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

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