Last year in 2014, Jacob & Co. debuted a very interesting watch with an extravagant movement they called the Astronomia Tourbillon (debuted here). I didn’t get a chance to personally see the piece when they debuted it, and I am not sure if the original Astronomia Tourbillon case style (check the link above) was even actually delivered, since according to these new 2015 Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon pictures, there is a totally new case design. The sheer complexity of the movement in the watch requires a lot of tweaking to make it work and years of effort. For 2015, however, it looks like the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is back with a new case design as well as a very much “Jacob & Co.” version called the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette that comes with a lot of diamonds.
Below, you can see a video from last year of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon in action. Much of the movement is placed on a series of four arms that rotate around the entire dial each 20 minutes. Those arms also move to create other actions such as keeping the dial to indicate the time in the proper orientation, as well as operating the tourbillon. Taken together, the entire ballet of gear work in the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is almost hard to believe. More so, as much as you may like or be ambivalent to what Jacob & Co. produces, you have to give it to them that they understand showmanship is an important part of the luxury watch industry.
Water resistance is merely 30m, that is clear for a watch of its complexity. Moving on, one thing some might notice is that there is no visible crown. Well, setting time and twisting the movement is actually done with two fold-out 18k rose gold “bows” on the situation back. Regrettably, we didn’t get to take photographs of the situation back but it is like the system you’ll find in some previous Astronomia iterations. Needless to say, the eye will be drawn to the whimsical and elaborate world created inside the dial.Like additional Astronomia watches, the Jacob & Co.. Astronomia Solar’s movement is exposed for all to see on the dial. There is a great deal to see, in addition to a whole lot that moves. To start, the movement really is made up of three separate arms; a single arm contributes to a sub-dial that displays the time; another results in a flying tourbillon; and ultimately, the third arm leads to a globe.Though overshadowed, time is rather legible, the blued hour and minute hands are rather big and contrast brilliantly from the 18k rose gold skeletonized sub-dial. The flying tourbillon features the emblem of Jacob & Co. on the tourbillon bridge and it really rotates on two axes. Yes, this isn’t a normal tourbillon, it’s a bi-axial tourbillon. Horizontally, it creates a single rotation every 60 seconds. Vertically, it creates a rotation once every 10 minutes.Finally, the planet, which can be made from rose gold and blue lacquer, rotates on its axis once every 60 minutes. It also makes a spinning around the dial after every 10 minutes because the whole structure or motion itself rotates clockwise and leaves a spinning once every 10 minutes. But that is not all, since the aventurine base, which is decorated to look like the night sky, rotates counter-clockwise and makes a rotation every 10 minutes.
Compared to the large sapphire crystal bubble dome over the initial Astronomia design, this new 2015 case makes a bit more sense. We are still looking at computer renders, but I am confident that the smaller pieces of sapphire crystal (which are now divided into a series of windows and one large one over the top) with the additional metal makes for a more plausible, wearable design. According to the brand, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is 50mm wide and 25mm thick. The case is in 18k rose gold, and there is a version with and without diamonds.
Notice the lack of crowns or pushers on the case? The movement is actually set and would via two “bow-style” fold out crowns on the rear of the case. The movement, which is, of course, the most interesting element of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon, is the exclusive to Jacob & Co. caliber JCEM01, with 48 hours of power reserve and a tourbillon that operates at 2.5Hz. Surprisingly, the movement is produced from just 235 parts – which seems very efficient given the complexity of the concept.
Technically, because the tourbillon moves around the entire dial each 20 minutes, it is a triple axis tourbillon. The other axis is the normal spinning you see from a tourbillon cage, as well as being spun in its connection arm. It sits opposite the dial for telling the time to help balance out the weight. The other two arms have a small hand-painted titanium representation of earth, and its opposite arm has a rotating disco ball that makes one full rotation each 60 seconds.
Really, disco ball? Well, that is what I am calling it. Jacob & Co. claims that the spherically cut diamond uses an exclusive cutting process debuted by Jacob & Co to cut a diamond with 288 facets. This round diamond is supposed to represent the moon – which makes me wonder what “night life” would be like on your planet if our moon was actually a large disco ball too. While the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon movement looks and sort of feels like it offers astronomical complications – it really only does so in concept. This is really a movement made for viewing pleasure, versus strict functionality – and in that, it succeeds.
If the “standard” Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon isn’t enough, you can opt for the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette, which replaces the watch face’s night/space sky with baguette-cut diamonds. The diamonds are invisibly-set on the dial and lugs, totaling 342 stones weighting 16 carats. While I personally can’t see myself as a buying customer of a Jacob & Co. Astronomia the fact that there might be a few people out there who can enjoy this sort of wrist-worn mechanical entertainment delights me. Once again, Jacob & Co. set out to shock, amuse, and please… which is exactly what I feel that Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is all about. Price for the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon (without diamonds) is 540,000 Swiss Francs (right now about $548,000) and price for the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Baguette is 1,000,000 Swiss Francs (right now about $1,015,000). jacobandco.com
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