Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Understanding the Watchmaking Expertise Behind Jacob & Co’s Impactful Vision

Because it goes way beyond just the looks and visual impact...

| By Monochrome | 4 min read |

Polarizing, extreme, demonstrative, extravagant… Many words can be used to describe the watches imagined and created by Jacob & Co. Its founder, Jacob Arabo, has a flair for showmanship but also a sense of creativity that is exceptional in this industry. Thanks to his background in jewellery design, Mr Arabo has formed a vision in watchmaking that is truly unique in terms of design, functions and technicality. But it goes way beyond just this extravagant style. Jacob’s imagination pushes the boundaries of technicality and watchmaking to create watches that no one else in horology would ever have envisioned. The design of these statement pieces is polarizing, but one needs to go beyond the aesthetics to understand that behind this effusiveness, Jacob & Co brings something extraordinary and fascinating to the industry. And to go beyond the mainstream takes impressive watchmaking expertise and cutting-edge creativity. And this is what our latest in-depth movie is all about.

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Jacob & Co’s high-end watchmaking journey comprises astonishing timepieces, watches that are miniature kinetic artworks on the wrist.  Certainly, the most famous of them all is the Astronomia and all its evolutions, a watch that features a spectacular kinetic tri-dimensional movement with planetary indications that are in constant motion. It’s a four-arm mechanism controlled by a multi-axis tourbillon, which can be combined with unique, fascinating complications such as a fully operational miniature roulette. This mechanical marvel sits under an almost entirely transparent case, with domed sapphire crystals all around, revealing all the mechanical parts in motion.

But there are many more creations that need to be explored. Think about the Twin Turbo and the Twin Turbo Furious, featuring no fewer than two (yes two) triple-axis tourbillons, a monopusher chronograph and a decimal repeater. And if you were not convinced that Jacob & Co has that ability to create ultra-complex movements housed in modern and creative attires, there’s more.

Jacob and Co Opera Godfather Edition

The Opera Godfather and the Opera Godfather Minute Repeater, which incorporate triple-axis tourbillon, are also fitted with a unique take on an ultra-traditional complication: a musical mechanism housed in a demonstrative and far more contemporary package playing The Godfather theme. Once again, if the attire is out-of-this-world, there is a science behind this true mechanical expertise that few watchmaking companies have. And a miniature Don Corleone in the centre…

Recently, Jacob & Co signed a partnership with Bugatti and dropped an incredible automaton watch, where the one-minute tourbillon movement is fitted with an actual 16-cylinder miniature engine. The automaton that mimics the Chiron’s engine comes to life with pistons pumping up and down in a sapphire engine block… And, we could almost have forgotten, these watches also display the time.

With these watches and more, Jacob & Co brings something unique, fresh and fascinating to the watchmaking industry, which goes beyond just the notion of time. This marks an important departure from the style traditional brands tend to follow.  But you need to be adventurous to go beyond the mainstream, beyond the boundaries of the consensus. And that’s exactly what Jacob & Co has been doing. Jacob is unique because of its irreverent, daring designs that can shock but also grab attention, not only because of the unusual shapes and proportions but also because of the level of watchmaking involved in these creations.

Jacob Arabo is a man with a vision and a talent for design. Each new project is the opportunity to reinvent himself but also to push the boundaries of what is possible, not only for Jacob & Co but also for its partners who conceive and manufacture these watches. Jacob & Co knows that its watches are more cinematographic than functional, but this sense of showmanship and the extraordinary is key to the success of the brand.

The story of the watchmaking division of Jacob & Co is slightly more recent than the company itself. Jacob Arabo opened his jewellery company in New York City in the 1980s. The first watches came to life in 2002, mostly with diamond-studded men’s models. And in 2006, the first milestone in a series of ultra-complex models arrived with the Quenttin Tourbillon, a watch with a vertical movement and seven barrels with a 31-day power reserve. Following the success of this newly developed watchmaking division, Jacob & Co opened its Swiss headquarters devoted to watchmaking (the NYC-based HQ is devoted to jewellery). This is where the brand develops its watches, as well as providing after-sales service. But Jacob Arabo knows that achieving such complexity requires partners and more than one mind. This is why the brand works with several long-time Swiss partners, such as Concepto, to translate his vision and creativity into fully operational mechanical watches.

In our latest in-depth video, you’ll be able to discover how these fascinating, polarizing mechanical wonders are created and manufactured. We’ll be talking to Xavier Mettaz, Managing Director of Jacob & Co S.A., Bahman Tagharrobi, watchmaker, Valérien Jaquet, CEO of Concepto, and of course, with the man himself, Jacob Arabo, founder of Jacob & Co.

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