Some people might not immediately associate Jacob & Co. with haute horlogerie, but that doesn’t change the fact that the brand makes some of the most outrageous, daring, and expensive watches you can buy today. Just look at their Grand Complication Masterpieces and you’ll find otherworldly watches like the Twin Turbo Twin Triple Axis Tourbillon Minute Repeater and Epic SF24 Flying Tourbillon. However, the mainstay of Jacob & Co.’s Grand Complication Masterpieces has to be the Astronomia, which has since spawned many different versions such as the Clarity & Black watch. The latest one is called Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar, which we’ll be introducing today.
Again, this isn’t the first time we’ve had the chance to use an Astronomia watch. The last Astronomia watch we had a chance to play with was the Astronomia Clarity & Black, but the new Astronomia Solar is a better value. We’ll discuss the differences later, so let’s start with the case first.
The housing design remains largely unchanged. 18k rose gold is used to form the rough outlines, and the spaces in between are filled with sapphires, allowing the owner to unobstructed views of the movement inside. The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar has a case diameter of 44.5mm, which is a bit smaller than other Astronomia watches. The case is 21mm thick, and yes, that’s not a typo. That’s because the case itself has to be quite large to accommodate the fantastic 3D movement, and it has an insanely domed sapphire crystal. So, the Astronomia Solar, like other Astronomia watches, is really chunky. Don’t expect it to slip down your shirt sleeve, rest assured everyone will notice it on your wrist – you already know that, of course.
Water resistance is only 30m, which is understandable for the complexity of the watch. Moving on, one thing some people might notice is that there is no visible crown. Well, setting the time and winding is actually done using two foldable 18k rose gold “bows” on the back of the case. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a photo of the chassis, but it’s similar to the systems you’ve found in some previous iterations of Astro. Of course, one will be drawn to the whimsical and refined world inside the dial.
Like other Astronomia watches, the movement of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar is exposed on the dial for all to see. There’s a lot to see and a lot to move. First, the movement actually consists of three separate arms; one arm leads to the sub-dial that displays the time; the other leads to the flying tourbillon; and finally, the third arm leads to the earth.
Although eclipsed, the time is remarkably legible, and the blue hour and minute hands are quite large, contrasting with the skeletonized sub-dials in 18k rose gold. The flying tourbillon features the Jacob & Co. logo on the tourbillon bridge, which actually rotates on two axes. Yes, this is not an ordinary tourbillon, it is a dual-axis tourbillon. Horizontally, it rotates every 60 seconds. In the vertical direction, it rotates every 10 minutes.
Finally, the globe made of rose gold and blue lacquer rotates every 60 seconds. It also revolves around the dial every 10 minutes, as the entire structure, or the movement itself, rotates clockwise, every 10 minutes. But that’s not all, because the aventurine base, decorated like the night sky, rotates counter-clockwise every 10 minutes.
With Astronomia Solar, fake Jacob & Co. wanted to create a model of our solar system in a watch. Thus, in the middle of the dial is a 1.5-carat Jacobean-cut rhubarb, representing the sun. Jacob & Co. also uses amethyst, garnet, and three other gemstones in smoky quartz to represent other planets. These planets all rotate with the movement, rotating the dial every 10 minutes. The end result of all these rotating elements is stunning, it looks like you have a miniature solar system spinning on your wrist.
The movement that makes it all happen is the in-house JCAM19 movement. Consisting of 444 parts, this movement is unique because it is mainly made of titanium. Since the mainspring has to drive so many rotating parts, titanium is used to reduce the load on the mainspring. The tourbillon beats at 4Hz and the JCAM19 has a power reserve of 48 hours. It’s also flawless, with sandblasted and beveled bridges, rounded textures on the gear train components, and polished countersinks and screws.
In terms of visual appeal and as a statement piece, the Astronomia Solar watch has few counterparts. On the wrist, the watch screams “Look at me!” Of course, this watch offers a lot to see and appreciate. Granted, that’s a bit overkill, and purists will argue that the watch serves no practical purpose. For example, the positions of the planets are not accurate, unlike Van Cleef & Arpels’ Midnight Planetarium watch, but compared to the Midnight Planetarium, the Astronomia Solar’s fast-spinning dual-axis tourbillon and its dial, its constantly changing position and movement. For a fun super replica watches that lets those around you instantly know your worth, I can think of no better watch for the job than the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar watch.