November 14, 2016
by Ariel Adams
Jacob & Co. does their best to ensure you can view as much of it as possible, even putting a small sapphire crystal on the cylinder so that you can see it operating from the side. Brands like Jacob & Co. are fully aware that the buyers of their products will enjoy them like toys, and want to see the operation of the mechanics with their own eyes. Yes, luxury watches are a type of toy.
If the standard Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 watch isn’t toy-like enough for you, you can opt for the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 Racing, that comes in titanium with various bright-colored trims such as green and red. The Racing models are mostly the same, but have different fonts for the world time cites, and the aforementioned color accents. Of course, the real luxury toys are the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 models with diamonds – sweet, sweet diamonds.
Inside the watches is the exclusive Jacob & Co. caliber JCAA02 automatic movement. It offers the time with subsidiary seconds dial, and of course the world time complication. It’s not haute horology per se, but the movement is reasonably well-decorated and visible through the sapphire crystal caseback window. One small complaint is that on this same sapphire crystal Jacob & Co. prints a lot of graphics which consist of a “metalized” depiction of a globe with the Jacob & Co. logo over it. This doesn’t seem to offer much aesthetic value, and really only acts to inhibit a view of the movement. The movement, by the way, operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) and has a power reserve of 45 hours.
Even if you aren’t emotionally compelled to like the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 as a concept, you have to admit that the system is well-designed and -executed. The split flat world time system was clearly not easy to engineer, and its resulting functionality and smoothness of operation is honestly quite impressive. You feel as though all efforts went into making the system as complete and ergonomic as possible. This is despite the fact that Jacob & Co. will never produce very many of these watches, as each version of the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 is part of a limited edition.
On the wrist, the uneven proportions of the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 make it appear a bit better while worn with long sleeves. The case shape is so unorthodox, that not everyone call pull off the look to begin with, and wearing it with sleeves will allow you to wear the watch with some… context.
Even though it is an avant-garde watch, for sure, the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 isn’t difficult to live with given its comfort and ease of use. Even the dial has a helpful amount of luminant for night viewing. I will, however, say that the inner skeletonized parts of the hour and minute hands are not particularly beneficial when it comes to overall legibility. With that said, given the design and concept of the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24, reading the dial for the time isn’t at all too bad.
When I first learned about the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 watch a few years ago I approached it with tacit respect but caution, since it was clearly on the weird side even for me. Moreover, with a starting price of over $60,000, this is the type of watch that demands serious consideration for potential customers. After spending time with the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24, I’ve learned that it very competently accomplishes the admittedly specific task that Jacob & Co. assigned to it. I respect the success of the concept as well as its outcome, even if this remains a niche timepiece both in fact and appeal. With that said, I fully anticipate that this is one of those watches that in the future will be collectible given the simple fact that I cannot anticipate anyone (ever) trying to replicate Jacob & Co.’s efforts to create a split flap-style indication system for a complication like this.
Price for the Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 watch is 66,000 Swiss francs in titanium and 88,000 Swiss francs in 18k red gold. jacobandco.com
>Brand: Jacob & Co.
>Model: Epic SF 24
>Price: 66,000 Swiss francs as tested
>Size: 45mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone with a nostalgia for split flat information indication systems… and the courage to wear a weird yet very effective high-end watch.
>Best characteristic of watch: Manages to successfully integrate a complex yet convenient (and novel) system for indicating a world time complication, and does it well. Watch is comfortable on the wrist, and actually manages to help make Jacob & Co. feel like an even more legitimate producer of interesting mechanical timepieces.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Aesthetically not to everyone’s taste. Graphics on the rear sapphire crystal aren’t necessary.