Jacob & Co.’s $7m Billionaire Ashoka Watch isn’t the jeweler’s first “death by diamonds” timepiece. Nor is it their most expensive. That honor belongs to the $18m Billionaire’s watch. Purchased by boxer Floyd Mayweather in June 2018, that diamond-happy horological happenstance held 239 sparklers. The Ashoka redo makes do with a mere 62 diamonds. Yes but . . .
The diamonds adorning Mr. Mayweather’s Billionaire bling (above) were emerald cut. The new Billionaire Ashoka’s gems are “Ashoka cut.”
So the new Billionaire’s watch has less diamonds than the old Billionaire’s watch, but they look bigger.
Does that make the new watch the horological equivalent of a rock star shoving a rolled up sock down the front of his jeans?
Now how much would you pay? Don’t answer! Because . . .
Unlike the quartz-powered $55m Graff Diamonds Hallucination, the Billionaire and Billionaire Ashoka’s hands are motivated by Jacob & Co.’s JCAM09 mechanical movement. Manual wind. Skeletonized for your dining and dancing pleasure. Tourbillon? Bien sur!
Technically speaking, a modern wristwatch needs a tourbillon like a RedBar meeting needs a bouncer. But the Billionaire Ashoka’s spinny thing is de rigeuer for watch wearers wishing to differentiate themselves from the riff-raff wearing, say, a steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Question: where would one wear a watch worth more than a Riva Super Domino?
If you’re Floyd Mayweather, anywhere you want. Ditto Kim Kardashian, or anyone else accompanied by armed security guards.
But unless you’re ballistically shielded – and maybe even then – wearing this easily disassembled and fenced piece of jewelry in public risks life and limb – literally.
On the other [remaining] hand . . .
I reckon I’d suffer a lot less stress parking Jacob & Co.’s $7m Billionaire Ashoka Watch in a safe deposit box than I do obsessing over American pocket watches, challenging me to maintain their health and safety.
The Billionaire Ashoka watch highlights the essential truth of the old Zen/Tyler Burden adage “that which you own, owns you.”
No matter how you cut it (so to speak) owning this kind of high end horology cuts both ways: it’s both a blessing and a curse. Especially as it generates an enormous amount of publicity.
To a greater or lesser extent, the rule applies at every level – whether you’re stretching your budget to add a $2650 Tudor Black Bay 41 to your collection, or casually writing a check for $7m to redefine the word “ostentatious.”
Do owners of less expensive watches sleep better at night? Not necessarily. But probably.