The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Icy Blue Sapphires represents the very essence of Astronomia: it is a cinematic sculpture animated by its four-arm movement construction that rotates and floats through the sapphire-bound space inside its spectacular case. Full of unparalleled watchmaking solutions and adorned with exceptional finishing techniques, the Astronomia Tourbillon has earned its reputation as an inimitable icon in the field of haute horlogerie.
The four arms of the Astronomia Tourbillon carry the triple-axis tourbillon timekeeping organ of the watch, the magnesium globe in hand-painted blue for a spectacular representation of Planet Earth, the exclusive Jacob-Cut 1-carat diamond with 288 facets, and the differential-leveled, skeletonized time display. This four-arm assembly completes a rotation around the center of the watch and over a spectacular backdrop in 20 minutes. Another astounding feature of the Astronomia Tourbillon is how each pair of opposing arms are perfectly calculated counterweights of one another – a testament to peerless materials engineering and watch movement design. By having equal weights on these opposing arms, its axles are relieved from strain and increased pull, as the movement takes up different orientations in space.
Whereas the tourbillon was originally invented to be a single-axis, rotating cage to carry the regulating organ of a mechanical pocket watch for improved timekeeping performance, the Astronomia Tourbillon brings this 224-year-old invention to breathtaking levels of modern refinement and complexity.
The triple-axis tourbillon of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Icy Blue Sapphires is at the forefront of modern watchmaking. The triple-axis tourbillon’s delicately decorated cage encapsulates the balance wheel, hairspring, escape wheel and a number of other crucially important components. Characterized by this openworked cage, this outstanding tourbillon rotates on three axes simultaneously. It is a constellation of superbly finished components that, when assembled and fine-tuned expertly, allows the JCAM10 to keep accurate time throughout its 60-hour power reserve.
A full rotation on the 1st axis takes exactly 60 seconds, as a nod towards the traditional single-axis tourbillon. The 2nd axis of rotation requires 5 minutes to complete, while the 3rd axis of rotation is made possible by the 20-minute, four-arm rotating platform of the Astronomia Tourbillon. This makes for a bold new look at how tourbillons can function, when engineered with cutting-edge, ultra-modern technologies and timeless horological heritage in mind.
The based dial of this timepiece is invisibly set with 257 Baguette Icy Blue Sapphires (≈ 9.88 ct.). In spectacular timepieces like these, matching the stones is incredibly important and it can take up to three years to find exactly the right matching colors.
Blue is the most popular color of sapphires, and blue sapphires are considered symbols of love, loyalty, power, and wisdom. Rulers across the world held blue sapphires in extremely high regard, as they believed the stones would protect them from harm.
Even after finding the perfect color stones, Jacob & Co. needs to dedicate months to properly set them. The result is an impressively intricate and attractive timepiece with a base dial entirely covered in precious icy blue sapphires using the difficult and sophisticated “invisible setting” (meaning none of the supporting metal is visible). Jacob & Co. has been on the forefront of using precious stones since its founding in 1986, and has developed a number of special cuts and setting techniques. For the Astronomia Tourbillon, the brand developed the 288-facet Jacob-cut diamond. This special cut can be accomplished by only a select few gem cutters, and the rough stone typically starts out double the size of the finished diamond. The facets have to be incredibly precise so the diamond is perfectly symmetrical and round. In the Astronomia Art, the one carat Jacob-cut diamond rotates on itself in 30 seconds. The globe is made of blue-lacquered magnesium with white gold continents to ensure consistency in weight, as all four satellites have to weigh exactly the same. The globe rotates on itself in 30 seconds, while traveling around the dial in 10 minutes. The time display sub-dial of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon Icy Blue Sapphires is driven through an infinitesimal differential system that allows it to always remain levelled and legible as it rotates together with the movement’s four-armed platform across the front of the Astronomia. The Roman numerals on the skeletonized dial are hand-engraved and filled with black lacquer, while the hand-finished hands appear in gun blue metallic. The time display sub-dial of the Astronomia Tourbillon is driven through an infinitesimal differential system that allows it to always remain always in the proper 12/6 orientation as it rotates together with the movement’s four-armed platform across the front of the Astronomia. The Roman numerals on the skeletonized dial are hand-engraved and filled with black lacquer, while the hand-finished hands appear in gun blue metallic.