Jacob Arabo began designing jewelry in the early 1980s in New York City's Diamond District, producing for both private clients and labels. In 1986, he launched Jacob & Co. and continued with high-end jewelry design, soon catching the eye of celebrities like Faith Evans and Notorious B.I.G., and the brand became well known in the music industry. In 2001, Jacob & Co. expanded to luxury wristwatches with the Five Time Zone, a colourful piece with customizable bezels and straps. Supermodel Naomi Campbell was photographed with the watch and the brand's new venture quickly became established. The jewelry division continued to thrive and both offerings lived side by side, often merging with intricately jeweled timepieces. The brand maintains its headquarters in New York with offices in Geneva, Switzerland and retail locations around the world. Jacob Arabo continues as Chairman of the company.
Although relatively new on the luxury watch scene, Jacob & Co. takes haute horology to new heights with radical complications and unique artisanship from decades of jewelry expertise. In 2006, the Quenttin launched with a vertical tourbillon and almost unheard of 31-day power reserve, the first of its kind in the world. Poetically, Quentin Tarantino bought his own Quenttin and wore it on the cover of Vogue. Additional pieces continued to move the needle, such as the SF24, Epic X Skeleton and Flying Tourbillon Baguette, but the Astronomia Tourbillon set a new standard in 2014. It featured a mechanical celestial world with earth, a large 288-facet (Jacob cut) diamond, rotating triple-axis tourbillon and timekeeping sub-dial that all rotated around the dial every twenty minutes. A true mechanical marvel. Additional models featured a host of diamonds throughout the dial base and case.
Mechanical animations are a hallmark of Jacob & Co., such as the Oil Pump with a double-axis tourbillon and gold oil pump animation activated by an external pusher. The Opera series feature a triple-axis tourbillon and functioning Swiss music boxes (music box cylinders with spindles) playing melodies from the movies Scarface, The Godfather and more (the Opera Godfather has a minute repeater as well). The Astronomia Solar has additional celestial bodies custom cut from various precious stones, while the Epic SF24 showcases a “split-flap” 24-hour display at the top reminiscent of old mechanical information boards at airports and train stations.
In 2019, the company partnered with Bugatti for a unique collaboration worthy of the high exclusivity of both brands. The Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon is among the Grand Complication Masterpiece collection and displays a mechanical 16-cylinder Chiron engine (complete with moving crankshaft and pistons), along with an inclined tourbillon. Jacob & Co. started as a jewelry brand, of course, so the High Jewelry Masterpiece collection really shows off the brand’s gem-setting prowess with timepieces expertly covered with precious stones. With brilliant mechanical presentations and in-house precious stone finishing, Jacob & Co. represents some of the highest levels of haute horology and opulence in the industry.