Always be prepared for the unexpected with Jacob Arabo… The founder of Jacob & Co. is a sworn enemy of convention. Technically complex and artfully crafted, the Astronomia triple-axis tourbillon concept has given birth to surprising watches… to say the least! The Phoenix, the Octopus or the Casino are all eloquent examples of the versatility of the model. Yet, the Astronomia is not what you’d consider as an outdoor, instrument kind of watch. But it didn’t stop Jacob & Co. from creating the Astronomia Everest that was worn by Swedish explorer Johan Ernst Nilson on a recent expedition to the Himalayas.
A Swedish explorer, Johan Ernst Nilson has climbed the Seven Summits, visited 172 countries and some of the most remote places on Earth. He is known as an “environmental explorer” because of his interest in environment and climate-related issues. Announcing a partnership with Nilson, Jacob & Co. found a great occasion to create a new version of the Astronomia, with the idea of highlighting the need to protect our planet.
Based on the Astronomia Sky, the Astronomia Tourbillon Three Poles/Everest movement is customized with a piece of Mount Everest rock on top, while two capsules contain water from the North Pole and the South Pole – these were all collected by Nilson himself. The watch comes in two limited editions and 24 pieces in total to match the 24 time zones of the Earth – 12 pieces come in black gold with a black Celestial Vault and 12 pieces in white gold with a blue Celestial Vault.
From a technical perspective, the impressive three-dimensional movement of the Astronomia relies on the same principles as previous models. Housed under an impressive sapphire dome, this captivating microcosm stages four animated satellite arms in constant motion:
a 1-carat Jacob-cut diamond (or black sapphire, depending on the version) rotating on itself in 60 sec
a magnesium lacquered Earth globe with luminescent oceans, rotating on itself in 60 sec
an openwork dial providing an orbital display of the hours and minutes and featuring the captions Everest, North and South
finally, a tourbillon rotating on two axes in 60 seconds and 5 minutes respectively (plus a third central-axis in 20 minutes), which orchestrates this captivating ballet
“I wore the regular Astronomia Tourbillon on my last climb to the Himalayas, where I went up to 6,200 meters (almost 20,000 feet), in -30 C degree, extreme conditions,” Nilson says. “I used the Astronomia on the climb in order to test it. You would think that such a complicated watch would be delicate and fragile, but it isn’t, and it performed perfectly in all conditions.”
The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Everest is presented either on a glowing or dark rubber strap fitted with a gold buckle matching the material of the case. The watch retails for USD 884,800 (a nod to the altitude of the Everest). Included in the purchase of the watch are two elements. First, 10% of the price will be donated to charity to help make a difference now. Second, each watch includes an expedition with Nilson, by helicopter, to the place on Mount Everest where the rock was found.
Astronomia Everest incorporates rock from Mt. Everest, water from both Poles of the Earth. If you want to wear history on your wrist and don’t mind paying a fortune for it – read on. Based on the Jacob & Co.’s beloved Astronomia Sky Tourbillon, the watchmaker in collaboration with Swedish explorer and environmentalist Johan Ernst Nilson has created the Astronomia Everest Gravitational Double Axis Tourbillon.