Jacob & Co., Bugatti, And A Tribute To A Mythical Car That Has Been Missing Since WW2
The most famous auto disappearance of all time has inspired the creation of a Bugatti Supercar GT and a Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious tourbillon minute repeater.
The story of the missing 1930s Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupé is a tale shrouded in mystery. Created by Ettore Bugatti’s eldest son, Jean, between the years 1936 and 1938, only four of these incredible vehicles were ever made. Jean kept the second, all-black version for himself. Named “La Voiture Noire” (“The Black Car”), it was the height of luxury supercar technology and design in its pre-war heyday. No one was allowed to drive it except for a few of his friends, who were test pilots for the company, and the car was shown in different car exhibitions around France.
The Ghost Train
Prior to the Germans seizing Bugatti’s Molsheim factory, in 1940, the car is believed to have been put on a train bound for the company’s second factory in Bordeaux. It was sent there with other assets for safekeeping, only to completely disappear from the face of the Earth. Experts estimate if, by some miracle, it turned up in the back of a French barn, it would be worth in the region of 100 million Euros.
La Voiture Noire
In 2019 Bugatti decided to pay tribute to the car and the legend with a modern-day version of this famous automobile. This one-of-a-kind supercar was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show with an 11 million Euro price tag, making it the most expensive new car ever. It featured the same 8.0-liter, quad-turbocharged 16-cylinder, and 1,500 bhp engine as the Bugatti Chiron, and took its all-black design cues from both the Chiron and the Divo.
Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious La Montre Noire
Since Jacob & Co. first partnered with Bugatti in 2019, its founder Jacob Arabo has also been fascinated and intrigued by the legend of La Voiture Noire. “When Bugatti announced the modern-day version of the car, I couldn’t wait to start designing an exceptional all-black timepiece that would equal the superior level of mechanics and design of the new ‘La Voiture Noire’ supercar,” Arabo explained.
Let’s start with the bodywork of the new Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious “La Montre Noire” Bugatti Edition.
The case is a feat of engineering in itself. Made of 18-karat black gold, it involves 88 individual parts. Its bezel is also adorned with 344 natural black, baguette-cut sapphires to reinforce its powerful look. Additionally, these smokey black sapphires can be found on the black gold and titanium buckle.
The 832-part engine of the La Montre Noire does not disappoint either with two accelerated triple-axis tourbillons, a decimal minute repeater, a monopusher chronograph, and a power reserve indicator.
A Closer Look Under The Hood
Jacob & Co. pushed the envelope with this movement by including not one but two tourbillons and a rare decimal minute repeater that chimes the time on demand in ten-minute intervals (after the hours and before the minutes).
Decimal minute repeaters are particularly atypical (if you could ever call a minute repeater typical!), and you can count on one hand the number of brands that make them.
The monopusher chronograph is also of note as it is equipped with a “reference time” indication. Inspired by the pit boards in motor racing, the reference time display is located in the center of the dial, indicating the difference in seconds in comparison to a reference time.
A final detail is the power reserve indicator positioned on the dial at 6 o’clock. Using an ingenious planetary system comprising a differential gear mechanism, the power reserve hand points to full power on the left, then moves to the right as the 48 hours of power reserve winds down.
And as the last touch, the timepiece is wound via a vintage-style crank instead of a traditional crown.
Like the car, this outstanding grand complication is also a unique piece, but the good news is that it is still available. So if you put your foot down, you could possibly own a part of this incredible story whose mystery lives on.
(Images provided by Jacob & Co.)