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Jacob & Co. - American/Italian Culture Meets Swiss Watchmaking

Jacob & Co. American/Italian Culture Meets Swiss Watchmaking

The new Jacob & Co. Opera Godfather Minute Repeater watch is as complicated as the movie it recalls. It executes this feat, though, without any heads rolling.

Jacob  & Co. has unveiled its Part II Godfather watch, and it tops the previous Godfather music box watch by doing what the movie did: adding yet another layer of complexity. In this case, a minute repeater. The Godfather movie, which made its debut almost 50 years ago, was all about story lines on top of story lines, riveting secrets revealed. A tour of the new Jacob & Co. Opera Godfather Minute Repeater watch offers some of this, as well. 

American/Italian Culture Meets Swiss Watchmaking In New Jacob & Co. Watch

Opera Godfather Minute Repeater © Jacob & Co.

If you weren’t around (or were too young to be allowed) to watch the movie when it first came out, you have most likely watched it since because it is such a strong piece of American history and culture.  It was in March of 1972 that the American crime film burst onto the scenes. The shocking content of this movie – chocked with famous actors including Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, among others – made a lasting impression and has captured a cult-like following.  

With the opening scene shot at a wedding in New York in 1945,  the movie spans from New York to Sicily, involves five different families, and includes such violence as machine guns, garroting, car bombs, drugs, and even the famed (and terrible) scene where a film director who denied Vito’s request wakes up in bed with the severed head of his prized horse. Acclaimed as one of the most influential films in the gangster genre, and for a long time holding the title of highest-grossing film ever made (almost $287 million), the Paramount Pictures movie was so significant that in 1990 it was selected to be preserved in the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress because it was such a culturally important piece of America. 

American/Italian Culture Meets Swiss Watchmaking In New Jacob & Co. Watch

Opera Godfather Minute Repeater © Jacob & Co.

It was with this cultural importance in mind that Jacob & Co. created its first tribute to The Godfather in 2018 in the form of a wristwatch showcasing a two-cylinder music box that plays the theme from the movie, and a miniature Don Vito Corleone in the center. Now, the new version, the Opera Godfather Minute Repeater, lets the wearer choose between playing the theme music or hearing the time chimed on hammers and gongs.

The Opera Godfather Minute Repeater is a grand complication that offers the two-cylinder Swiss music box that can be activated on demand, and also a classic minute repeater that chimes the hours, quarter hours and minutes past the quarter hours on demand.  The two musical cylinders  play 120 notes and watching the carefully orchestrated dance of the combs and pins is mesmerizing all by itself. Add to that the fact that the minute repeater uses two hammers to strike visible gongs and another layer of visual and audible complexity comes into play.

American/Italian Culture Meets Swiss Watchmaking In New Jacob & Co. Watch

Opera Godfather Minute Repeater © Jacob & Co.

The manual-winding exclusive movement, JCFM07, consists of 758 components and also boasts a Triple-axis high-speed tourbillon with three cages rotating at different speeds – another Jacob & Co. signature complication. Via a collaboration with Paramount Pictures, Jacob & Co. has the exclusive rights to use The Godfather logo and melody for this watch. As such, The Godfather movie logo is prominently placed on the dial side beneath one of the cylinders. 

The 49mm case of the watch is crafted in 18-karat rose gold and features a domed sapphire crystal and sapphire case sides and back – allowing for expansive viewing of the highly complicated caliber and its moving functions. Just 18 pieces will be made. 

The concept of bringing both the minute repeater and the music box together was, of course, the idea of Jacob Arabo, founder of Jacob & Co. While he may turn to a piece of American history that features American/Italian gangsters to honor, he does so with the extraordinary Swiss craftsmanship. I am not sure which other watch brand would be so bold to go out on a limb and create such a statement, especially when that watch retails for $480,000.  I wonder what The Godfather Part III watch might be… 


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