A Closer Look At The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon

A Closer Look At The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon

Can you name another watch with a replica of an iconic 16-cylinder internal combustion engine? We didn’t think so.

By Josh Shanks

Since 1909, French automaker Bugatti has been obsessed with the pursuit of speed and perfection. Its first road car, the Type 13, was born in 1910 and was the epitome of high technology at the time, featuring the world's first 16-valve headers – most road cars had eight-valve engines – and a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph). The Type 13 even placed second at the 1911 French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

Today Bugatti hand-produces fewer than 100 cars per year at their Molsheim, France headquarters. And its signature model is the Chiron, a 420 km/h (261mph) supercar powered by a quad-turbocharged W16 engine that produces 1,479hp. A machine so powerful, it gives even the most complicated timepiece a run for its money.

Jacob & Co. And Bugatti

Jacob & Co. and Bugatti enjoy a shared passion for developing some of the world's most unique and innovative objects. From watchmaking to supercars, recently, the two brands have partnered on a multi-year deal to collaborate on special edition Jacob & Co. x Bugatti timepieces.

The first result of this collaboration was the Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious and the Epic X Chronograph. Both taking design cues from Bugatti creations. Today, Watchonista takes a closer look at the new Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon.

The world of watchmaking is no stranger to motorsports; in fact, more than a few brands produce supercars for your wrist. But it’s Jacob & Co. that does it in the most outlandish ways possible. And with its new creation, Jacob & Co. has managed to transform Bugatti’s iconic Chiron into a horological marvel worthy of discovery.

Technical Details

For the first time, the impressive 16-cylinder internal combustion engine of the Bugatti Chiron has been transferred into a wristwatch. Encased in a block of sapphire crystal sits a completely functional W16 engine, and placed alongside it, are two reproduction turbochargers (the actual Chiron has four). Like the miniaturized W16, these turbochargers are fully functioning and operate in sync with the W16 engine.

The W16 engine automaton activates via a crown on the timepiece's right-hand side. Once started, the mini-W16 engine springs to life with a fully operational crankshaft, turbochargers, and 16 pistons, which move directionally in perfect order.

Jacob & Co.’s manually wound JCAM37 manufacture calibre is suspended inside across four axis points of the 54 x 44mm case – pictured here in the Blue Titanium and Rose Gold models – and features a flying tourbillon. The positioning of the movement replicates the effect of a car’s suspension and culminates with two “exhausts” at 6 o’clock. Meanwhile, the 30º incline of the tourbillon is modeled after the horseshoe grill of Bugatti hypercars.

The entire timepiece is operated via three crowns at the bottom of the case. The left crown sets the time; the middle winds the 60-hour power reserve and animation, and the right crown starts the animation. Finally, the power reserve indicator is the gas pump symbol at 9 o'clock.

In person, the watch is just as crazy as you would imagine. As you can see in the video, the operation of the miniature W16 engine is a sight to behold. The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon has a commanding presence on the wrist – much like the respect the Bugatti Chiron supercar earns on the road.

Pricing and Availability

The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon is available in Blue Titanium for $300,000 or Rose Gold for $380,000.

Learn more at Jacob & Co.’s website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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