Colored Stones / Industry / Watches

Jacob & Co.’s Only Watch 2023 Timepiece Is a Gem-Set Tour de Force


Colored stones have their place in the luxury watch world: on bezels and dials and, among the more traditional brands, in movements, where tiny jeweled bearings (usually rubies) help reduce friction in spots where metal would otherwise rub against metal.

For its fantastical contribution to the 2023 Only Watch auction, Jacob & Co. rejected those constraints. In keeping with the biannual event’s colorful theme, the brand in late June unveiled the Astronomia Revolution 4th Dimension, a one-off timepiece whose rose gold movement structure is set with a rainbow of 35 bespoke-cut gemstones: hessonite garnet, yellow citrine, blue sapphire, tsavorite, rhodolite garnet, topaz, and pyrope garnet.

Jacob Co. Astronomia Only Watch dial
Jacob & Co.’s new Astronomia Revolution 4th Dimension features a backplate set with 35 bespoke-cut gemstones.

Created in partnership with the tourbillon specialists at Concepto Watch Factory, the piece, which is estimated at 700,000 to 750,000 Swiss francs (about $780,000 to $835,000), is equipped with a four-axis tourbillon—the first ever fitted in a wristwatch, according to Jacob & Co.

“From the beginning of the Astronomia collection, I wanted [the tourbillon] to spin as fast as possible, and then we reached one minute with Astronomia Revolution,” Jacob Arabo, founder, chairman, and creative director of Jacob & Co., said in a statement. “I wanted it to be an extraordinary tourbillon, and then we reached four axes. This is the first time a timepiece breaks the triple-axis tourbillon barrier. Together, Jacob & Co. and Concepto Watch Factory decided this level of ingenuity and expertise had to be bestowed upon such a unanimously recognized charity as Only Watch.”

Founded in 2005 by Luc Pettavino, Only Watch is an auction of unique timepieces that raises money for research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic degenerative muscle disease that primarily affects boys, including Pettavino’s son Paul. The auction’s 10th edition is scheduled to take place in Geneva on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. local time at the Palexpo exhibition hall.

Jacob Co. Astronomia Only Watch tourbillon
A close-up of the four-axis tourbillon inside the Jacob Co. Astronomia model, to be auctioned in this year’s Only Watch

Like the stained glass facade of a cathedral, the Astronomia’s gem-set backplate is a mix of bright colorful elements. Each gem is cut into a bespoke shape and set with the culet facing up, lending the piece a spiky, geometric vibe reminiscent of a sci-fi landscape, a nod to Arabo’s abiding love of all things space-related.

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By: Victoria Gomelsky

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