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Jacob & Co. - Staring at the Sun

Jacob & Co. Staring at the Sun

Jacob & Co. has made one of the most extraordinary, opulent and glowing high jewelry timepieces

Billionaire Timeless Treasure is a poem of gems of unbelievable proportion.

The world had barely got to know the Billionaire collection. And here's Jacob & Co. delivering a new, utterly bewildering one of them. Not only does it contain an unheard-of number of actually very rare gems, but all of them are large, Asscher-cut and homogeneous in color. Its resulting price-tag is so hefty it usually isn't disclosed. But most of all, Billionaire Timeless Treasure is an incredible human adventure. 

Topic number one, the facts. Billionaire Timeless Treasure is entirely set with yellow diamonds. They're Asscher-cut. Between the case, bracelet and dial, there's a total of 482 of them. They weight no less than 216,9 carats. These figures put it in a bracket which makes Billionaire Timeless Treasure one of the two or three most lavishly set timepieces in watchmaking history. 

Staring at the Sun

Billionaire Timeless Treasure © David Chokron/WorldTempus

Topic number two, the looks. It is an explosion of color. The yellow of these diamonds is out of this world. Their intensity, their density, their sheer size, the 57 facets of the Asscher cut, their layout, everything builds up to blowing up your retinas. All the more so as the flange, the area of the case that surrounds the movement, is set with tsavorites, a green garnet Jacob & Co. has become a specialist of. And they artfully augment the entire color composition. So this is not a treasure trove of gems, nor a treasure. This is a star, warm, glowing, intense : a sun. 

Topic number three, the movement. Billionaire Timeless Treasure is a Billionaire and as such, it's fitted with a very thinly skeletonized tourbillon movement. Like most of the last editions, its bridges on the dial side are set with 57 gems, which are yellow, baguette-cut diamonds as a matter of course. The remaining metal parts have been gold-plated to fit with the overall colorway, and so have the hands with green tips. 

Topic number four, the gold. Before being about gems, all Billionaires are first and foremost a goldsmith masterpiece. It usually is standardized (since Jacob & Co. has managed to sell 30-some of these watches in total), but on this one, the yellow-gold structure has been fine-tuned to the point where it has become a bespoke thing. And the reason is that the gems are nowhere near usual. 

Topic number five, the gems. Yellow diamonds are about 10'000 times more rare than white ones. They're not as standardized so each stone retains some of its uniqueness, especially at that level of weight. As a matter of fact, the total rough weight of the gems needed for Billionaire Timeless Treasure is believed to have been around 880 carats, which ended up being 219 after cutting. So these diamonds have lost a tremendous proportion of their girth. Usually, a jewelry-grade yellow diamonds looses 30 to 40% of it mass after cutting. In this case, it was two to three times that. Why ? Because finding 482 large yellow diamonds, of only two officially recognized hues is a tremendously difficult undertaking. So Jacob & Co. bought almost all of the beautiful enough roughs they could get their hands on, even if they were much too large to begin with. And then they cut away a lot of their precious matter. So they ended up being heterogeneous in weight.  

Staring at the Sun

Billionaire Timeless Treasure © David Chokron/WorldTempus

Topic number six, which bleeds into all the previous ones, the human adventure. The little story goes that Jacob Arabo, the brand's chairman and founder, decided, just like that, that he would craft the most incredible of all Billionaires. He had already dreamed up quite a lot of those crazy timepieces, entirely set with very large diamonds, sometimes emerald-cut, sometimes Ashoka-cut, all of which beat the 100 carat threshold. But these were all made of white diamonds. Although rare, they're much more readily available than the colored ones. So he aimed above the top. So much so that his team wasn't sure the project was even doable until they received the very last yellow diamond. Gathering all of them has taken three years, with six more months to finish crafting the most incredible high jewelry timepiece. An investment of time, energy, patience and hope like the watchmaking world has seldom seen. 

Oh, by the way, there's one last topic to discuss. The bill. 20 million USD. It hardly gets any more exclusive than that. If you want to compare, let's mention the 55 million Graff Hallucination : it didn't sell. They broke it down into its component gems. It's gone. But Billionaire Timeless Treasure is only starting its journey. 


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