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3 weeks ago

Jacob & Co and Bugatti Launch $340K Tourbillon Watch

This new piece from Jacob & Co’s pays homage to Bugatti’s latest hypercar, the Tourbillon.

By Toby Louch

When the masters in their respective fields join forces, often excellence can occur. Long-time collaborators Jacob & Co and Bugatti have once again teamed up, this time resulting in the Jacob & Co Bugatti Tourbillon. Unsurprisingly for a horologist, it’s a release that’s timed to perfection, following last week’s long-awaited announcement of Bugatti’s latest hypercar, the Tourbillon.

Cars and watches, while being radically different sizes and achieving considerably different aims, actually share a substantial amount. From detailed design work to craftsmanship of the highest caliber in which precision and millimeter-level perfection make all the difference, these impossible feats of engineering have a lot in common. It’s why – unlike many of the collaborations we see today – it makes sense when a luxury watch brand collaborates with an automobile marque.

This latest release from Jacob & Co builds upon that concept; more than being inspired by Bugatti, Jacob & Co has integrated elements of the French marque’s design into this latest piece. It goes both ways, with Bugatti’s latest release taking direct cues from watchmaking, hence the name Tourbillon.

Jacob & Co Bugatti Tourbillon
Featuring a V 16 engine block automation, a 30-second flying tourbillon and a twin power reserve / ©Jacob & Co

The Jacob & Co Bugatti Tourbillon features a V 16 engine block automation, a 30-second flying tourbillon and a twin power reserve. Retrograde hours and minutes unusually start from zero, directly mimicking a car’s RPM counter.

Priced at $340,000, the Jacob & Co Bugatti Tourbillion is limited to a total of 250 pieces, exactly the same as the automobile that inspired it. The first version, the black DLC titanium model is strictly limited to only 150 pieces.

“Jacob & Co. is ushering in a new age of car watchmaking,” said Jacob & Co’s CEO, Benjamin Arabov. “We’re building up on the incredible success of our Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon timepiece and a shared frame of mind with Bugatti automobiles. This high complication, high octane watch sets the highest bar for innovation, design integration and exhilarating watchmaking.”

The 52 x 44 mm watch case is directly inspired by the body of the new Bugatti Tourbillon. The front grille, side radiator inlets and large sapphire side openings are all directly comparable to the car. Instantly striking is the engine block that sits at the center of the piece, featuring 16 pistons. The 30-second tourbillon is also the fastest to ever be manufactured by Jacob & Co.

[See also: Light on Demand: Panerai Unveils Submersible Elux LAB-ID]

The ’dashboard’ of the watch was designed to reflect the dashboard of a Bugatti hypercar / ©Jacob & Co

“Working closely with Bugatti is an exciting experience,” said Jacob & Co’s founder and chairman, Jacob Arabo. “I live to push watchmaking to new levels, coming up with designs and complications that no one had even dreamed about. Bugattis are the same. They push everything beyond what everyone thinks is the limit. The Bugatti Tourbillon is our most advanced timepiece, the great achievement of a great partnership.”  

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The ‘dashboard’ of the watch was designed to reflect the dashboard of a Bugatti hypercar. On the left, Jacob & Co’s impressive 30-second flying tourbillon is displayed in full view. On the right, the movement’s power reserve is presented, in the vein of a car’s fuel gauge, while in the center the hour and minute sub-dial take their cues from a car’s speed and RPM dial. Each dial is covered by a single sheet of sapphire crystal.

As the hour and minute hands are retrograde, once they complete a full 270-degree arc, they jump back to zero to being again. The hour hand does not slowly tick around the dial, instead every 60 minutes it jumps in one single move to the next hour marker where it will remain for the next 60 minutes.

A true statement worthy of the Bugatti Tourbillon, at the center of the Jacob & Co Bugatti Tourbillon, lies the new V16 engine block, which has been crafted out of a single piece of transparent sapphire. Featuring automation, once activated a crankshaft spins and all 16 cylinders move up and down, a design element that pays homage to the craftsmanship that goes into building a Bugatti.

The Jacob & Co Bugatti Tourbillon is priced at $340,000 and is strictly limited to 250 units.

[See also: $17m One-off Patek Philippe Leads Sales at 10th Edition of Only Watch]

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