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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.

Virtuozity - - Watch -

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!

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