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Jacob & Co. - One-Two Punch

Jacob & Co. One-Two Punch

Gotham City and Jean Bugatti reveal the extent of Jacob & Co.'s watchmaking abilities and ambition

A few days before the beginning of the 2022 Watch Week, Jacob & Co. is launching two new, radical, extremely complex timepieces that have zero equivalent elsewhere. In reality, Jacob & Co. has long been one of the top proponents of high complication watches. The Bugatti Chiron, Opera Godfather, Twin Turbo Furious and many variations of the Astronomia were all launched, or reinforced, at a moment when the market was receding. At a time when the brands usually active on that segment had deserted it. 

Some of those are still expected to back to the realm of very high level watchmaking, for quite a while now. As a result, the brand has been given free reign and has come up on top of that compartment. But even for those who've been following what Jacob & Co. was busy releasing for the past five years, these two novelties will come as some sort of a shock. Their style, their narrative, their design, everything about them is new. One is inspired by a particular vision of Batman, the other by Bugatti's past. 

Jacob & Co. has struck several partnerships of the cinematographic kind in the past. Opera Scarface, Opera Godfather, Fast & Furious special editions, movie studios are the brand's go-to accomplice. This time around, the contract was signed with DC Comics in order to launch a Batman-themed piece. It's not the first, not the only one, but the way it's been done, it's got no equivalent. 

One-Two Punch

Gotham City rose gold and black DLC titanium © Jacob & Co.

It's called Gotham City, not Batman, even if the latter is everywhere. The brand hails from New York so the name is a nod to the megalopolis Bob Kane had taken his inspiration from. A rare characteristic is the fact it acknowledges the dual nature of the Batman. There's tension, schizophrenia some have argued, between the masked hero and playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne. This face-off is rendered in the two versions of the timepiece. 

One is made of black DLC titanium, with an onyx dial cut like a bat, underlined with yellow (with blue luminescence). The colors, the shapes and the plentiful details are all bat-themed. The tourbillon cages (twin flying triple-axis tourbillons if you're interested) are shaped like grappling hooks, the crown is covered by rubber like a tire from the Batmobile and the case has facets that remind of the Dark Knight's armored suit. That's a lot of winks and nods to the kind of details the fans adore.

One-Two Punch

Gotham City black DLC titanium © Jacob & Co.

The second version is made of polished, shiny rose gold. It has a see-through back that reveals a highly finished calibre, with bespoke wheels and a massive bat-shaped bridge. This is definitely Bruce Wayne territory, all the more so as the bat is still there, lurking somewhere on the dial...

One-Two Punch

Gotham City rose gold © Jacob & Co.

Jacob & Co.'s other novelty is even more bound to make a splash. After releasing several timepieces in partnership with Bugatti, contemporary, extreme, superlative like the cars they produce, Jacob & Co. is going retro. The Jean Bugatti looks classic. It's round, in gold, with (almost) normal hands and indices and mushroom-type pushers, all of which are a nod to the past. The piece is a tribute to Ettore Bugatti 's son, Jean. He left a profound mark on the company with his personality, charm, and an actual design and engineering genius not unlike his father's.

One-Two Punch

Jean Bugatti white gold and rose gold © Jacob & Co.

As a result, this is a beast of complication. Let's go over quickly the tourbillons because although there are two and they're both flying, they're not the main attraction here. The red hours and minutes hands are located on the dial's rim. The ones in the middle are the chronograph's. It's got its own barrel and regulating organ, beating at 5 Hz. One hand for the second's units and the other for the second's tens are meant to be read together. And they're both retrograde. The digital chronograph minute is printed on a jumping sapphire disc, located in the space between the tourbillons. 

One-Two Punch

Jean Bugatti, from the back © Jacob & Co.

In retrospect, and considering what Jacob & Co. has been busy doing for the past ten years, this all isn't that surprising. Because what the brand has become all about is extreme complication and the unexpected. Like Ettore Bugatti used to say « nothing too beautiful, nothing's too expensive ». 

 

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Jacob & Co. is an artistic visionary Maison that displays boundless creative freedom. Setting a completely new tone, both in terms of design and complications, it celebrates being different.

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