem with the inner rotating minute track on the dial. But, combined with the impressive 200m water-resistance of the case, the black 10-minute inner section of the aluminium rotating minutes track can also be used as a dive bezel, making this almost a functional diver’s watch. I say ‘almost’ because there is no lume, and it might be hard to read the dive bezel underwater.
Framed by the wide sloping bezel and the inclined rotating minute track, the blue mineral glass dial is relatively small. The dial of the Epic X Chrono Tourbillon is traversed by the thick double bars to form the X, which are also light blue to match the case. With its bi-compax layout, the two light blue counters with white markings – running seconds at 9 and 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock – are placed horizontally across the centre of the dial and just above the aperture for the one-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock. To enhance the viewing pleasure of the tourbillon, there is no upper bridge, and the crescent-shaped openworked cage is set at the same level as the dial, creating an effect of continuity.
Skeletonised hands with red tips indicate the hours and minutes, while the central chronograph hand is red, as are the small red inlays in the hands corresponding to the two sub-dials.
Powered by the automatic JCAA09 chronograph calibre, the movement is nicely finished and can be seen beneath the blue mineral glass that is, in turn, protected by a sapphire crystal. Taking the X motif of the dial to the movement, the polished bridges are also X-shaped. The anthracite rotor is openworked and has a red lacquered engraving of ‘Jacob & Co. Genève’. The movement beats at a frequency of 4Hz and delivers a power reserve of 48 hours.
Availability & Price
The watch is delivered with a white rubber strap with an aerated honeycomb pattern and a titanium deployment clasp. The first 99 pieces of the Jacob & Co. Epic X Chrono Tourbillon will be produced in this summery blue and white colour scheme; whether there will be future versions in different colours remains to be seen. The retail price is USD 120,000.
More information at jacobandco.com.