Exhibition: ‘Musubi’ – 50 Years of Cartier in Japan

Inside the Tokyo National Museum.

In 1974, Cartier opened its first boutique in Japan and now marks its 50th anniversary in the country with MUSUBI – Half-Century of Cartier in Japan and Beyond: an Everlasting Dialogue of Beauty and Art, an exhibition of jewels, watches, and objet d’art taking place at the Hyokeikan building in the Tokyo National Museum from June 12 to July 28, 2024.

The theme of the event is 結び (musubi), which translates literally as “conclusion” but its constituent characters can mean “the power of the divine spirit is produced by being bound together.”

Tokyo National Museum with the flag of the exhibition under its dome

Taking place in the building’s two symmetrical wings, the exhibition will be presented in parallel narratives separated into two main sections: “Cartier and Japan, a Tribute to Art and Beauty” and “Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain and Japanese Artists, a Never-Ending Conversation.”

The exhibition’s scenography was designed by Studio Adrien Gardère to display the heritage of Hyokeikan’s architecture, while illustrating Cartier’s tribute to Japanese culture.

The design is notably inspired by Tokonoma and Sukiya, traditional styles of Japanese architecture, and reflects Cartier’s spirited connection with the country, utilising Japanese industrial scaffolding techniques to stage all the artists on show.

The section of the exhibition displaying “Cartier and Japan, a Tribute to Art and Beauty.”

The exhibition features 120 pieces from the Cartier Collection and private loans, more than 50 items from the Cartier archives, and more than 150 works from contemporary artists, including 50 commissioned paintings and two commissioned wall paintings.

“Cartier and Japan, a Tribute to Art and Beauty” illustrates the brand’s dedication to crafting Japanese-culture-inspired jewellery over the past 150 years. Highlights include a large Portique mystery clock from 1923 and a scroll tiara from 1910.

Large Portique mystery clock from 1923.

Scroll tiara from 1910.

“Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain and Japanese Artists, a Never-Ending Conversation” is a curation of the artworks of Japanese artists with whom Cartier has collaborated with over the years.

The section of the exhibition displaying “Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain and Japanese Artists, a Never-Ending Conversation.”

MUSUBI-Half-Century of Cartier in Japan and Beyond: an Everlasting Dialogue of Beauty and Art

Open daily to the public
June 12-July 28, 2024
9:30 am-5:00 pm Monday to Thursday
9:30 am-7:00 pm Friday to Saturday

Admission is ¥1,500 for adults and ¥1,200 for university students.

Hyokeikan, Tokyo National Museum
13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku,
Tokyo, 110-8712

For more information, visit Cartier.jp.


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The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Tourbillon and its V16 Engine Automaton

To match the hybrid hypercar.

Just after Bugatti took the covers off its Tourbillon hypercar, Jacob & Co. presents a watch to match, the Bugatti Tourbillon.

Integrating some of the most distinct design elements of the car, the Tourbillon watch is extravagant in both style and mechanics, combining a retrograde time indication with a flying tourbillon, and a striking automaton modelled on a V16 engine. 

Initial thoughts

As over the top as the Tourbillon wristwatch might be at first, it unexpectedly incorporates subtle details and nods to the newest Bugatti automobile. Apart from the obvious engine automaton, the watch case is modelled on the car’s unique instrument cluster layout and indications.

The mechanical instrument cluster in the Bugatti Tourbillon hypercar

The piece is unapologetically automotive, taking the same approach in emulating the eponymous hypercar first seen in the Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon. Like the Chiron wristwatch, the Tourbillon is an oversized mechanical object for the wrist.

A mini engine

Clearly the showpiece of the Tourbillon is the V16 engine automaton with an engine block milled from sapphire. The mock engine features eight pairs of articulated titanium pistons and polished parts modelled on the intake manifolds of an actual Bugatti V16. When the automaton is engaged, the pistons “fire up” in the appropriate sequence, putting on a very interesting show. 

Above the V16 engine block sits the time indication. Arranged to resemble the instrument cluster found in the car, the main dial is flanked by the flying tourbillon and power reserve indicator. Beating at 3 Hz, the flying tourbillon makes one revolution every 30 seconds, making it the fastest-revolving Jacob & Co. tourbillon produced so far.

The time-telling dial is of the retrograde kind, but slightly altered in order to better suit the automotive theme. Instead of 12, the retrograde hours start from zero in a nod to a tachometer.

The power reserve indicator has two co-axial hands, one indicating the timekeeping train’s power, while the other shows the automaton’s power reserve.

Constructed by Concepto – the same movement specialist that helped develop the instrument panel in the Tourbillon hypercar – the movement features four barrels, grouped in pairs, with one pair for timekeeping and the other for the energy-intensive automaton.

Sapphire windows on the back offer a  glimpse at both the going train and barrels. With this set up, the power reserve for the watch comes at a short 48 hours, while the automaton’s twin barrels suffice for 20 animation sequences.

Dubbed the cal. JCAM55, the movement is manual wind, with the large crown at six o’clock winding both the automaton and time-telling barrels. Setting the time, on the other hand, requires the pull-out tab on the back.

An exploded view of the cal. JCAM55 showing the unique architecture

Like the earlier Chiron watch, this is a bulky 52 mm by 44 mm and 15 mm high, with a large sapphire crystal on the front for a panoramic view of the V16 automaton. The form of the case is meant to mimic distinctive styling feature of the car, such as the front grille, side inlets, and large side windows.

Key facts and prices

Jacob & Co. Bugatti Tourbillon
Ref. JCAM55

Diameter: 52 mm by 44 mm
Height: 15 mm
Material: PVD titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. JCAM55
Functions: Retrograde hours, minutes, power reserve indicator, V16 engine automaton
Winding: Manual
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours, 20 full automaton sequences

Strap: Rubber strap with PVD titanium deployment buckle

Limited edition: 150 pieces
Availability: At Jacob & Co. retailers and boutiques
Price: US$340,000

For more information, visit Jacobandco.com.


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