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Jacob & Co. - Interview With Benjamin Arabov

Jacob & Co. Interview With Benjamin Arabov

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of cult movie The Godfather, Jacob & Co. has unveiled a triple-axis flying tourbillon with a musical double cylinder playing the famous song from the film. The 30-year-old CEO and son of founder Jacob Arabo discusses the background

This is the first press trip the brand has organized, so this film must mean a lot to you
Indeed. Not only is The Godfather one of the best movie in the history of cinema, but it is also the first one that Jacob saw. He came to America as a teenager without knowing anyone, not speaking the language and with no money. After two years in the country he saw this film, which had a great impact on him. One of the first lines in the film is "I believe in America". It gave him hope, confidence and motivation to succeed in the USA. He introduced us to it when my brother and I were 13-14 years old, the same age he was at the time. We watch it regularly as a family and wanted to celebrate his 50th birthday with a dedicated timepiece unveiled during this first event. Last January, while watching it again, my father stood up in the middle of the movie and exclaimed, "I know what we're going to do, we're going to engrave the best scenes from the film on the case middle!" The next day we spent the whole day choosing which ones in chronological order.

You definitely thought big!
Jacob & Co. is a young, fast-growing brand, developing its watches and its own complications, which in my opinion deserves to be better known. We wanted to do this press trip in the same way as we do as a brand: by going big! So Jacob suggested we organize it in Sicily, have dinner in the castle where Michael Corleone took refuge in the movie, as well as visit the church where his daughter got married. We pick up one of the scenes in which Michael and Apollonia are walking in Sicily, and we follow in their footsteps with this event. We sought authenticity in paying this cultural tribute. 

Benjamin Arabov

Opera Godfather © Jacob & Co.

Which is your favorite among the 13 scenes you have reproduced on the watch?
There are so many very special scenes, but two of them have a particularly strong emotional impact: Apollonia and Michael's walk together; and when Sonny is shot in the car. We tried to use as many scenes as possible, but we only had room for 13 of them. As far as quotes go, my favorite is "For justice, we must go to Don Corleone". It comes at the beginning of the film and introduces who he is and what he does for the community and his friends. They come to him at a time when he is dealing with a problem with someone who has attacked his daughter; it is an extremely powerful scene. The rose also has a special meaning. It is seen in the first scene of the film during the wedding, which reflects Don Corleone's calmness in solving problems and helping people, without shouting or getting angry. He assimilates information and finds solutions. It's a short yet essential scene, because you need calm amidst all the violence in the film, which is why we put it in the center of the watch. 

Benjamin Arabov

Opera Godfather © Jacob & Co.

How long do you think it will take to produce the 50 watches of this limited series?
It's a very complex timepiece, with each costing half a million Swiss francs, but they have all been ordered and our goal is to produce two per month starting in January. 

You father seems to be a great source of inspiration and pride for you?
I think my father is a creative genius. His ability to generate ideas and execute them with the highest level of finishing and precision is impressive; that is one of my favorite parts of our work. This Godfather 50th Anniversary project means a lot to me, as I was there right from the start and am here in Sicily with him to celebrate its completion. You see the product, but no one realizes all the steps it took to get there. 

Benjamin Arabov

Benjamin Arabov et Jacob Arabo © Jacob & Co.

How would you like to contribute to this family business and this success story?
Picking up my father's mantle is no mean task, but our brand has a specific DNA. We are involved in a specific niche that we focus on, and my goal is to amplify this even more and to further spread our reputation, while continuing with the same creativity for the next generation. It's up to me to keep the brand momentum going. 

We saw an acceleration in the growth of the brand five to six years ago, to what do you attribute it?
I took over marketing in 2017, and we started to heighten awareness of our brand with the complications we were making. I come from a digital background, so I brought that energy and expertise to the brand. At the same time, Jacob's ideas and creativity have led us to develop the craziest watches. As in any industry, it takes time to get recognition and respect. 

In this regard, what is your perception of the GPHG?
It is the industry’s Oscars, the highest level of respect and recognition you can get in watchmaking. We have been nominated several times, which is already a recognition of one’s work in watchmaking. For us, if we are able to win one of these awards, it would represent a fantastic culmination of everything we have undertaken as a brand, an acknowledgement of our creativity. We understand that it takes time to build recognition and gain the respect of the jury, so we will see when the time is right. 

You used new technologies for this watch such as nanolaser texturing, do you plan to use it again?
Yes, it's a new technology that suits us well and we will explore applying it on future models, but we expect that other brands will do the same. 



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