Not long ago, we featured a watch with a similar theme, the Graham Tourbillon Orrery. Unlike the Graham, the Astronomia Tourbillon does not feature a mini-planetarium. Nevertheless, this is still an interesting piece, albeit it may be a little difficult to digest all the details.
At the first glance, the Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon is a complicated watch. And it is, in fact, a really complicated watch indeed. There are four arms on this watch, and each arm carries out a different function. While each arm has its own role to play, the simultaneous movement of the four different arms actually create something magical. It is akin to listening to Berlin Philharmonic’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture: epic and mellifluous. It is also worth noting that the four arms are linked to a single central axis, in which it completes a revolution after every twenty minutes.
The First Arm- Tourbillon
The tourbillon, in our opinion, is probably the most outstanding feature on this timepiece. It is a triple-axis tourbillon, beating at a rate of 18,000bph. It rotates firstly on its own axis every 60 seconds. Next, it completes a revolution once every 5 minutes around the axis on the arm. Finally, it completes a circle around the dial every 20 minutes. It also features a overcoil balance spring, and infusing a mathematically correct Phillips terminal curve.
The movement is created in collaboration with Studio 7H38, which are the same guys whom Jacob and Co collaborated with to create the SF24 dual-time zone watch.
The Second Arm- Dial
Even though the tourbillon had stolen much of the limelight, but the dial of the watch is actually rather wonderful too. The dial is openworked, which allows us to view the beautiful mechanisms of the movement as well. It also features roman numerals, as well as blue-steel hands. The mechanics behind it is a little special too, as it features a differential system which ensures that the dial stays in the same upright position as it moves around the dial. This helps to make time-telling a little easier.
We thought that this dial combination works rather well, as it gives the Astronomia Tourbillon an engineering feel to it. Well, it is a complicated watch after all. While it may not be legible, but it is certainly a very good conversation piece.
The Third Arm- Moon
On the third arm lies a briolette-cut diamond, which represents the moon. The diamond completes a revolution on its own axis every 60 seconds, and also around the watch every 20 minutes. The diamond has got 56 facets, which allows light to refract and creating a rather nice rainbow effect. While we are not big fans of diamonds, we thought that this gave the watch a nice and sophisticated touch.
The Fourth Arm- Earth
Another interesting feature of the watch is the globe representing Earth. The globe is made of white gold, and it features grand feu enameling to give the Earth its distinctive colouring. The process of grand feu enameling is already tough, and doing it on a spherical surface makes it even more challenging. The end result is a really beautiful model of Mother Earth, and it is even more spectacular as it rotates own axis. The attention to detail here is excellent, even though it may not be as important as the tourbillion or the dial.
We feel that the Astronomia Tourbillon is an excellent watch. What we have here is just the movement, but that is already very impressive already. The idea of the Astronomia Tourbillon is simply spectacular. We like how the different elements come into play, and creating an euphony in the process. Not many people are capable of harmonizing different parts of the watches together, but Jacob & Co has done it beautifully here.
The 44mm watch will be cased in a combination of 18K rose gold and the use of a poly-carbonate composite that is strengthened with diamond dust. Weight has been reduced by four times, but the strength of the watch has been increased substantially. The watch will also be fitted with a giant domed crystal, and beneath the movement lies a dial made from aventurine (which gives the shimmering 3D effect, as though there are stars shining on the background). At the point of photography, we were only able to get hold of the working prototype movement, as the final edition is still being prepared and delivered. But it does look excellent in pictures though, the completed product.
In a nutshell, this watch is a real feast for the eyes, and we think that this is certainly one of the best creations by Jacob and Co. Practical? Probably not. But that will certainly not deter us from lusting over this timepiece, because this is something really special.