The Fortuitous Phases of Jacob & Co.: From Mover and Shaker to Whiskey Maker
Jewelry, gems, celebrity friends, real estate, watches, and whiskey? Is there a genre of the luxury world that Jacob Arabov won’t dominate? Before we look forward, let’s take a quick look back at the brand, its legendary leader, and his humble beginnings.
Never would I have believed I could get as close as I was to one of the world’s most expensive timepieces as it was being revealed in Geneva this past March. I mean, I was right there; right in front of the case that housed the masterpiece that was the Jacob & Co. “Billionaire Timeless Treasure.”
I was taking video for Instragram, and in my own world, when I heard a deep voice in my left ear repeatedly say, “Excuse me, EXCUSE ME,” followed immediately by the sight of a tanned hand ahead of a white cuff and dark suit sleeve that came across my left shoulder as it opened said case and removed the record-breaking watch. That arm belonged to none other than Jacob Arabov, and the 28-year-veteran gem/jewelry/watch geek inside of me jumped for joy that I had caught that moment on film.
I knew right then and there that I was witnessing something special. I knew this was history in the making.
The Epitome of (47th) Street Style
The now 58-year-old Arabov, the youngest and only boy amongst his siblings, began learning the jewelry trade at the age of 14 after his family migrated to Queens. Eventually, Arabov began working in New York City’s Diamond District, and by 21, had founded the jewelry company Diamond Quasar, while also making pieces under the name “Jacob & Co.” for private clients, including several well-known rap artists.
Jacob’s clients today are largely the who’s who of the music and fashion worlds: Jay-Z, Nas, Drake, Rihanna, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Pharell, Naomi Campbell, and Salma Hayek among others. Yet he has also created custom pieces for several sports celebrities as well, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Jordan.
From Jewelry Creations to Watch (and Whiskey) Collaborations
In 2019, Jacob & Co. entered a partnership with luxury car manufacturer Bugatti. By 2020, Jacob & Co. and Bugatti introduced new watches in the Twin Turbo Furious collection, and then in 2022 released the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon Blue Sapphire timepiece. The brand has since added to its Bugatti collection, which has become a popular series for their collectors.
But Arabov – being the ever-present visionary – hasn’t stopped at high-end timepieces for the wealthy and worthy. Just this year, he partnered with famed street artist Alec Monopoly and legendary whiskey blender Andrew Rankin to produce a 30-year scotch blend with the decanter created by Constellation X and signed by street artist Alec Monopoly, who is no stranger to the world of luxury watches.
So, let’s recap for a moment… jewelry (check), watches (check), car collaborations (check), whiskey (check), so that’s it, right? That’s pretty much what an immigrant jeweler who started on 47th street and worked with rappers is capable of in the luxury community, right? Yeah… nah. Wrong.
The Sky is the Limit. No, Really.
As if any of us would be surprised, in the summer of 2023, Jacob & Co. announced that it would be opening residences in the soon to be built Burj Binghatti in Dubai, UAE, and broke ground on the project, which promises to break the record as the highest residential tower in the world once completed.
According to a joint press release issued about the project, the newest tower to decorate Dubai’s already incredible skyline is set to “encapsulate Binghatti’s unwavering dedication to design excellence, while infusing Jacob & Co.’s unique artistry and craftsmanship for interior design.”
As an attendee of the 2023 edition of Dubai Watch Week, I can tell you that Benjamin Arabov, the now CEO of his father’s namesake brand, is thrilled with how the brand has been accepted in the region, which is something we spoke about personally during a sit down.
From Dubai to… The World?
The World is Yours.
That’s at least what Jacob & Co. believes, and it’s backing up that sentiment with a spectacular timepiece that pays homage to the watch that took a 47th Street jeweler into the alternate universe of high horology.
In August of 2023, the brand announced it would be releasing The World Is Yours Dual Time Zone watch as a tribute to an Arabov family heirloom, inspired by the double time zone watch that Jacob Arabov received at the age of 13 from his father, Nison Arabov.
As a child born in the then USSR but mainly raised in the United States, a dual time zone means a lot to Jacob Arabov. Nison Arabov's gift to his son served as a reminder that the world is filled with possibilities, and that goals can be reached, and adversity conquered.
The 43mm case contains the Jacob & Co. self-winding JCAA11 movement, which has a 42-hour power reserve and both dual time zone (with independent hours and minutes) and central small seconds functions. The case is crafted in 18K rose gold and is equipped with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
The stunning dial is crafted in blue lacquer and decorated with North, Central, and South American continents to the west, and Africa, Europe and the westernmost parts of Asia to the East, (including the Arabian Peninsula). Each is stamped and rendered in a rose gold with rose gold compass in the center.
The Next Chapter
Needless to say, Jacob Arabov, and now his son Benjamin, have not only the world on their wrists (and on the wrists of others), but they have the luxury world at their fingertips with so many genres left to conquer.