Which watch do you imagine could match the most exclusive and most expensive car ever commissioned? Which watch could be on the wrist of the driver of the Bugatti “La Voiture Noire”, a unique car worth more than EUR 11 million (pre-tax, if ever this matters…)? Clearly, you didn’t expect something standard. For a car of these attributes, you need something extraordinary, and when it comes to such requests, there’s a name that quickly comes to mind: Jacob & Co. And indeed, the brand has created a watch to match the car, the equally unique Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti “La Montre Noire”. And it isn’t just a design statement; what is inside is as powerful as the W16 engine of the Bugatti.
In 2019, Bugatti and Jacob & Co. signed a multi-year partnership to create unique timepieces to reflect the complexity and exclusivity of both brands. “La Montre Noire” isn’t the first model to result from this partnership, as we’ve seen already the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon and its miniature sapphire engine. Today’s model is yet another story and is based on one of the most complex watches on the market.
La Voiture Noire
Looking at the history of Bugatti, most of the creations are simply masterpieces. Still, if you had to select three cars, they would have to be the Type 35, the epitome of the pre-war racing car, the Type 41 “Royale”, an invaluable demonstration of supremacy (in terms of power and luxury) today, and the Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupe, a masterpiece of automotive design. Four of the latter were made and, according to legend, the only black version disappeared around 1940, when Bugatti shipped its cars and goods from Molsheim, France, to the company’s secondary factory in Bordeaux to keep them safe during WWII. Everything else arrived safely, but not that special Atlantic. Dubbed “La Voiture Noire”, its unsolved mystery generated its iconic status. Chassis no. 57453, has never been found. Experts estimate that the car would be worth upwards of $100 million if it were ever discovered.
In 2019, Bugatti created a one-off tribute to this fascinating automobile, reusing the name “La Voiture Noire” and selling it for more than EUR 11 million. Based on an entirely redesigned Chiron, the owner of the car is also a mystery. Rumours say that it was commissioned by Ferdinand Piech, the Chairman of the Volkswagen Group, who passed away in 2019. Other names surfaced, such as Ronaldo or a Saudi Prince… What remains sure is the exclusivity and excessiveness of this car.
La Montre Noire
So, imagine you own the most exclusive car created by the most exclusive car manufacturer… What do you need on the wrist? Simple answer: the most complicated and most extreme watch made by the most extravagant watchmaker on the market. To pay tribute to Bugatti’s car, Jacob & Co. has created a unique piece based on its Twin Turbo Furious concept. Certainly, not the most down-to-earth watch ever created, but bear this in mind; the Jacob & Co. La Montre Noire is, technically speaking, the worthy equivalent of the Bugatti. In short, it features two triple-axis tourbillon regulators, a monopusher chronograph, a decimal minute repeater and… the time. Not just a statement piece, but an impressive horological concept too.
The case of the Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti “La Montre Noire” is a complex assembly of 88 parts and is made of 18k black gold. Measuring 57mm x 52mm, with a height of 17mm, it won’t go by unnoticed, especially with its 344 baguette-cut black sapphires accentuating the lines of the case. The side of the case reveals the complex crank-handle that serves as a crown, in which the monopusher to actuate the chronograph is inserted. The watch is worn on a black Cordura strap with a PVD titanium clasp and a buckle in black gold with 18 baguette-cut black sapphires. The display remains the same as the original Twin Turbo Furious watch, but the dial and its elements have been treated entirely in black.
The visual extravagance of Jacob & Co. watches continues “under the hood”. Inside the “La Montre Noire” is one ultra-complex engine, manufactured by the brand and comprising no fewer than 832 components. The Twin Turbo Furious is regulated by a pair of triple-axis tourbillon regulators. Rotating on three different axes, at three different speeds (once every 24, 48 and 180 seconds), a connection between the two tourbillon carriers aims at stabilising the entire system, one compensating the other.
This watch, being a supercar-inspired model, also features a chronograph, an integrated mono-pusher chronograph with a column wheel and horizontal clutch to be precise. But there is more. The stopwatch mechanism incorporates an original “reference time” indicator. An opening in the dial at 6 o’clock indicates a reference time in minutes and seconds that can be set via the crown (position 2 – up to 5 minutes and 59 seconds). The pit board wheel then displays the difference in seconds, in comparison to the reference time when timing an event.
As if this were not enough, the Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti La Montre Noire also features an impressive decimal repeater. It chimes the time down to the minute in a more intuitive way than traditional minute repeaters: rather than chiming hours, quarters and minutes, it chimes hours, ten-minute intervals past the hour and minutes past the last ten-minute interval.
Finally, the watch is equipped with a power reserve. Thanks to an ingenious planetary system comprising a differential gear mechanism, the hand points to a full power reserve on the left then moves to the right as the 48 hours of reserve are depleted.
Price and availability
The Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti La Montre Noire is a unique piece that will be priced at USD 1,000,000 – which doesn’t really matter when you can afford an 11 million Euro car… More details at www.jacobandco.com.