On the sidelines Of Baselworld 2016, Virtuozity sits with JACOB arabo, founder Of JACOB & co., to discuss the Brand’s new releases, the industry’s challenges and expansion plans for the Middle east.
2015 was a prolific year for Jacob & Co. We offered spectacular timepieces such as the Billionaire, and the Astronomia. The organic growth of the brand is proceeding in a promising way. When the industry goes through a hard time, the clientele is looking for exclusive and outstanding masterpieces, and we cater precisely to this clientele. Jacob & Co. stands out as it offers uniquely spectacular masterpieces and high jewellery masterpieces. This year at Baselworld we released two ground-breaking masterpieces: the Twin Turbo, a double triple axes tourbillon with minute repeater, and the Astronomia Sky. The Twin Turbo is the first minute repeater with this particular shape case, which combines two triple-axis tourbillons and is water resistant to 3 atm.
The Astronomia Sky features a manufacture movement showcasing the iconic, gravitational triple-axis tourbillon, which had already stunned the watch industry with the launch of the Astronomia Gravitational Triple Axis Tourbillon. The Astronomia Sky takes the complication to a new level by adding a never-before-seen complication - a sidereal display (display of the stars) in three dimensions, combined with an oval sky indicator and a 24-hour day and night display. Furthermore, this masterpiece provides two distinctive units of time - sidereal time and legal time (UTC time). The watch also features a premiere in the modern jewellery industry by presenting a spherical pat- ented orange sapphire with 288 facets—a “Jacob Cut”—which rotates on its axis every 60 seconds and turns around the dial every 20 minutes. My philosophy is all or nothing. I have a great team working for me and they all know what they are doing in terms of the precious stones side of things and the movement. But still, I come here [to the headquarters in Plan-les-ouates] once a month for a week.
Our objective is to maintain a global identity, by sustaining our retailers and distributors. In order to do so, we need to have the broadest collection possible. It takes time to get a response from the market. With time, they will feel comfortable investing in high-end watches. As an example, we have many stores that have invested in Astronomia and Tourbillon Baguette watches. Our Middle East clientele is highly regarding. They look for high-end complications and masterpieces such as the Astronomia, but also sumptuous gems both in high jewellery and high jewellery watchmaking masterpieces. In general, high complications and high jewellery masterpieces are limited to 18 pieces. However, for several collections, such as the Arlequino, each timepiece is unique. Indeed, the gem-setting will never be exactly the same, and there will never be two identical timepieces. The UAE and the Middle East are very much part of our global strategy as it is a key location for many of our clients. The brand has always been successful in the area because the UAE clientele is looking for sophisticated and trendy design with the highest quality—all elements belonging to my watches and jewellery. The recent opening of our boutique in the Mall of Emirates, in Dubai back in February, illustrates our will to deeply assert Jacob & Co. as a one of the major luxury companies in the region. It is a project of mine, so stay tuned for more!