It's Like a Miniature Racecar for Your Wrist: Jacob & Co.'s $280,000 Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon
Several moving pistons and the crankshaft are part of the 16-cylinder 3D engine.
There have been watches designed with sports car themes in the past, but Jacob & Co. is the first company to replicate the engine block of a racing car in 3-D animation, with 16 pistons that move and a crankshaft that works. A functional miniature reproduction of the W16-cylinder engine in the Bugatti Chiron racing car is housed in the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, designed by Jacob & Co in collaboration with Bugatti.
With the press of a button, 16 tiny pistons inside the cylinders of an intricate crankshaft churn as the crankshaft is cranked up. The crankshaft was milled out of a single piece of steel to such a precise tolerance that it took three days for the CNC machines to program. In contrast to the tourbillon or minute repeater in the watch, the animated component of the watch does not have any horological function. Like most automatons, it exists solely for its visual impact. A turbocharger on the side of the engine block is driven by the motion of the engine, which mimics the turbochargers on the Chiron engine block on its case side (with the exception that the Chiron engine has four turbochargers), but it is only there for show.
A watch like this comes with two mainspring barrels, one for driving the automaton and one for driving the movement. In the watch, there is an animation of the engine that lasts for 20 seconds, and you can activate it three times before you must rewind the mainspring. In the center of the case, at the 6 o'clock position, three crowns are positioned to wind the barrel of the movement in the clockwise direction, and the barrel of the engine in the counterclockwise direction. At 3 o'clock, the machine is activated by the pusher on the right, while the crown on the left sets the time. This mechanism has a 60-hour power reserve, which is indicated by the universal gas tank icon positioned between "Empty" and "Full" on the gauge at the 3 o'clock position.
There are four visible struts on this model that have the appearance of automotive shocks, suspended from the case, so that the movement and baseplate are dramatically suspended from the case. They are coated in blue on this model, but the color can be customized. Due to the fact that the crown stems are not rigid, the base plate or chassis can move slightly without breaking. To prevent the crown post from being damaged by the movement of the base plate as a result of movement of the crown post, Jacob & Company invented (and patented) a special transverse system with hinge-like components similar to those found in automobiles.
As part of the 578-component movement, which is manually wound, there is a one-minute tourbillon that is positioned at a 30-degree angle. A window leading to the tourbillon is fashioned after the iconic horseshoe grill on Bugatti hypercars. It is a big case, modeled after the flowing lines of the Chiron. With a diameter of 44 mm, a length of 54 mm, and a thickness of 20 mm, this timepiece is a big one. Its sides are made up of sapphire crystal, which allows you to see into the mechanism.
Jacob & Co will only produce 250 pieces of this watch, and it can be customized with different colors to match your Bugatti car or set with gems. The rest of the case is black titanium (similar to the color of an engine block in a car). It is not necessary to own a Bugatti Chiron to own one, but you will need $280,000 to get one. Last year, Jacob & Co started a partnership with Bugatti by creating the Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti, a triple-axis tourbillon, and the Epic X Chrono Bugatti 110 Years Anniversary Edition as its first product.