From butterflies to flowers, the motifs that decorate the new Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin timepiece from Jacob & Co. comprise a veritable garden of feminine clichés. Beneath the watch’s sweet, ladylike ornamentation, however, lies some serious mechanical wizardry.
For starters, consider the vertical Astronomia movement. Introduced in 2014, the triple-axis tourbillon has spawned a series of high complications, including an elaborate minute repeater introduced earlier this year (Robb Report described it as a “party on your wrist”).
“As we continue to attract more female customers, and more women express increased interest in high watchmaking, I decided to do something that was specifically designed for women,” says Jacob & Co. founder Jacob Arabo. “I envisioned something that was complicated mechanically and integrated high jewelry elements, and the Fleurs de Jardin, in development for more than a year, is the result. The structure on top—the flying tourbillon, the time display and the frame carrying the gemstone flowers—rotates clockwise in 10 minutes, like our iconic Astronomia, but the gemstone flower-set mother of pearl dial underneath turns counter-clockwise, while the inner sapphire-set ring turns clockwise. Having everything spinning and turning makes this timepiece extremely complicated, but it is all in service of the watch’s incredible aesthetic.”
The manual-winding movement contains three arms that make a full revolution around a central axis every 10 minutes, not to mention a flying, 60-second tourbillon. But it’s what decorates the movement that is guaranteed to make a big first impression.
In short, Jacob the Jeweler did not earn his nickname for nothing: Visible beneath the Astronomia’s unique domed sapphire with double anti-reflective treatment is the model’s spectacularly set gem movement. It features a 0.85-carat blue topaz in the 288-facet Jacob cut atop the movement; a frame strewn with 11 flowers composed of kite-shaped multicolored gems including pink sapphires, blue sapphires (“icy blue,” to be specific), tsavorites, amethysts, orange sapphires and rubies; and a mother-of-pearl base, which rotates counter-clockwise 360 degrees every 10 minutes, loaded with 46 blue sapphires totalling approximately 1.05 carats.
And that’s to say nothing of the gems decorating the Fleurs de Jardin’s 42.5 mm 18-karat rose gold case or its 18k rose gold clasp. The bezel alone boasts 40 blue sapphires totaling approximately 3.7 cts., while the inner ring features 48 blue sapphires totaling about 1.31 cts. On the butterfly-shaped strap you’ll find 44 blue sapphires, totaling 0.76 cts. (You can also choose a version set with pink sapphires, seen above, if you prefer.)
Available in a limited edition of 101 pieces, the Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin retails for $360,000.