Gear heads, this watch is for you. It has a host of mechanical bells and whistles that will have your head spinning, including 16 cylinders with actual moving pistons designed to emulate the engine of the Bugatti Chiron. Recently, I broke the news about this watch on my Perfect Timing column on Forbes.com, but now we take a closer look at it. It is the third watch released to celebrate the partnership of these two powerhouse brands.
Meet the Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron 16-Cylinder Tourbillon Engine
“To capture the spirit and energy of the high-powered Bugatti Chiron, Jacob & Co. spent just about a year in the development stages before bursting onto the scene with the new $280,000 Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon. The watch is powered with a movement that emulates the Bugatti 16-cylinder engine, complete with crankshaft and pistons. In fact, the 16-cylinder piston engine of the manual winding movement consists of a massive 578 hand-assembled parts.”
In addition to offering the hours and minutes, the movement of the Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon features a newly designed one-minute tourbillon cage that is inclined by 30 degrees. This inclination offers a superb view of the constantly rotating escapement, which compensates for errors in timekeeping due to the effects of gravity on the watch when it is in certain positions on the wrist. The development of this new escapement, which is visible via an aperture on the dial that resembles the Bugatti grill, took a full year to develop in and of itself.
Auto Inspiration at its finest
The watch is equipped with a pusher on the right side of the case that, when activated, rotates the crankshaft and propels the pistons to start their up and down orchestration – just like in a car engine. There are also two turbochargers that spin while the engine is running. The stainless steel crankshaft is one of the smallest and most complex parts to make.
“The movement of the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon is suspended in the case with four shocks that resemble car shocks. Thanks to these shocks, the movement actually floats up and down slightly within the case as the wearer moves. This patented design was also challenging to create because it required a special traverse system so the crown posts can withstand the cailber’s up and down movement in the case. The caliber JCAM37 is further equipped with an Incabloc shock protection system and 60 hours of power reserve.”
Cased in powerful black titanium inspired by the lines of the Chiron, the watch has an overall stealth appeal despite its large shape. With the engine inside visible to the wearer thanks to an impressive sapphire crystal, this watch is like wearing your car on your wrist. Even the sides of the case are sapphire for greater visibility of all of the moving parts. The EB (Bugatti) logo is on the engine compartment, and the Jacob & Co. logo appears on the flying tourbillon. The crows for setting the time and winding the movemen are located at the base of the watch case. The watch is finished with a black rubber strap. Essentially other than the black case and steel parts, the only real color is the Chiron blue hands and certain movement parts. It retails for a cool $280,000.
Technical Specs of the Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron 16-Cylinder Tourbillon
Caliber: Manufacture Jacob&Co. Manual Winding JCAM37Size: 41.7x36mm
Shock Protection System: Incabloc
Power Reserve: 60h
Frequency: 21’600 vib/h (3Hz)
1. Hours, Minutes
2. 1 minute Tourbillon cage 30° inclined
3. “W16 engine” in a sapphire block
4. Animation on demand (pusher on the right) creating a rotation of pistons and crankshaft
5. Power Reserve Indicator at 3 o’clock
Material: Black Titanium
Crystal: Anti-Reflective Sapphire CrystalCase Back: Sapphire Crystal
Crowns and Pushers: Black Titanium DLCWater resistance: 30m (3atm)
Winding & Time Setting:
Left stem: Time setting
Central stem: Movement Winding (clockwise) and animation (counter clockwise)
Strap & Clasp:
Clasp: Titanium Deployment Buckle
Ref. No,: AF321.40.BA.AD.ABSAA
Retail prices: $280,000