March 2, 2023
Within the realm of mega-expensive statement watches, no conversation is complete without mentioning Jacob & Co. and the fanciful pieces that make up its modern catalog. While many of the brand’s watches are flat-out ridiculous in concept, they are also undeniably impressive, and wheth-r we are talking about music boxes, planetariums, or miniaturized car engines crafted from sapphire, Jacob & Co. watches often embrace a level of fun and whimsy that is seldom seen in high-end watchmaking. The latest release from the brand just ahead of Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 is the Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon, which takes the fully functional roulette wheel complication that characterizes its popular Astronomia Casino watch, and combines it with a flying tourbillon to create a gambling-themed timepiece aimed squarely at high-rollers and the top 1% who enjoy spending their time at the tables in Las Vegas or Monte Carlo.
Crafted from 18k rose gold with a high-polished finish, the case of the new Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon measures 44mm in diameter by 16.3mm-thick. Just as you would expect, a heavily domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment protects the dial side of the watch; however, there is no winding crown protruding from the side of the case, with the only thing disrupting its round profile being the pusher located at 8 o’clock, which is used operate the roulette wheel game complication. Instead, positioned on the caseback, directly above the small circular window that offers a view of the roulette-themed flying tourbillon, are two fold-out tabs, with one used for winding the watch and the other dedicated to adjusting its hands. While this timepiece is hardly designed for aquatic use (as confirmed by its black alligator leather strap with matching 18k rose gold deployant buckle), the Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon still offers 30 meters of water resistance to protect against daily incidental contact.
The time is displayed by a pair of skeletonized hands with luminous inlays and red finished tips, while the dial itself is made from a single sheet of black onyx with applied 18k rose gold kite-shaped hour markers. The dial and hands sit elevated from the spinning roulette wheel section that surrounds it, and this difference in height creates a natural space for the white ceramic ball to move freely when the roulette wheel game complication is activated. Additionally, the black curved flange that occupies the outermost periphery of the display features eight diamond-shaped deflectors, which are intended to further add variation to the roulette ball’s movement. Pressing the pusher on the side of the case at 8 o’clock sets the wheel in motion, causing the white ceramic ball to bounce around until it settles into one of the 37 pockets that are filled with black, red, or green lacquer.
Powering the Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon is the brand’s manufacture Cal. JCAM51 manual-wind movement. While its signature roulette wheel complication and base caliber design are carried over from existing watches, the Jacob & Co. JCAM51 itself is a new movement and offers a novel combination of features. Running at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 72 hours, the JCAM51 is a 24-jewel caliber that consists of 268 components. In addition to having its winding and time-setting carried out through fold-out tabs located on its caseback and having a fully-functional mechanical spinning roulette wheel game complication, the Jacob & Co. JCAM51 also features a one-minute flying tourbillon that has red, black, and green lacquer inlays on its carriage, which mirror the appearance of the spinning roulette wheel on the opposite side of the watch.
Production of the Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon will be limited to 101 examples, and the new watch will be accompanied by an official retail price of $280,000 USD. Although this is undeniably expensive and could just as easily buy you a supercar or even a house in many parts of this country, it’s also worth noting that the new Casino Tourbillon costs less than half the price of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Casino, while simultaneously offering a superior roulette playing experience due to its simplified display and unobstructed view of the spinning roulette wheel. While a solid gold Jacob & Co. watch with a fully functional roulette wheel game isn’t really for the budget-conscious buyer, the difference in price is more than a quarter of a million dollars, and this delta is even significant to the mega-wealthy collectors — even if it just means having some extra money to throw down at the tables next time they visit the casinos. For more information on the Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon watch, please visit the brand’s website.