One of the most impressive watches ever made just got even more luxurious.
Picture yourself waking up on a Sunday morning, getting out of bed, taking a shower, and starting the day in peace. You prepare yourself a nice espresso and a delicious breakfast. You check the time, kiss your partner goodbye, pick up the keys, and head to the garage to drive your new car. You open the door, sit on the leather seat, and enjoy a minute or two of silence. You check the time again, start the watch’s engine and turn the key to the ignition to energize the car. Two W16s run in perfect harmony, one on your wrist and one inches behind you, with 1,500 horsepower ready to propel you to the horizon. In case you were wondering, you wore a Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron sapphire crystal and fired up your Bugatti Chiron. And for seven lucky people, this dreamlike scenario is not far from reality.
Given that Bugatti will only be making 500 of the super-powerful Chirons, you’re more likely to encounter one of these than to find a Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron sapphire crystal in the wild. Only seven lucky men or women would love to own a watch like this; Jacob & Co. will only earn these. While it’s not the most restrained piece in watchmaking history, it’s certainly an impressive thing. The sophistication of the miniature W16 automaton is a testament to the craftsmanship of the Jacob & Co. watchmakers. Like its Astronomia line, it’s a bold and expressive display.
A few things have changed since the first Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon was released, and of course this is the case most notably. Now made in full sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, by the way, it measures a whopping 57.8mm in length, 44.4mm in width and 21.5mm in height. The case looks simple as it flows around the movement, but its shape is very delicately machined. Take a moment, curves and lines are everywhere, and of course the iconic Bugatti horseshoe grille at noon adds to the challenge.
The crown and pushers for starting the working sapphire crystal W16 engine are made of sapphire crystal and titanium. From left to right, we have the crown that sets the time, the crown that winds the movement and the automaton, and the buttons that start the animation. The sapphire crystal engine is located in the lower half of the watch and has a real miniature crankshaft milled from a single piece of solid steel. This tiny crankshaft drives all 16 pistons up and down, just like in a real car.
While previously it didn’t have a dial of any kind, this version has a floating hour ring that helps make reading the time easier. Some elements of the watch, such as the hour indices, shock absorbers and tourbillon cage, are given a touch of red to match the red details on the exterior of the case. The power reserve indicator shows the French national colors on the left (Bugatti is located in Molheim, France).
Jacob & Co. luxury fully discloses the entire JCAM37 movement made in-house. While technically it’s the same movement as every Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, it looks a little different here. For example, the bridges at the top of the movement have a different shape, as does the tourbillon cage (which now has a diamond on top). The power reserve indicator has also been refreshed, and the hands have changed slightly. The view on the back of the movement remains the same.
While evocative from the outside, the sophistication certainly matches the visual impact. The level of detail throughout the movement, chronograph face and automatic mechanism is haute horological. The hand-wound movement uses no less than 578 components, including 51 jewels. Suspending the movement with effective shock absorbers was a challenge for Jacob & Co. because you risked damaging the link to the fixed crown on impact. The solution is to use a patented car-style lateral system for a little gaming while keeping everything connected tidy. When fully wound through the left crown, the watch has a runtime of 60 hours. That’s far more than the 20 minutes it takes a Bugatti Chiron to empty the tank at full speed, mind you, plan your drive in advance.
The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron sapphire crystal matches the watch’s supercar credentials and is worn on a ventilated white rubber strap mounted on a titanium folding clasp.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – JACOB & CO. BUGATTI CHIRON Sapphire Crystal
Case: 57.8mm long x 44.4mm wide x 21.5mm high – full sapphire case, anti-reflective coating – sapphire crystal and titanium pushers and crown – Chiron “grid” with Bugatti logo on the strap at 12 o’clock Grid” – 30m waterproof
Dial: Red index ring with red “EB” logo – Rhodium-plated hands with red tip – Power reserve display finished in French red, white and blue
Movement: Jacob & Co. JCAM37, Manufacturing – 41.7mm L x 36mm W x 15.6mm H – 578 components – 51 jewels – 21,600vph – Working W16 Sapphire Crystal “Engine” Automatic (On Demand) – 30° Inclined one-minute tourbillon escapement – hours, minutes, seconds (by tourbillon), power reserve indication
Strap: White Rubber Strap – Titanium Deployment Clasp