Anonymity, understatement, discretion: if your mentality includes these three concepts, this article is not for you.
Let’s be clear: quitting anonymity and discretion doesn’t mean to be showy or rude, it just means you are brave enough to dare.
Jacob&Co embodies this philosophy quite well and it’s not delaying to let us know.
Basel’s Fair might be in decline, but Mr. Arabo seems not to care much.
Their stand in the 1.1 pavilion it’s a declaration: if you do something, you must do it in the best (and most scenographic) way possible. From champagne to flowers, from staff to caviar, pomp is not missing. In the stand as well as in timepieces.
Driven by Marco Dragoni, Europe Sales Director, we had the pleasure to discover some of the maison’s creations, including both Astronomias we’ll see in this article.
Astronomia, time in 4 dimensions.
From its first introduction in 2014 it became a true Jacob&Co icon, arousing interest in collectors from all around the world.
The concept is brilliant and expressive to the top: hours and minutes are displayed in a dial, while everything else is changing!
Technically speaking, we’re talking about an in-house manual caliber with two-axes tourbillon for the Casino, three-axes for the Maestro.
In both examples, the case is rose gold with a generous dose of sapphire, machined with costly and evolved techniques, to achieve a super wide dome with uber pure transparency.
The two versions don’t share much on the technical side. Aesthetically, they share the concept, the arms movement, the laquered magnesium globe and the one carat Jacob-cut diamond (288 faces)… Mr. Arabo’s signature.
Astronomia Casino: a successful gamble.
Many watches paying homages to gambling have been presented through history, each one with its innovations.
But when you pair a mechanical roulette to an Astromia and its functions, hitting the jackpot is certain.
What’s mesmerizing about this watch is the unbelieveable amount of details it hides, so many that allows the owner to discover something new at every glance.
The mechanical roulette isn’t fiction.
The plate rotation, and consequently the ball’s, is perfectly working and activated by a pusher at 8 o’clock.
The genius behind this watch is in the useful and delightful match: operate the roulette is an efficient way to charge the watch. A remarkable idea, introducing a funny “complication” that creates power, instead of wasting it.
The 47mm case, with its 27.9mm height, is the critical aspect of the watch, the writer of this article being a small wrist (under 6.3 in). Believe it or not, the size of the watch it’s a neglectable aspect, if you compare it with the amazing amount of complications.
In its rotation, the dial is always perpendicular to the wrist.
As usual, let’s focus on what really matters: the actual use of the timepiece.
In the typical Astronomia style, the dial is kept in a regular orientation during its 10 minutes revolution around the center, allowing for an easy read wherever it’s located.
On the wrist, it’s unbelieveable. It’s almost a shame to wear it and not simply stare at it of hours, discovering every detail.
The plays created by arms’ movements and the whole mechanism are lively and synchronized, helped by the diamond’s and globe’s shine. Dear Jacob, if your goal was to amaze, you hit the target.
Limited edition of 9 pieces.
Astronomia Maestro: 50mm of universe.
Absolute winner of our Basel meeting (even though choosing was almost impossible) is the Maestro, sublime in every aspect, an horology’s Picasso.
If you think that’s enough, you’re probably misunderstanding what we’re talking about…
Minute repeater: yes, but don’t trivialize.
For the first time in history, we find the minute repeater‘s bells developed in a tridimensional spyral, perfectly admirable through the sides of the sapphire case.
The chime of hours, quarters and minutes is structured with three pitches. That’s way more complicated than traditional two-pitches mechanisms, because the three notes must be extremely precise (C, D, E).
Working with three pitches instead of two, involves the necessity to create a melody that requires an accurate tones picking, over the difficulty to refine the chime.
The end result is astonishing and, especially, new to hear.
The moon phase is exhibited with the unique Jacob-cut diamond, divided in tho half-spheres and surrounded by a starry night on an arm. Date is peripherical around the moon phase, moving together with the other 4 parts, completing a revolution in 10 minutes.
A feature of this piece is that hours and minutes are located on a dial in the middle of the watch, in contrast to others Astronomia.
On the fourth arm, we find an hand-painted astronaut, sinously floating around the watch, completing a rotation on itself evey 40 seconds.
On the wrist, the effect is the same as the astronaut’s…
It’s impossible not to get lost in the beauty of this new universe Jacob&Co is projecting us.
Form the aventurine dial in the background to the constellations, not speaking about the tourbillon and the purity of the sapphire… everything is meant to amaze the viewer, offering the highest grade of innovation and luxury.
Again, 50 mm is really a lot, but the generous size of the watch is quickly forgiven by looking at one of the infinite details on the dial, thinking of the complexity of what we’re admiring.
On the other hand, Jacob&Co’s timepieces are meant as engineering, design and innovation masterpieces, not just as complicated watches or time-telling devices.
What is really surprising about this maison is the incredible effort in amaze, never forgetting what really matters: performances.
From what Marco told us, the whole intent of Jacob&Co is to create timepieces that are as amazing to wear as easy to use.
The winding, hour setting, and various functions are super easy to set and operate, not an easy job if we consider the complexity we’re in the presence of.
It’s been such a revelation for us, ItalianWatchSpotter, to be able to experience Jacob&Co’s collection in real life, a leading brand in development and creativity, in our opinion.
We’re really curious to know your thoughts on some of Basel’s most complicated and extravagant watches, and we commit ourselves to bring you soon many new articles about this surprise-rich maison!
Pictures by Vincenzo Finizola (@enzofinizola.ph) for ItalianWatchSpotter
Translated by Lorenzo Spolaor (@itsdoc_oclock)