The New Jacob & Co. Bugatti Tourbillon Timepiece Has a Working V16 Engine

The high-octane automaton-tourbillon from the luxury watchmaker is modelled after Bugatti's latest hypercar
The New Jacob & Co. Bugatti Tourbillon Timepiece Has a Working V16 Engine
June 25, 2024
The New Jacob & Co. Bugatti Tourbillon Timepiece Has a Working V16 Engine

Jacob & Co.'s partnership with Bugatti represents a fusion of high-end watchmaking with the luxury and performance associated with the car manufacturer’s automotive engineering. This collaboration has produced several remarkable timepieces, notably the Bugatti Chiron watch collection. The design of the watches is heavily inspired by the Bugatti Chiron supercar, incorporating elements that mimic the aesthetics and engineering of the car. As Bugatti had released its latest hypercar, the hybrid V16 Tourbillon, a few days ago, this high-octane timepiece from Jacob & Co. has a successor now. And it is still ultra-impressive both visually and mechanically. Meet the Jacob & Co. Bugatti Tourbillon (Ref. BU300.22.AA.AA.A), limited to 150 pieces.

An Italian-born French automobile designer and manufacturer, Ettore Bugatti is known for founding the automobile company Automobiles Ettore Bugatti. It all started when Bugatti introduced the Veyron in 2005 (with initial development starting earlier); it was indeed a groundbreaking vehicle in the automotive industry, known for its extraordinary engineering and record-breaking performance. The Veyron featured an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine, producing 1,001 horsepower and 1,250 Nm of torque. This was a significant engineering feat, making it one of the most powerful production cars at the time. Over the years, the Molsheim (Alsace, France)-based automobile maker introduced new variants to the hypercar.


To understand the watch's inspiration drawn from a car, we must first discuss automotive a bit. Bugatti has always been about bringing the best in technology and luxury to the road. The new Bugatti Tourbillon, which succeeds Veyron and Chiron, two of the most technically advanced hypercars of our time, provides more than simply an updated design under the leadership of Mate Rimac, the company's young CEO. 

Under the familiar exterior is a completely new powertrain that combines a furious engine with electricity. The new Bugatti Tourbillon is powered by an 8.3-litre naturally-aspirated V16 engine designed from the ground up by Cosworth, capable of revving up to 9,000 rpm and producing 1,000 hp on its own and 1,800 hp with the help of three electric motors. These motors are paired with a front e-Axle with two electric motors and one electric motor mounted at the rear axle. These motors produce for a total of 800 hp from the electric powertrain system. Only 250 units are to be constructed. 

But now let us also look at gauge clusters crafted by Swiss watchmakers. It definitely has a lot to do with high-end watchmaking. First and foremost, the car's name (tourbillon) is clearly influenced by horology, as Rimac has stated in numerous interviews. The whole cluster is analogue and was constructed using Swiss watchmaking standards and technology, with the same attention to detail as that expected from a great watch movement. The trifecta dial on the left side tells the details of the performance of the three electric motors and has the engraving of the individual car number out of 250. The centre dial looks like a high-end clock but the inner circle that has a small hand tells the horsepower, maximum being 10,000, while the outer circle with a long hand tells the speed, maximum being 550. The last dial on the extreme right also houses two hands; the outer portion with a long hand tells the horsepower that the hypercar is using out of 1,001, and the inner portion with a small hand tells the horse power that is being generated from the electric motors out of 800. 


Jacob & Co's latest timepiece has a black PVD titanium casing that matches the car's strong exterior and distinctive features, such as the front grille, side radiator inlets, and huge sapphire side windows. The timepiece measures 52mm x 44mm and the three-subdial setup replicating the instrument cluster is protected by a single sapphire crystal. A 30-second flying tourbillon begins on the left. The retrograde indication for both jumping hours (with a red hand) and minutes (in a blue hand) in the centre is similar to the rev counter and speedometer on the newest Bugatti model. 

The case sides show two large sapphire openings, shaped and tinted like the car's side windows. The 12 o’clock is marked by a Bugatti logo at 6 o’clock on the inner portion while the outer portion marks the 60-minute markings. The hour scale doesn't start at 12, like the usual dials, instead it starts at zero, like an rpm counter. Finally, the third subdial displays the power reserve; the red hand is for the calibre. The smaller hand on the power reserve counter indicates the remaining autonomy on the automaton. The winding crown, which doubles as the automaton start pusher, is located at the 12 o'clock side of the case. The time-setting crown is located on the case back, underneath the dials. It's fitted with a Jacob & Co. signature lift-out bow for optimal comfort.


The Bugatti Tourbillon’s engine automaton is built with the new small V16 (rather than W16!) engine block. It is made of a single sapphire block with 16 cylinders to accommodate the same number of titanium pistons. They are powered by a single-axis crankshaft. Similarly to the Bugatti engine, the engine block automaton has its own set of exhaust manifolds. The animation begins when you press the crown's integrated push-piece that has the EB logo. The engine starts, the crankshaft spins, and the pistons pump up and down. The automaton sequence lasts 20 seconds.

This limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Tourbillon is powered by Calibre JCAM55, a manual winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the black PVD titanium caseback and a flip-out bow for time-setting. Finishing the watch is an interchangeable black rubber strap with Louvers and a black PVD titanium deployment buckle clasp.Jacob & Co.'s collaboration with Bugatti stands as a testament to the shared values of innovation, luxury, and precision. The resulting timepieces not only celebrate the engineering marvels of Bugatti's supercars, but also push the boundaries of what can be achieved in watchmaking.

Image Credits: Jacob & Co, and Bugatti