It would be sacrilege to let the Astronomia Tourbillon which was unveiled by Jacob & Co at Baselworld earlier this year slip under the radar. Now that the dust has settled and the collections of the main watchmaking brands have grabbed the headlines, let us now give this amazing timepiece the attention which it deserves.
Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon – Flamboyant and Complex
You can rely on Jacob & Co to bring with them more than a little drama where ever they exhibit their portfolio of wristwatches. But to appreciate the merits of the Astronomia Tourbillon will require some input from you – the reader. First put aside any prejudice you may have about Jacob & Co – forget for a few moments the high-jewellery watches, the celebrity-status, and the animated (gaudy?) colours. The Astronomia Tourbillon is still flamboyant, but it is also a complex demonstration of watchmaking prowess, and whether you are a cash-rich footballing star or a horological purist, this is just the sort of wristwatch which will grab – and hold your attention.
Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon – A Mesmerising Panorama
Beneath a high submarine-hatch dome of mammoth proportions, a four-armed carrousel encircles the dial. At the end of each arm is a display for the hours and minutes, the Earth – represented by white gold sphere, a one-carat briolette diamond which represents the moon and last by no means least a triple axis tourbillon. The tourbillon rotates once every sixty seconds, the second axis which carries the entire cage rotates once every five minutes and the arm which carries the tourbillon rotates once every 20 minutes. Is this a mesmerising dial? You bet it is, even on its own such a tourbillon would provide its wearer with a constant distraction, but together with the activity of the other arms which also encircle the dial once every twenty minutes, this is a truly panoramic display.
To create such motion is not without its challenges. The tourbillon cage is constructed with a large screw balance beating at 18,000 vph, with an overcoil balance spring which features a Phillips terminal curve. Despite the power draining dial activity, this piece still maintains a power reserve of 72 hours. In order to achieve this, a substantial mainspring was used, one which fills up the diameter of the Astronomia’s 47mm watch case. To develop the mechanism Jacob & Co employed the services of the horological atelier of Studio 7H38.
Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon – A Final Flourish
Surprisingly there is a hint of traditional watchmaking to be found in this astounding piece. Handcrafting is used to create the Earth sphere on which an extraordinary level of detail has been achieved using Grand Feu enamelling, and the Roman numerals for the hours and minutes add a further classical touch. In order to make the piece wearable, polycarbonate composite is used in the construction of the case, with winding operable via its 18k rose gold caseback, ensuring that the profile remains perfectly rounded. The final flourish is the briolette cut diamond, whose 56 facets promise to catch the light to great effect as it spins – very Jacob & Co, but for this added extravagance we shall forgive them.
You’ll find a Live Shot of the Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon on Revo-Online.