Jacob & Co released a new Epic X, redesigned for a sleeker and more streamlined take on the original sporty collection.
Press Release details with commentary in italics.
New: Jacob & Co redesigns their Epic X
Retail price for the new Jacob & Co Epic X in steel is set at USD 26,000 for the rubber strap and USD 29,000 for the steel bracelet. At time of publishing, we do not have the prices of the gold and black DLC versions.
The model began in 2015 and was perhaps the first sporty oriented watch in the Jacob & Co lineup, which is usually adorned with diamonds and gemstone. Jacob Arabo, the founder cut his teeth as a diamond merchant in New York before venturing into his passion for watches. The Epic X collection runs with numerous versions from time only editions (like this novelty), to versions with chronographs and tourbillons. We covered the original Epic X Chrono Carbon Bugatti in considerable detail in this hands-on review in 2019.
This 2022 revision can be considered as a facelift with a subtly altered shape to update the lineup. Three versions of the novelty is released – steel case with blue aluminum parts on steel bracelet or black rubber strap, rose gold case with green aluminum parts on rose gold bracelet or black rubber strap, and a black DLC case with black details on rubber strap. As with most other Jacob & Co watches, gem-set versions are also available. Though describing the changes make them seem significant, the actual revisions are quite subtle, and most will need a double take to identify the new model.
The watch case is available in stainless steel (gold and DLC titanium versions exist), one of the very few Jacob & Co watches in the metal, and is retained at a diameter of 44mm. The case retains the signature X shaped lugs which now look more massive because the portions which were sunken is now removed. The crown guards are also new. they are now also have more bulk and look more “powerful”.
The dial retains the architecture of a highly skeletonised dial showing two vertical strips, and now given a Clous de Paris treatment. The ability of using aluminium inserts in multiple colours is also available on the dial for accents.
The movement is a new caliber JCAM45, replacing the JCAM02 which is used in the original Epix X, which Jacob & Co claims is a fully new redesign of the movement.
From the release photographs, the watch looks quite stunning, with a big presence. As usual, Jacob & Co watches are not for those who seek to be discreet. The play of colours makes a bold statement. And the wrist presence is strong. The steel versions are now the entry level to the world of Jacob & Co.
We have seen some reports of this Press Release as early as July, but we just received this release and it says it is designated for Geneva Watch Days 2022 which started on Monday. A quick clarification with the Jacob & Co PR rep then told us that only the steel bracelet is absolutely new for this week. And they decided to release the entire revised Epic X to gain the spotlight of GWD. The redesigned watches were announced “intimately” in July. We are not completely sure what intimately means, but take it to mean to only a small number of selected media.
Introduced to the public during the 2022 edition of the Geneva Watch Days, a new Epic X succeeds the original dashing, skeleton, sporty collection from Jacob & Co. The redesigned Epic X is a sleeker and streamlined take on the seminal timepiece. Details abound where Jacob & Co. has subtly altered a shape, a surface, a line, to make the Epic X entirely up to date. It’s also one of the very few Jacob & Co. timepieces to be manufactured in steel.
The first series of the new Epic X flaunt their bold 44-mm steel case, their 5-link, all-new steel bracelet, their X-shaped lugs and their vertically aligned skeleton movement with Clou de Paris-adorned bridges. A full rose gold version is also being released. They exhibit a new set of crown guards, a new lug design and introduce green, blue or black aluminum components that will lead to infinite possibilities.
Introduced in the spring of 2022, the second generation of Epic X has a big shoes to fill. When launched back in 2015, the original Epic X collection was instrumental in making Jacob & Co. the full-fledged watchmaking brand it is today. Years after the iconic and celebrated Five Time Zone Watch, which had left a mark on an entire era and was worn by countless celebrities, Jacob & Co. had moved to a more horology-oriented timepiece.
A complete work of watchmaking, the epic X was ahead of the trends that went on to define the sporty, high watchmaking, skeleton watch as a hero of the 2020s. It later became the blueprint for the Epic X Chrono and Epix X Tourbillon.
The case measures 44 mm in diameter and 13.05 mm in thickness. The bracelet is an entirely new design, derived from the case’s unique angles and curves. Each in the 5-link rows is a polished and chamfered three-dimensional sculpture, with a half-octagon profile and a curved base. This and a careful study in articulation create an ideal fit on the wrist. Moreover, the Epic X remains available with its signature, honeycomb rubber strap.
What’s more, the original Epic X gave way to a stream of variations, be they in terms of design or mechanical movement. The way the Epic X is built allows for an infinite number of material, color and gem-setting interpretations.
Jacob & Co. is releasing three versions that testify to that versatility: steel case with blue aluminum parts on steel bracelet or black rubber strap, rose gold case with green aluminum parts on rose gold bracelet or black rubber strap, and a black DLC case with black details on rubber strap.
When released, the Epic X was also a uniquely designed piece. It was one of the rare instances where the inside and outside of a watch were in actual symbiosis. The X figure that gave the collection its name is to be found on its pairs of lugs. They’re interconnected through the vertical bridges of the skeleton movement, creating a continuous shape throughout the entire piece.
All of these distinctive features are preserved, and enhanced in the new series. The most obvious update to the design is the new shape of the case. The once stepped bezel is now smooth and polished, with a steeper angle. The X-shaped lugs are now full and flush, and begin slightly above the sapphire crystal. Their ends are more angular and more vertical, creating an even better fit for the strap.
The second most recognizable alteration is the caseband, extending far outside the case’s circle to create a set of crown guards. In between them, a redesigned crown exhibits a two-level, notched steel tip. Its basis introduces a new design principle: the Epic X now features several colorful components, crafted out of aluminum. Jacob & Co. has opted for vivid blue, energetic green, and for the black DLC steel Epic X, black.
These colors are applied to the flange, which also bears a redesigned typeface. To the satin-finished edges on the two vertical bridges, the body of the X. And more discretely, to their underside, visible only though the sapphire caseback, beyond the maze of components of calibre JCAM45.
Caliber JCAM45 is an integral part of the Epic X identity. It cannot properly be called a skeletonized movement, as it was not derived from an existing calibre only to be openworked. It was designed as such. It therefore benefits from a free, graphic structure. The wide barrel at 12 o’clock and balance wheel at 6 o’clock define the caliber’s vertical essence. It is further enhanced by the vertical bridges that run along them. They used to bear the printed brand signature, which is henceforth moved at 12 o’clock.
They also were openworked, and they still might be in the future. But so far, they’re to use one of the Epic X signature finishings. The Clou de Paris (or Parisian hobnail) guilloché is an engraved pattern made of square-base pyramids with polished faces. A classic motif in watchmaking, it brings texture and unique light reflection to the equation. Half-dial, half-movement, these structures are true to the Epic X’s original calling to blur the lines between the inside and outside.
Caliber JCAM45 is not just a work of symmetrical and vertical design. It’s also a highly crafted piece of horology. The 5.9 mm-thick movement is openworked to the extreme, a feature that is being masked by the full vertical bridges. It features a high-end balance wheel with regulating screws, almost flush with the dial.
The remaining, black-plated surfaces of the openworked mainplate are finished with perlage (circular graining), sandblasting and vertical-graining. A look at the movement’s back reveals the characteristic “Octopus” spring, a refined component with three extremely thin and elegantly curved blades. It acts as a pawl-spring and a setting-lever spring. The level of care put into its design and finishings are a testament to the Epic X haute horlogerie nature.
Jacob & Co Epic X Technical details for the steel versions
Numbered limited edition
Caliber: JCAM45, hand-wound, skeleton
Diameter: 14.25 mm
Height: 5.90 mm
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vib/h (4 Hz)
Functions: Hours and minutes
Structure: Vertically aligned skeleton structure. Openworked barrel.
Dial-side balance wheel
Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 13.05 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crown : Stainless steel with colored aluminum tube
Crystal : Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment
Case Back: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m (5 atm)
Dial & hands:
Dial: Clous de Paris bridges with colored outline, colored aluminum flange with white
Hands: Bâton-shaped, openworked, red tip
Strap & clasp:
Strap: Honeycomb rubber strap on pin buckle
Bracelet: 5-link stainless steel on steel deployment buckle
Nothing more like an ugly and expensive Invicta.