Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Watch

Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Watch

Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

For 2014, Jacob & Co. returns with a rather amazing watch creation sure to impress everyone from traditional watch lovers to the public at large. Watch the video below of the new Astronomia Tourbillon and it is easy understand why "wow" is a typical response to this complex and very interesting horological creation. When and whether the Astronomia will actually be produced is another question, but even if the timepiece remains a digital video I would be happy at the creation of the mere concept.

Jacob & Co. was one of the first watch makers to understand the power of "insane watch," that being a mechanical watch of epic complication meant solely to wow and impress in a manner akin to the tone and content of many rap music videos. These are designed to be "ultra-luxury lifestyle" watches for people who buy new yachts when they are bored and surfing eBay on their phone while waiting for their personal bankers to exit the toilet of the yacht they are currently sitting in. The only thing about a watch like this which is meant to make sense is that it is supposed to be more impressive than what most other rich people can afford.

None of what I am saying is meant to be snarky or sarcastic. This is really what the rather small target demographic of timepieces such as this can be like. We are talking about those who are new money, and new lots-of-money. This type of consumer is as interested in exclaiming their wealth as they are sometimes ill-equipped to spend it. Having said that, a piece like the Astronomia Tourbillon does come with an air of tasteful sophistication given its high-horological pedigree. While Jacob & Co. may have a "diverse" client base who represent both people you would and would not want to dine with, when they go all out, they most certainly have the ability to do it right.

Little information is currently available on the Astronomia Tourbillon aside from the video and pictures Jacob & Co. was nice enough to equip us with in preparation for the piece's "release" at Baselworld 2014. We hope to see it in person there or eventually. Sometimes watches like this are initially debuted in computer render form only to be actually released several years later as the time required to produce working movements can take much longer. That may be the case here, as the movement in the Astronomia Tourbillon appears to be wonderfully ambitious. While the watch is not, per se, an astronomical complication, it is themed after them. The center of the watch is the "sun" and around it there are four orbiting objects.

Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

These objects include a dial for the time (that remains upright in all positions as it moves around the main dial) a rotating representation of the earth, a spinning spherical crystal (perhaps a diamond), and lastly, an impressive looking bi-axial tourbillon. This is all based on a wonderful looking planetary gear arrangement that any engineering student (or watchmaker) would be proud to have as their term project.

It is unclear whether or not the spinning earth moves in concert with the planet's 24 hour cycle of if it can be clearly used to indicate anything. It doesn't even really matter as its simple motion looks interesting enough. The dial for the time is perhaps what impresses me the most as it is both legible and appreciably complex in its visual presentation.

Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

Jacob & Co. has presented the Astronomia Tourbillon in a large-diameter 18k rose gold case with a bezel and crystal made out of a single piece of sapphire crystal. This allows for a full view of the dial from all angles. Also note the lack of crown, which means that it is either on the top of the watch or more likely somewhere on the back. The mechanical movement itself represents a rather small portion of the dial by design to allow for a vastness to the case and feeling that the four "planets" have a lot of room to move around. It will more than likely be manually wound.

As an exercise in pure horological decadence, the Astronomia Tourbillon certainly hits the spot with a sinfully interesting watch whose production cost and eventual retail price is probably equally awesome. We at aBlogtoWatch love this stuff because it makes owning a simple timepiece all that much more interesting. We can look at our rudimentary "classic" watches and imagine that somewhere out there, someone may be wearing an Astronomia Tourbillon and be reading the exact same hour of the day but with so much more panache. jacobandco.com

16 comments
Abu Rose
Abu Rose

The Earth in this watch is spinning correctly; counter-clockwise if it is assumed to be viewed from the North Pole. If you consider the rotation from the South Pole, the earth would appear to turn clockwise. Many of you know this already, the reason that our clocks and watches turn clockwise is based on the history of sundials and the shadows they reflect. Since sundials and later on clocks were made popular in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun and their projected shadows appear to move from East to West, i.e. clockwise. Had the sundials and clocks been popularized in the Southern Hemisphere, our “clockwise” may very well have been “counterclockwise”!

Back to this particular watch, it is a great mechanical leap in the right direction from a brand whose relation to the luxury watch sector is the same as the Blobfish is to kingdom Animalia (PPO- No, not your insurance type but pure personal opinion).  

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/88523948897938842/

In any case, Mr. Yakov Arabov’s new creation while tantalizing suffers from 2 major flaws pertaining to its “Moon”:

1.The “crystal” cheapens the watch to a painful extent, even if it is made of the purest diamond. It is a major missed opportunity to have a miniature replica of the moon with its beautiful texture, grooves and shades.

2.The volumetric mean radius of the Moon is 1,737 km (1,086 miles) compared to the 6,371 km radius of planet Earth (3,982 miles). This fact means that the “Earth” has to be roughly 3.7 times larger than the moon, an estimation that is violated based on the video shown. 

Mr. Arabo, please fix these 2 problems before you release this potentially great watch, and keep on this path sparing us from the mental anguish caused by seeing many previous models.


Abu Rose

AnalogErik
AnalogErik

The globe is spinning the wrong way. Oops.

SN0WKRASH
SN0WKRASH moderator

Just watching it move makes me happy

armenta
armenta

The first timepiece from Jacob & Co. that I like. It feels heartfelt, unlike their usual pandering to the nouveau riche monstrosities they usually come out with. Nice job Jacob & Co.! It looks like you might have a future being more than just a jewelry shop.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Fragile and ugly.  The moon is now a glitter-ball for disco divas.  The crystal is a huge, mostly empty bulb.  The rendering is once again not a very flattering one.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Awesome, wow. I want to talk about textures and depths, but this is all just renderings, so I guess it wouldn't be prudent to get away in the weeds about fluff, but I would be very interested to see some actual pictures of this, or even better, see it in person. 


Fuck it, I'm going in anyway - the rear of the dial looks like a window showing the expanse of space, the rendering has done a perfect job of synthesizing that likeness of depth - if they manage to actually pull that off, win. 


Also, if that crystal is actually going to be a real spherical-cut diamond, then the watch will probably be piece unique and cost all of the money + tax. 

DavidasaurusRex
DavidasaurusRex

Is Yvan Arpa still working for/with J & Co? Based on the crap they churned out prior to their partnership(?) (five time zones, anyone?) this is a complete turnaround in terms of technical prowess and aesthetics.

I need a shower.

and a drink.

Oelholm
Oelholm

Legible?!?

No seconds hand on a, what, 18mm dial with four roman numerals AND it moves around the main dial? While I agree that it isn't made in braille or on the rear of the watch case, this is a far cry from "legible".

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Abu Rose Sorry but it still spins the wrong direction no matter which way you are observing it. The U.S. should rotate towards the current location of  Europe and Africa (and it does the other way on this watch).

I like the idea of  a replica moon. But the way the Earth spins in relation to the 'Sun' (center point) is messed up (wrong axis), so again, this is a fun piece but not a planetarium.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@AnalogErik Good observation. Maybe they will fix that in production by attaching the Earth at the south pole instead. And if the diamond globe is supposed to be the Moon (as the video implies), then it should not have an apparent rotation as the real Moon has a tidally locked orbit with the Earth. Nevermind, there are so many things wrong with this as a planetarium. Just enjoy all the spinning  doo-dads...

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Oelholm Agree but to be fair, a number of tourbillon watches don't have a seconds hand. However I'm with you on this one because even if it is a 60 second tourbillon, the dual axis cages make it improbable that you can use the tourbillon to determine the current seconds. But it should does provide proof that it is running!

Interesting and unexpected. Since I normally expect gaudy bling monstrosities from Jacob the Jeweler, this is a pleasant surprise - while still being over the top. I hope they actually make the watch. I would be nice if the cycle of the Earth meant something (like it rotates once every 24 hours) - guess we will have wait and see.

Looks like the Earth spins about every 5 minutes.

Abu Rose
Abu Rose

@MarkCarson @Abu Rose

Mark, you are correct as I did not look at the continents. 

The Earth should have been attached at the Antarctica (South Pole) which makes the rotation from the North Pole "free" view to be counterclockwise which is the correct direction of rotation.

emenezes
emenezes

@MarkCarson @Oelholm  However, I guess that the whole assembly completes an orbit, err, a round in a minute, so perhaps the end of the tourbillon cage might indicate the seconds, were there an outer dial.


Speaking of dials, I get that the skeletonized theme is part of the concept, but maybe I'm either too philistine or too poor to point out that the outer ring of the dial could be solid to improve legibility.


And I have to say that I love the way that the straps are attached to the case.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@emenezes @MarkCarson@OelholmNo, no. The time should be even harder to read. This is not for telling time. It's for watching the mechanical show. The time is a byproduct of its dance.

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