Founded in 1986 by diamond designer Jacob Arabo, luxury watch brand Jacob & Co has managed to create some of the most exquisitely complex timepieces the world of horology has seen till date. Astronomia, which made its debut in 2014, is one of them. The collection, born of ultra high-end watchmaking, is a globally recognized symbol of Jacob & Co’s technical expertise. This year, expect a mini revolution of sorts as the watch gets spectacular upgrades.
The Astronomia broke speed barriers, starting with one rotation every 20 minutes. It then pushed the speed to reach one rotation every 10 minutes and another every 5 minutes! The Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution (AT170.40.AB.AB.ABRUA), launched this year, takes this concept to the next level with an incredible speed of one rotation per minute. What’s more, Astronomia Revolution is a limited edition of six pieces crafted in rose gold. The marquee timepiece maker will also release just six models in white gold and another six in white gold with black DLC surface treatment.
The technical marvel is ensconced in a 47 mm, 18 ct rose gold case, along with a sapphire caseband; it is protected under a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Further accentuating the movement on the space-inspired watch is a high-polished surface sporting rose gold mirrors in a honeycomb pattern — in fact, there is a cluster of 18 mirrors, reflecting its details. As the brand puts it, these mirrors are a nod to the James Webb Space Telescope’s gilded reflectors. A miniature space observatory on the wrist, you can say.
The timepiece uses a very special, built-in tourbillon cage. The Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution spins on two axes, around the first one in 1 minute and around the second one in 15 seconds. The latter denotes one of the highest speeds ever reached by a tourbillon carriage in watchmaking history. Since the movement itself moves around the dial once a minute, Astronomia Revolution ends up being a bona fide triple-axis tourbillon. To be precise, it is a triple-axis, flying, high speed tourbillon.
After every 1/6th of a second, the same frequency as the balance wheel, the gear train activates a hairspring. It then frees the whip, a star-shaped gear located closest to the fourth wheel. The whip acts as a buffer between the energy flow from the barrel and the tourbillons, which carry the balance wheel. Each time the whip is activated, it transmits the amount of energy needed by the tourbillon carriage for the next 1/6th of a second. This fine energy regulation allowed Jacob & Co to maintain an impressive 36-hour power reserve on a massively complex timepiece. As the entire Astronomia Revolution movement spins in one minute, it acts as a de facto seconds hand. An arrow with a ruby-head materialises that function. And it required a minute track of matching performance. Jacob & Co carved it into Astronomia Revolution's bezel. Sixty notches, deep and angular like the mouth of a jet engine, act as minute markers.
As discussed earlier, the hour and minute dial of Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution is a rotating one as it is located on one of the movement's satellite arms. It's fitted with a patented differential that allows it to always remain upright and perfectly readable. In Astronomia Revolution's unique case, the dial surface is made of a slab of red polycarbonate, highly openworked and offering an entirely new, edgy design. Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution has the most advanced of all seconds hands.
In the shape of a long three-dimensional arrow, its tip is made of a single, large, pyramid-shaped ruby, showcasing Jacob & Co's gemology expertise. It revolves on its own axis in 15 seconds, which is the same speed as that of the tourbillon carriage's second axis. The dauphine hour and minute hands are made of red gold while the arrow is made of synthetic ruby. The red subdial gets Arabic numerals for 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock while 12 o’clock gets the Jacob & Co logo.
Powering the timepiece is the in-house manual winding Calibre JCAM48B movement with a 36-hour power reserve. This timepiece does not feature any visible crown; the movement is wound and time is set via two flip-up keys at the caseback. The watch is finished on a black cordura strap with a rubber lining and an 18 ct rose gold deployment buckle.
As the brand puts it, the impossible has indeed been made possible with the launch of the Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution timepiece.