Unveiled at the Geneva Watch Week in March 2023, the Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution is a cosmic world inspired contemporary watchmaking creation. Its 47 mm diameter case in sapphire and gold houses a brand new movement that revolves around its own axis.
Equipped with a double-axis flying tourbillon, Caliber JCAM48B revolves in 60 seconds, with a third axis which is the movement itself. Regulating this spectacular horological dance is a patented, innovative constant force device developed by Jacob & Co.
The high velocity orbit makes Astronomia Revolution both a highly technical and highly spectacular timepiece. Especially since the entire revolving carriage is visible from all sides: from above, from both sides and from below.
Jacob & Co. Astronomia
In 2016, Jacob & Co. launched Astronomia, a revolutionary timepiece of unheard-of complication and proportions. In a 47mm case made of gold with a sapphire baseband, the high watchmaking and high jewelry brand set up a vertical, rotating movement whose satellite carriage bears four arms.
One is a twin-axis tourbillon, another is a rotating dial fitted with a differential to keep it upright, one is a 288-facet Jacob-cut diamond representing the moon, and the fourth is a magnesium earth globe.
All four arms are in rotation around their own axis and around the central axis as they orbit inside the case in 20 minutes. This, incidentally, creates a third rotation axis for the tourbillon carriage.
Astronomia has no crown, no central hands, and nothing in common with any other timepiece on the planet. It set a new standard in high complication and showmanship from the moment it took off from the Jacob & Co. launch pad.
Subsequent iterations and variations have been speeding up to reach 10 minutes, then 5 minutes per rotation, along with a host of complication, design and size alterations.
Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution
Astronomia Revolution is the most dramatic, technical and design altering edition of the Astronomia family. It takes the initial space inspiration behind Astronomia and elevates it to a new orbit with a completely redesigned, proprietary movement.
Orbiting at the lightning fast speed of one full rotation per minute requires massive energy. For the first time, an Astronomia is fitted with two barrels of exceptional size. In order to control the massive flow running through caliber JCAM48B, Jacob & Co. has devised a next generation constant force device.
Whip-based Constant Force Device
Usually, constant force exists in two forms. One is the remontoire. The other is the Reuleux triangle. Both store a small amount of equal energy in a spring in order to deliver it in one-second increments at the most. Astronomia Revolution introduces a whip-based constant force device of exceptional frequency, for which a patent is pending.
Every 1/6th of a second, which is the frequency of the balance wheel, the gear train activates a hairspring. It then frees the whip, a star-shaped gear located nearest the fourth wheel. The whip acts as a buffer between the energy flow from the barrel and the tourbillons, which carry the balance wheel. Each time the whip is activated, it transmits the amount of energy needed by the tourbillon carriage for the next 1/6th of a second.
No less, as this would underfeed the balance wheel, which would then run irregularly. No more, which would overfeed the tourbillons and the entire rotating platform, interfering with their intended rotation speed. The transmitted force is kept constant at an unheard-of frequency, a feature specific enough for Jacob & Co. to engrave “1/6′ regulation” on the satellite central pillar base.
The benefits of this constant force are threefold. Like any other, the regularity of the torque ultimately delivered to the balance wheel results in improved accuracy. Combined with the benefits of a triple-axis tourbillon, this makes the Astronomia Revolution a high-class chronometer.
In high power timepieces like the Astronomia Revolution, a constant force device is the only solution to rein in the energy flow and to avoid undesired effects. Also, a smooth rotation of the entire platform and tourbillons demands a smooth energy flow.
This fine energy regulation allowed Jacob & Co. to maintain an impressive 36-hour power reserve on a massively complex timepiece.
In previous Astronomia iterations, the tourbillon has been twin-axis or single-axis, with a third axis sometimes provided by the entire platform’s rotation. And they’ve always been flying tourbillons, which means they have no upper bridge. In Astronomia Revolution’s case, it’s spinning on two axes, around the first one in 1 minute, around the second one in 15 seconds.
The latter is one of the highest speeds ever reached by a tourbillon carriage in watchmaking history. One minute also happens to be the speed of the movement rotation, and 15 seconds that of the arrow’s head.
Designed by Jacob & Co, the open-worked, highly-polished carriage spins in all directions. It moves along with the satellite platform at the rate of one rotation per minute.
The rotating platform inside Astronomia Revolution completes full circle every minute. The long, slender steel arrow is the movement’s third, balancing arm. Its head is made of 950 platinum and set with one large ruby. It acts as a running seconds hand by tracking 60 deep, angular notches of the bezel.
The movement also incorporates a red Polycarbonate sub-dial with 5N Applied Indices and matching dauphine hands for displaying the hour and minute.
Inspired by space, Jacob & Co. has fitted a unique construction on the Astronomia Revolution’s base, located on top of the movement’s hidden parts and under the satellite trajectory.
An array of 18 miniature hexagonal mirrors mimics James Webb Space Telescope’s gilded reflectors. They capture the hypnotizing motion of the Astronomia Revolution in orbit above.
Each mirror is made of 18K red gold, polished to the highest degree and slightly tilted at a very precise angle. This shining honeycomb surface is both a nod to space exploration and a tool designed to admire the satellites’ revolutions. Finally, a caseband made of transparent sapphire offers a 360-degree view of the stunning apparatus.
Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution Editions
Astronomia Revolution is a limited edition of 18 pieces, of which six are crafted in rose gold, six in white gold and six in white gold with black DLC surface treatment.
Model: Jacob & Co Astronomia Revolution
Exclusive Jacob & Co. manual winding JCAM48B Caliber
Diameter: 42.30 mm
Height: 19.30 mm
Power Reserve: 36 hours
Frequency: 21’600 vph (3 Hz)
Base: 18 polished 5N red gold honeycomb mirrors
Rotating Satellite Carriage: 1 rotation in 1 minute
Rotating Arrow: 1 rotation in 15 seconds
Double-Axis Flying Tourbillon:
– 1st Axis: 1 rotation in 1 minute
– 2nd Axis: 1 rotation in 15 seconds
Constant Force with 1/6th sec. frequency (patent pending)
Hours and Minutes Rotating Dial
Winding and Time-Setting on Caseback
Diameter: 47 mm
Height: 27 mm
Material: 18K Rose Gold or 18K White Gold or Black DLC White Gold; Sapphire Caseband
Caseback: Engraved 18K Rose Gold
Crystal: Domed Sapphire with Anti-Reflective Treatment
Water resistance: 30 m (3 bar – 3 ATM)
Subdial: Skeleton, Red Polycarbonate with 5N Applied Indices
Hands: Dauphine in 5N Red Gold
Arrow: Steel, 1 Arrow-Shaped Synthetic Ruby
Black Cordura® strap with rubber lining and 18K rose gold deployant clasp
Limited Edition of 6 pieces in 18K Rose Gold, 6 pieces in 18K White Gold, and 6 pieces in Black-DLC White Gold