Introduced in April 2020, the Jacob & Co. X Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon brought the iconic 16-cylinder Bugatti engine to life in timepiece form for the first time. It had taken almost a full year of development to come out with a case inspired by the flowing lines of the Chiron and the movement (or ‘engine block’) intended to duplicate the Bugatti engine placed under a massive sapphire crystal.
The Chiron Tourbillon was yet another outcome of the multi-year partnership between Bugatti and Jacob & Co. established in 2019 to create unique, never-before-seen timepieces. Now, four new editions of the Chiron Tourbillon have been added, these reimagined with new material choices for ultimate personalization.
The new versions
The overall shape of this stunning timepiece is shaped to suit its automotive counterpart. The first option is made of a solid block of sapphire crystal with a sapphire crystal caseback, using sapphire crystal for the crowns and pushers, and secured on the wrist by a rubber strap with a titanium buckle clasp.
The second possibility – limited to 72 pieces – features an 18-karat Rose Gold case, with a special anti-reflective sapphire crystal, an 18-karat Rose Gold open caseback and black DLC titanium crowns and pushers embossed with the Bugatti logo. This version includes a rubber strap with a black DLC titanium and 18-karat Rose Gold buckle clasp.
Limited to 52 pieces, another option features a case made of 18-karat Rose Gold material, set with sparkling white diamonds, with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, plus an 18-karat Rose Gold open caseback and crowns and pushers made of 18-karat Rose Gold and set with baguette white diamonds – again embossed with the Bugatti logo – and secured by a rubber strap with an 18-karat Rose Gold buckle clasp decorated with white diamonds.
Finally, the version with a case made of 18-karat White Gold set with 391 black and white diamonds (approximately 20 carats) is the definition of premium luxury. The 18-karat White Gold open caseback is matched by crowns and pushers set with baguette white diamonds, with the rubber strap and an18-karat White Gold buckle clasp set with 18 white diamonds (approximately 1.76 carats).
A Bugatti experience for the wrist
The representation of the Bugatti engine – which can produce up to 1,200 ps – begins once the right-hand crown of the timepiece is pushed. Just like the engine in the hypercar would come to life, the ‘crankshaft’ in the watch – one of the smallest and most complicated watch parts ever manufactured, made out of solid steel – turns and the ‘pistons’ pump up and down, mounted at varying angles to add to the complexity. A pair of ‘turbochargers’ on the side of the engine block spin while the 578-part powertrain runs, adding to the overall spectacle.
The movement is held in place in four places by miniature Chiron-style shock absorbers. The movement is, in fact, floating inside the case and can be observed moving slightly up and down. This suspension detail created an additional challenge for the watch designers, who had to create and patent a unique automotive-inspired transverse system to ensure the crown posts aren’t damaged by the movement in the case.
The crowns are found at the bottom of the case. The left crown sets the time, the middle crown winds the movement and animation for 60 hours of power reserve, while the push of the right-hand crown starts the animation. The power reserve for the animation and timekeeping are separate, yet both are wound through the winding crown – clockwise for the movement (60 hours), counterclockwise for the engine animation (approximately three activations). The power reserve for the movement even features the universal gas pump symbol on the side of the gauge.
As an interpretation of a Bugatti icon, the timepiece naturally remains true to the company’s design DNA and also conveys its emotionality. Beyond the flying tourbillon with the Jacob & Co. logo, a subtle ‘EB’ logo from Bugatti adorns the engine compartment, where the ‘crankshaft’ holds 16 pistons, all poised and ready for action. The window to the tourbillon is modeled on the horseshoe grille so iconic in Bugatti hypercars.
A new Chiron has a starting price of almost US$3 million (about RM12.1 million), and while the watch is considerably cheaper, you still need to pay at least US$280,000 (about RM1.133 million) or more.