One-Off Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Blue Sapphire Crystal Is a Spectacular $1.5M Timepiece
When luxury watchmaker Jacob & Co. announced a partnership with Bugatti in 2019, few were surprised. If any watchmaker was able to capture the essence of a Bugatti, it was certainly Jacob & Co., the same specialist that has proven able to turn timepieces into surprising, sometimes shocking pieces of art.
We’re not talking about horological art only, either. Through the years, Jacob & Co. has established itself as the go-to maker for pieces that stand out, both through a design that dares to break the mold and through complications that are near-impossible to put together and breathtaking to look at. Whether these complications are spiders, roulettes, or secret chambers where lovers are shown in the act of lovemaking (in earnest; it’s the Rasputin Tourbillon one-off last seen on the wrist of Conor McGregor), Jacob & Co. has, seemingly, done it all.
“All” includes replicating a Bugatti W16 engine, shrinking it down and placing it on the wrist. It’s part of a years-long partnership with Bugatti, which culminated, watchmaking-wise, with the introduction of the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon in 2020. We’ve covered this piece in a separate story, but in a nutshell, here’s what’s all about: Jacob & Co. has been able to appeal to the ultimate Bugatti owner (or fan, because owning a Bugatti is not a prerequisite in purchasing the watch), with a piece that incorporates a complication replicating the Bugatti engine, down to the 16 pistons, two of the four turbochargers, and the exhausts.
One such Chiron Tourbillon starts at $280,000, with prices quickly going up as you add options and precious gems to an already impressive timepiece. This watch is clearly not for the faint of heart or, better said, for people who don’t like drawing attention to themselves, so if you get one, you might as well go as overboard with it as your budget allows.
That said, you can’t go any higher than the piece introduced this month, the one-off Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Blue Sapphire Crystal, which is priced at $1.5 million and is probably already spoken for as you’re reading this. Essentially a Chiron Tourbillon, this piece comes with a tonneau-shaped case made of sapphire crystal, a material that is famous for its durability and infamous for how difficult it is to machine and manufacture.
Jacob & Co. says this one piece alone took almost one year to complete, with half of that time spent in the design stage. It comes with the JCAM37 manual-wound caliber with 578 hand-decorated and hand-assembled components and 51 jewels, all of them visible through the transparent case, which has been painted a deep blue through an equally painstaking and time-consuming process. It also comes with the first inclined tourbillon from Jacob & Co., a flying tourbillon that sits at a 30-degree angle and is partly visible through the case.
Of course, the highlight of the Bugatti Chiron Blue Sapphire Crystal is the mechanical on-demand engine animation, which includes 16 tiny pistons and two superchargers. Two “exhausts” frame the engine and complete the theme. Like previous entries in the Chiron Tourbillon line, the entire movement is suspended in all four corners, just like the real Chiron features automotive shocks. This means that the movement visibly floats inside the case, and you can admire said movement as you move your hand.
“The Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon from Jacob & Co. is a world-first – a true engine on the wrist,” the watchmaker says. This is no exaggeration, either, and the video below, of the piece in motion, can confirm that. The watch comes with a 60-hour power reserve, because it uses a separate power reserve for timekeeping and the animation, and a rubber strap with an 18k rose gold clasp.
All yours for $1.5 million. Just kidding, Manny Khoshbin, arguably the biggest Bugatti collector out there, probably bought it.