Jacob & Co. create many impressive timepieces that combine haute horology with haute jewellery to astonishing degrees, the Astronomia Revolution is the perfect example of this with its incredible movement and ruby decoration. However, even the Revolution pales in comparison to the new Jacob & Co. Billionaire Timeless Treasure, which is one of the world’s most expensive watches at $20 million.
You just need to look at a picture of the thing to understand why it’s so expensive. It’s covered from buckle to balance in gems and not just any gems either, it uses almost exclusively yellow diamonds (along with a green tsavorite edge to the display). Typically, we imagine diamonds to be white and it’s true that white diamonds are the most commonly used in watchmaking. However, depending on the impurities present, diamonds can actually be almost any colour with yellow diamonds among the rarest in existence – the colour only occurring once in every 10,000 diamonds.
Procuring all 425 yellow diamonds took more than 3 years with many stones rejected due to imperfections and a lack of pure colour. In total, the gems used amounted to 880 carats in their rough state, which in their cut form totals to 216.89 carats. That drastic difference is due in part to the fact that Jacob & Co. have used one of the most complicated and rare gem cuts, known as Asscher-cut, for every single diamond on the case and bracelet.
The Asscher-cut makes brilliant cuts or baguette cuts look simple. It consists of 57 facets in a square shape with inclined corners, making it appear more like a stylised octagon than a square in reality. Each gem is then carefully placed into the gold lattice of the case or bracelet according to its individually chosen location according to size and colour. Jacob & Co. notes that because they prioritised purity of colour over size, some of the largest rough diamonds now feature among the smallest present on the watch.
To touch quickly on the non-Asscher-cut gems that are found on the Billionaire Timeless Treasure: there are 57 baguette cut yellow diamonds and 76 tsavorites. The baguette diamonds are found set into the watch’s skeletonised movement and the tsavorites (in a combination of emerald-cut and kite-cut) create a frame around the display. They add a burst of colour to the piece and also give the watch a colour palette reminiscent of South American treasure.
The movement is the JCAM39, a manual wind tourbillon movement with a 72-hour power reserve. Compared to models like the Astronomia Revolution it’s fairly understated, which feels like an insane thing to say about a diamond set tourbillon calibre, but that’s just Jacob & Co. for you.
Unsurprisingly this $20 million (approx. £16.4 million) watch that took over three years to produce is a piece unique. Although that’s not necessarily a given considering that there have been a handful of Billionaire watches in the past that were limited editions. Now, where did I leave my millions lying around?
Price & Specs:
- Model: Jacob & Co. Billionaire Timeless Treasure
- Case/dial: 52.2mm x 43.5mm diameter x 12mm height, 18k yellow gold case with 46 Asscher-cut yellow diamonds (55.15 ct.) and crown set with one rose-cut yellow diamond (0.57 ct.), skeletonised dial with flange set with 76 kite-cut and emerald-cut Tsavorites (3.59 ct.), sapphire crystal caseback
- Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
- Movement: Jacob & Co. calibre JCAM39, exclusive skeleton manual winding movement (dimensions: 40mm x 31.60 mm x 5.7mm) with 57 baguette-cut yellow diamonds (1.55 ct.)
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
- Power reserve: 72 (3 days)
- Functions: Hours, minutes, one-minute tourbillon
- Strap: 18k yellow gold bracelet with deployment buckle set with 378 Asscher-cut yellow diamonds (159.62 ct.)
- Price/availability: $20,000,000 (approx. £16.4 million, total carat weight: 482 fancy yellow and fancy intense yellow diamonds: 216.89 ct., 76 Tsavorites: 3.59 ct., total gold weight: 297 gr.), unique piece
More details at Jacob & Co..