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Astronomia Tourbillon Art Skulls

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There is arguably no better symbol of the Jacob & Co motto, "Inspired by the Impossible," then the Astronomia, featuring a high horology movement that broke boundaries in the often complacent Swiss watch industry. The versatile in-house caliber has been used in timepieces with themes ranging from fine art to high stakes gambling.

The newest iteration of this timepiece is the one-of-a-kind Astronomia Skull. The dial of the 50mm watch contains a crypt of skulls and bones sculpted out of 45 grams of 18k rose gold intertwined among the well-known complications of this movement, which include the Double Axis Tourbillon and the two iconic symbols of the Astronomia: the 1-carat diamond that features the exclusive Jacob Cut with 288 facets and the magnesium globe. This unique piece combines exceptional mechanics with high artisan crafts.

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Memento Mori

Throughout history the still life depiction of skulls have brought about an ever changing range of emotions. For the Astronomia Skulls, the dial and the domed sapphire crystal reveal a crypt with skulls and bones amassed in a way that makes it appear that they have been there for centuries. This vertical layout may seem haphazard but it is the work of highly skilled artisans who hand-sculpted this scene in precise detail. Approximately 200 hours of work over a six-month period went into creating this display. The most prominent three-dimensional skulls are in highly polished 18k rose gold contrasted with deep ruby eyes. Smaller skulls peek out from below with empty eyes. More skulls appear on the minute-and-hour subdial serving as markers for 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock with crossbones in between. This unique piece serves as a reminder of the transitory nature of human existence and is steeped in a rich artistic tradition that dates back to antiquity.

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CRAFTING THE SKULLS

World class metalsmiths use Old World techniques to take approximately 45 grams of 18k rose gold and turn it into the memento mori display. The skulls and bones are done in sections crafted and polished by hand using both modern and ancient tools. Gem setters are used to place rubies in the eyes of the most dominate skulls. The same care goes into sizing the display so it fits in a way that looks natural and organic. The layers of skulls and bones are placed in the dial in perfect harmony with the delicate watch complications.

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Astronomia Tourbillon Art Skulls Video

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THE TOURBILLON

The tourbillon is widely considered the ultimate complication, as it turns and spins to counter the effects of gravity on the precision of the movement. For the Astronomia Collection, Jacob & Co. has taken the tourbillon one step farther, introducing additional axes in which the tourbillon turns. For the Astronomia Art Skulls, the tourbillon is double-axis - turning in two axes: one in 60 seconds and the second in 5 minutes. The hand-engraved Skull sculptures block the movement from making its normal tour around the dial.

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THE JACOB-CUT DIAMOND

The special 288-facet Jacob-Cut Diamond is a feature of the Astronomia collection (at times we use a Jacob-Cut Citrine as well). There is only one vendor in the world that can produce this patented cut and they are based in Israel. Here are the steps in its creation:

The Jacob-Cut diamond starts out as a circular rough diamond. First, a rough diamond big enough has to be found, and the purity, clarity, and color has to be of the highest quality both inside and out, and there can be no inclusions. If they start to cut the diamond and find an inclusion, the entire piece will be ruined.

Next, the diamond is cut by machine into a round shape, close in size to the final diamond.

Then, the gem cutter shapes the stone by hand, cutting each individual facet (of 288). This has to be done slowly and carefully, as the stone has to be perfectly round and symmetrical. The danger is that the stone will become oblong and not round. To be used in the Astronomia Collection, the Jacob-cut diamond has to be completely round and weigh exactly as much as the other three satellites (time display, triple-axis tourbillon, magnesium globe).

During the process, if the gem cutter puts slightly too much pressure while adding the facets, too much of the diamond will be cut away, and the ball will end up smaller than the desired diameter. The cutting process takes at least two weeks of dedicated, painstaking work.

To make the final one-carat, Jacob-cut diamond with 288 facets, more than half of the initial rough diamond will be cut away.

The complexity of cutting the 288 facets by hand and making sure everything is symmetrical and the diamond is absolutely round, is what makes the Jacob & Co. diamond used in the Astronomia collection so special.

The Jacob-cut diamond is constantly spinning, turning on itself in 60 seconds.

THE MAGNESIUM GLOBE

The globe is made of blue-lacquered magnesium with rose gold continents to ensure consistency in weight, as all four satellites have to weigh exactly the same. The globe rotates on itself in 60 seconds.

CASE & CRYSTAL

The Astronomia Art Skull's case measures 50 millimeters in diameter and 25 millimeters thick between the highest point of its specially curved front sapphire crystal and the lowest point of its case. Crafted from 18K rose gold, the case features a special domed sapphire crystal and four sapphire crystal windows installed throughout the periphery, allowing for unhindered viewing of the spectacular caliber and the artwork inside. The lugs of this incredible timepiece are set with 80 baguette-cut diamonds (≈ 6.10 ct.).

DIAL & HANDS

The hands on the skeletonized dial are gun blue metallic, while hand-formed bones and skulls surround the hands.

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AT A GLANCE:

3-D 18K gold hand-engraved Skulls

Iconic gravitational double-axis tourbillon

288-facet Jacob-cut diamond turning in 60 seconds

Magnesium globe turning in 60 seconds

Domed and curved, anti-reflective sapphire crystal

18K Rose Gold case with baguette-cut diamond-set lugs

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Technical Specifications

Item Number: AT802.40.BD.UB.ABALA

Movement: Caliber: Manufacture Jacob&Co. Manual Winding JCAM25; Diameter: 41.65mm; Height: 17.15mm; Material: Titanium; Components: 384; Functions: Hours and Minutes; System: Vertical Movement with 4 Arms • Double Axis Tourbillon, 1st Cage rotating in 60 sec and 2nd Cage in 5 min • Exclusive Jacob cut® Diamond (288 Facets - 1ct), rotating on itself in 60 sec • Magnesium Blue Lacquered Globe, rotating on itself in 60 sec • Hours and Minutes Dial • 18K Rose Gold Hand-engraved 3D Skulls with Ruby eyes; Power Reserve: 60-Hours; Frequency: 21'600 vib/h (3 Hz); Jewels: 42; Finishing: Plate and Bridges: Hand Angled and Polished, Flank Draw, Circular Graining, Polished Sink, One Sapphire Bridge; Polished Screws; Barrel: Circular Graining; Pinions: Conical Pinions; 4 Mechanical Ball Bearing Devices; Flat Balance Spring

Case: Diameter: 50mm; Height: 25mm; Material: 18K Rose Gold; Sapphire with Double Anti-Reflective Treatment; Lugs: 80 Baguette White Diamonds (≈ 6.10 ct.); Case Back: 18K Rose Gold; Bows: Winding and Time-Setting via 18K Rose Gold lift-out rotating "bows" at case back; Crystal: Unique Domed Sapphire with Double Anti-Reflective Treatment; Water resistance: 30m (3 atm)

Dial & Hands: Dial: Rose Gold and Titanium; in the shape of bones and skulls; Hands: Blued Jacob&Co designed hands

Strap & Clasp: Strap: Alligator; Clasp: 18K Rose Gold Folding Buckle

Limited Edition: Pièce Unique

Contact

If you have any questions, queries or comments, please feel free to get in touch and our team will be delighted to help you.

Flagship Boutique
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48 East 57 Street
New York, NY 10022
+1 (212) 719-5887

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