Everything that can be said about the Bugatti Chiron has already been said, so we’re not going to bore you with details of the fastest, most powerful, and exclusive production super sports car in the manufacturer’s history.
Instead, we’re here to talk about how extreme automotive engineering can too inspire the limits of extreme timekeeping, and how Jacob & Co. has perfectly translated the car’s pure excessiveness within the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon.
The easiest way to describe this watch is to imagine a working mechanical model of the Chiron’s W16 engine — don’t forget its turbochargers — in a black titanium case. Then you throw a tourbillon in there for good measure. The fact that it is a gargantuan 54mm x 44mm is insignificant once you lay eyes on the hand-wound JCAM37 within, which works with the tourbillon regulator and baby W16 engine to create pure kinetic art.
The real goosebumps moment happens when the actuator on the side of the case is pushed. Like a real car, the “engine” whirs into life as the crankshaft rotates and the pistons move. Even the two miniature turbochargers spin for added effect. The one-minute tourbillon cage is inclined by 30 degrees to ensure a spectacular view of the rotating escapement, a feature which Jacob & Co. worked on for a full year with its movement designers.
Like the car, four shocks allow this intricate movement to be suspended within its case, letting it float ever so slightly within the case when its wearer moves — another innovation which required a special traverse system to execute.
Watches like these have admittedly no real use in the real world other than to impress, and a quarter of a million is a lot to blow for giggles and dropped jaws. However, Jacob & Co. has gone to where few other car-themed watches have. Beyond chunks of carbon fibre, brightly coloured stitching and tyre-imprinted rubber straps, the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon celebrates the true heart and soul of a car, and this is perhaps what makes this crossover extra special.