Automobiles and watches have always shared a particular link, and many car aficionados also love watches. Both require the highest degree of mechanical precision, combining beauty and performance in unique ways. However, watch movements had never achieved to capture the feel, energy, and power of a high-performance car engine. This was the challenge for Bugatti and Jacob & Co.’s partnership in taking watchmaking to impossible heights and creating unique timepieces true to the spirit of both companies.
A watch honoring the Bugatti Chiron
After almost a full year of development, Jacob & Co. now presented the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, designed to honor the Chiron1 and its legendary 16-cylinder engine in a timepiece. The case is inspired by the flowing lines of the Chiron and the movement, or “engine block,” intended to duplicate the Bugatti engine, is placed under a massive sapphire crystal.
Push the right-hand crown of the timepiece, and the engine comes to life – the crankshaft turns, and the pistons pump up and down, just like an internal combustion engine. Two “turbochargers” (down from four in the actual Chiron engine) on the side of the engine block spin while the engine runs. The movement comprises 578 components, amounting to the highest level of complication for the development team.
Wholly new and challenging development
The incredible flying tourbillon movement is a completely clean-sheet design. Jacob & Co. has been working with its movement suppliers for more than a year to realize this spectacular piece. The watch’s top and sides are sapphire crystal, making every single facet of the watch visible. In the center, of course, is the engine block animation. The crankshaft driving this is one of the smallest and most complicated watch parts ever manufactured, made out of one solid steel piece. The movement is completely suspended in four places, with what looks like the Chiron’s actual shocks. The movement is floating inside the case, moving up and down. Framing the engine block are two “exhausts,” completing the engine theme of the design.
The Jacob & Co. x Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon is an actual engine on the wrist
Aside from the animation, the general theme is puristic. Beyond the flying tourbillon with the Jacob & Co. logo, the only other branding on the watch is the subtle EB logo, which is on the engine compartment, where the crankshaft holds 16 pistons, poised and ready for action.