Planets of the universe
It’s a shame that Pluto is no longer a planet. Not because it annoys astronomy purists, but because Jacob Arabo and his mad team of mechanics at Jacob & Co couldn’t include the now-demoted dwarf planet in their latest iteration of the Astronomia series – the Jacob & Co Astronomia Solar.
All eight planets of our solar system are given a place here. Earth – hand-engraved – takes pride of place, rotating around a central Sun represented by a 1.5 carat citrine sliced into 288 facets of the patented Jacob Cut. In simulation of reality, the Earth completes a full rotation on its axis once every 60 seconds. It also completes a full revolution of the dial every ten minutes, accompanied by the one-minute flying tourbillon and dial – the bit of the Astronomia Solar that actually tells the time – on the other two prongs of the central axis. To add to the galactic theme, the dial also features zodiac time indicators.
But what about the seven other planets? Well, those mighty spheres of rock and gas are placed on a background of aventurine in the form of cabochon-cut semi-precious stones. Which, exactly? Mercury gets white granite. Venus, rhodonite. Mars is red jasper, while Jupiter is represented by pietersite. Complicated Saturn is tiger eye with 18k rose gold applique for its rings. Uranus uses blue alciet. And, finally, lapis lazuli for Neptune. While the Earth-and-time movement rotates clockwise, the planetary aventurine base provides contrast by moving counter-clockwise at exactly the same speed. Which creates an energetic, animated and accelerated cycle of our little corner of the galaxy.
All that motion demanded a new movement. The brand-new hand-wound Calibre JCAM19 powers the Astronomia Solar. With a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour), it beats faster than any previous Astronomia. It is also a lot more complicated. Despite its slightly smaller diameter (44.5mm), 439 components – the most of any Jacob & Co watch – powers this bi-directional timepiece. A crocodile leather strap and an 18k rose gold folding clasp completes the package, which clearly deserves the adjective ‘celestial’.