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Jacob & Co. Astronomia

Jacob & Co. Astronomia

Jacob Arabo came up with a winner with the original design of his Astronomia watch. The Astronomia tourbillon was a watch to be worn with pride, a watch that stands out on the wrist and a watch that requires – how can I put this – an affirmed personality.

There are so many things that set the Jacob & Co. Astronomia watches apart from the crowd. First of all, there is the case, which by the standards of other watches is not much of a case at all, at least as far as its precious metal content. Because the Astronomia is all about transparency and showing off the inner workings of that triple axis tourbillon to the full. As a result, the precious metal has more of a structural role, for the lugs, case back and a slender bezel to act as a frame for the huge dome of sapphire crystal. The Jacob & Co. Astronomia has no dial in the conventional sense. There is the opposite side of the case back, which carries a variety of finishes from mirror polished to starry skies. You will not find a crown on the side of the Astronomia case, either. The watch is wound and set using two bows on the back. All this is to ensure that there is no distraction from the magic that is happening beneath that sapphire crystal dome.

The key to the attraction of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia tourbillon is the hand-wound movement that beats beneath the sapphire crystal. It is a triple axis gravitational tourbillon that consists of four individual arms rotating about a central axis. In the innumerable watches in the Jacob & Co. Astronomia collection there are two constants on each of these four arms: the triple axis tourbillon movement itself and the hour and minute subdial. The other arms may house a miniature representation of the Earth, precious stones representing the sun, moon or numerous other planets, or even an astronaut.

The tourbillon itself deserves closer inspection, since there are few other such triple axis tourbillon watches on the market. The tourbillon has three axes of rotation (hence the triple axis name): the first is the usual 60 second rotation about its own central axis that governs the minutes, the second is the axis of its arm, around which it rotates every two and a half minutes, and the third is the central axis, about which it rotates every 10 minutes.

The name of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia, of course, is a celestial reference and the four arms and different axes of rotation allow for different interpretations of our cosmos, where the display of the time itself almost takes on a secondary role. At their simplest expression, two of the arms house a magnesium globe at one end and a special Jacob cut diamond at the opposite extreme representing the sun. Others use the diamond and other precious stones to depict other planets in the solar system, in the Jacob & Co. Astronomia solar watches.

These highly complicated mechanical watches would not be true Jacob & Co. watches, however, were it not for the magic touch of the renowned jeweler Jacob & Co. All the different Astronomia tourbillon models are available in a bewildering choice of gem-set versions in which the baguette diamond plays a starring role alongside the famous Jacob cut diamond. The baguette diamonds may be set on the lugs, the entire case band, the entire background of the watch.

But aside from the gold and diamonds, there is another typically Jacob side to the Astronomia in the form of playful models inspired by the world of gambling and animals. We see Jacob & Co. Astronomia tourbillons with the names “Gambler” and “Casino”, both of which feature and roulette wheel as the base (and in the case of the latter watch, it even works), as well as “Dragon”, “Octopus” and “Spider”.

Here are just a few examples of the many watches in the Jacob & Co. Astronomia tourbillon collection.

Hublot Big Bang MP-11 14 days power reserve watch

The MP, or Masterpiece, models are also part of the Hublot Big Bang collection. These watches feature an in-house watch movement produced by Hublot with five mainspring barrels aligned vertically and visible in the bottom half of the dial that provide a power reserve of 14 days. These watches are also available with the Hublot signature Big Bang watch case in sapphire crystal, as well as in 3D carbon and King Gold as a jewelry watch with diamonds.
Hublot Big Bang MP-11 retail price from CHF 77,000 (3D carbon).

Unico – the Hublot watch movement at the heart of the Big Bang chronographs

The Hublot Unico manufacture movement took two years to develop and has some distinguishing characteristics not found on other watches. It includes an integrated flyback chronograph with a column-wheel visible from the dial side and has incorporated additional functions such as GMT and a special bi-retrograde chronograph for timing football matches, because Hublot loves football.
Selected Hublot Big Bang watches featuring the Hublot Unico in-house movement:
Hublot Big Bang Unico Blue Magic with polished blue ceramic case and bezel and HUB1242 Unico automatic chronograph movement. Suggested retail price: CHF 19,900.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf with carbon fiber and gray Texalium case and matching bezel and MHUB 1580 Unico automatic movement. Suggested retail price: 29,900.

King and Magic – two types of gold specific to Hublot

Hublot succeeded in producing a scratchproof gold alloy that it baptized Magic Gold. It is produced by filling a porous ceramic mold with pure liquid gold to the magic 75% required for 18-carat gold. Unfortunately, Magic Gold cannot be stamped with an assay mark because it is too hard! Whereas pure 24-carat gold measures between 25 and 50 on the Vickers scale of hardness, and regular 18-carat gold is 350-400 Vickers, Magic Gold hits the 1,000 mark that is in the same realm as ceramic.

King Gold is Hublot’s name for its own specially developed 18-carat gold alloy. Extra copper and platinum is added to the alloy to give the rose gold an exclusive color that is redder than traditional 5N rose gold.

Steel still has its place in the Hublot Big Bang watch collection

Despite Hublot’s constant innovation in the world of materials, some of the more classically themed Hublot Big Bang watches are still available in stainless steel. The Hublot Big Bang 44mm chronograph, for example, comes in brushed stainless steel watch case with a black dial and black rubber strap and is also available in blue (retail price from CHF 11,900). The same Hublot Big Bang watches are also available in black ceramic with blue dial and blue strap (retail price: CHF 15,300) and gold with a blue dial and blue strap (retail price: CHF 32,300), showing the full versatility of the Hublot fusion concept. The smaller Hublot Big Bang 41mm is available as a steel chronograph with a blue or black dial and a bezel set with diamonds that makes it perfect for ladies (retail price from CHF 14,900). The 39mm Hublot Big Bang One Click watches are also available in steel with the sparkle of diamonds (retail price: CHF 13,900).

Suggested Hublot Big Bang models for connoisseurs

Those looking for something beyond a conventional Hublot Big Bang watch in steel or titanium should consider the brand’s partnership with Ferrari and Sang Bleu, which have spawned a number of limited edition Hublot Big Bang watches. Consider, for example, the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico watch in Magic Gold with the HUB 1241 Unico movement, which is a limited edition of 250 watches with a suggested price of CHF 34,900, or the Hublot Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II watches in titanium or King Gold with the HUB1240.MXM Unico movement, a limited edition of 200 watches at a suggested price of CHF 23,900 and CHF 44,900 respectively. The original Hublot Big Bang Sang Blue models, with the HUB1213 Unico movement with the chronograph, are available in black, white or blue ceramic with a matching black, white or blue dial and black, white or blue strap.

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