The Astronomia is the epitome of 21st century ultra-high-end watchmaking and a globally recognized symbol of Jacob & Co watchmaking expertise. A world-first both in the boldness of its unprecedented concept and its entirely mechanical construction, the Astronomia has gone beyond impressive horological achievements and has been regarded as an outstanding multidisciplinary engineering achievement.
The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Meteorite connects Astronomia with its extraterrestrial inspirations as much as with Jacob & Co’s unique gem-setting know-how. It is a cinematic sculpture animated by its four-arm movement construction that rotates and floats through the sapphire and diamond-bound space inside its spectacular case. A grand total of 383 triangle-cut white diamonds adorn the case, lugs and dial, as though this piece unique Astronomia has transformed throughout its travels in space, like a meteorite that has turned into a precious diamond as it entered our planet’s atmosphere.
Full of unparalleled watchmaking solutions and adorned with exceptional finishing techniques, the Astronomia Meteorite has earned its reputation as an inimitable icon in the field of haute horlogerie.
The four arms of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Meteorite carry the triple-axis tourbillon timekeeping organ of the watch, the magnesium globe in hand-painted blue for a spectacular representation of Planet Earth, the exclusive Jacob-Cut 1-carat spherical blue sapphire with 288 facets, and the differential-leveled, skeletonized time display. This four-arm assembly completes a rotation around the center of the watch and over a spectacular backdrop in 10 minutes. Another astounding feature of the Astronomia Meteorite is how each pair of opposing arms are perfectly calculated counterweights of one another – a testament to peerless materials engineering and watch movement design. By having equal weights on these opposing arms, its axles are relieved from strain or increased pull, as the movement takes up different orientations in space.
Whereas the tourbillon was originally invented to be a single-axis, rotating cage to carry the regulating organ of a mechanical pocket watch for improved timekeeping performance, the Astronomia Tourbillon brings this 224-year-old invention to breathtaking levels of modern refinement and complexity.
The triple-axis tourbillon of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Meteorite is at the forefront of ultra-high-end watchmaking: its delicately decorated cage encapsulates the balance wheel, hairspring, escape wheel and a number of other crucially important components. Characterized by this openworked cage, this constellation of superbly finished components rotates on three axes simultaneously. Following its hand-assembly and specialized fine-tuning procedures, the JCAM18 keeps accurate time throughout its 60-hour power reserve.
A full rotation on the 1st axis takes exactly 60 seconds, as a nod towards the traditional single-axis tourbillon. The 2nd axis of rotation requires 2.5 minutes to complete, while the 3rd axis of rotation is made possible by the 10-minute, four-arm rotating platform of the Astronomia Meteorite. This makes for a bold new look at how tourbillons can function, when engineered with cutting-edge, ultra-modern technologies and timeless horological heritage in mind.
The Jacob-Cut diamond starts out as a much larger rough diamond. First, a rough diamond big enough has to be found, and the purity, clarity, and color has to be of the highest quality both inside and out, and there can be no inclusions. If they start to cut the diamond and find an inclusion, the entire piece will be ruined.
Next, the diamond is cut by machine into a round shape, close in size to the final diamond.
Then, the gem cutter shapes the stone by hand, cutting each individual facet (of 288). This has to be done slowly and carefully, as the stone has to be perfectly round and symmetrical. The danger is that the stone will become oblong and not round. To be used in the Astronomia Collection, the Jacob-cut diamond has to be completely round and weigh exactly as much as the other three satellites (time display, triple-axis tourbillon, magnesium globe).
During the process, if the gem cutter puts slightly too much pressure while adding the facets, too much of the diamond will be cut away, and the ball will end up smaller than the desired diameter. The cutting process takes at least two weeks of dedicated, painstaking work.
To make the final one-carat, Jacob-cut diamond with 288 facets, more than half of the initial rough diamond will be cut away.
The complexity of cutting the 288 facets by hand and making sure everything is symmetrical and the diamond is absolutely round, is what makes the Jacob & Co. diamond used in the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Meteorite collection so special.