Boy, what do I even say about this one? Jacob & Co.’s new ultra high-end, non diamond-studded watch for 2011 is this Cyclone Tourbillon. The watch has a large escapement which is actually on the front-mounted automatic rotor. Having things on the rotor is sort of a trend this year as Cartier did something similar with their Astroregulateur watch and Blancpain has a power reserve indicator on a rotor this year on a new L-evolution piece. Though the Cyclone is the first watch ever to have an actual tourbillon spinning on a spinning rotor.
The movement was created by some ex BNB guys who are now at La Fabrique du Temps. It has a sort of techie design with a textured, though relatively flat dial (as the rotor needs to spin around). You have the time, a subsidiary seconds dial, and a power reserve indicator. the dial and window is rather strangely shapes because in each position you turn the watch, the rotor will fall into a different position, and the dial is meant to frame a different element on it. I guess that is interesting, and the time isn’t too hard to read.
Last night I was watching an episode of Pawn Stars, and when I saw this watch I amusingly wondered to myself what those guys would make of it if someone brought it in. Now that would make for a fun segment. Trying to have an appraiser dissect the watch and see what makes it tick to figure out “what is this?” I mean if you aren’t in the watch world and someone handed you this, a “WTF?” would not be out of line. Jacob & Co. went to great lengths to make sure the design was unique and caught attention. The type of attention it catches is really up to the beholder right?
The case is large and done in 18k white gold and 18k rose gold. It is 48mm wide and 67mm tall. I suppose you could refer to it as a square, or maybe rectangle. I don’t think the study of geometry has a name for this/these shapes. There is something very “deconstructionist” about the design. It is almost abstract, but still functional, and has a lot of design elements that are purely artistic. Note that the piece I checked out was a prototype – so the final version will be much better finished and polished.
On the case the lugs move a bit to fit over your wrist better – though you aren’t wearing a watch like this for comfort. No, you are most likely going to wear this $300,000 plus watch to impress your loyal subjects who will readily kiss it and tell you that it totally amazes them while perfectly complimenting your personality. This is that kind of watch.
The movement in the Cyclone Tourbillon is the Jacob & Co. Caliber LFT 108. 45 hours of power reserve and the rotor with the tourbillon on it is shaped a bit like an anchor. What is interesting is that just seeing still images of the watch tells you very little if anything about it. So I am glad I got to offer you the video as well. On the back of the watch is another view of the movement. You can see “JACOB” spelled out on the movement plate to remind you whose watch this is. At any moment Jacob can ask you for it back, and you have to give it to him. I do appreciate the design of the movement. It reminds me of all that imagery they used to place around late 1990’s techno music that I so enjoyed (and still do). If you had to ask me one thing I would change on the watch, it would probably be the dial opening. I appreciate the experimental design that looks like something clawed its way out, but I think something more symmetrical might also be nice. Price is going to be a bit north of $350,000 and I am pretty sure it will be part of a limited edition.