The Jacob & Co. Dual Time watch once again proves that the Arabov clan are the Kings of Nouveau Riche™. Oh sure, by their standards this is a relatively restrained timepiece. But there’s no getting away from the watchmaker’s unerring instinct for tastelessness, if only in the details.
The observant amongst you may have noticed that I didn’t give Jacob & Co.’s new watch its proper title. That’s not a subhead under the timepiece. It’s the watch’s official moniker: The World Is Yours Dual Time Zone.
This despite the fact the Cubby Broccoli warned us The World Is Not Enough. But that kind of self-awareness is not present amongst people with New Money. People who consider anything ridiculously expensive inherently desirable. The exact clientele to which Jacob & Co. cater.
Again, this isn’t even come close to the registering at the top of J & Co.’s tacky-ometer, inhabited by the $500k musical Godfather watches (reviewed here). Or the awesome Oil Pump watch (reviewed here).
As for this one, look closely at the dissonant font style used for the Jacob & Co. Dual Time’s two dials, and the jarring minute markers surrounding each.
Better yet, look at the watch that “inspired” the Jacob & Co. Dual Time, and its description on their website.
“The timepiece Jacob Arabov received from his father bears the once-famous Wakmann brand name. It features a two time zone complication, with two sub-dials, accomplished by inserting two different movements inside one single case.
“The gilded dial represents a map view of the world where the subdials are caught between two engravings, one of Europe, the other of the Americas. Such a layout was a rare sight at the time, and not traditional at all.“
Like Cuba’s Cuervo Y Subrinos, Wakmann was a short lived “house brand,” in this case established by a post-World War II Portuguese immigrant watch dealer.
chrono24.com offers 43 Wakmann vintage variants, the most expensive of which runs $4150, running off the Cal. Valjoux 72C, arguably the finest manual-wind chronograph ever made (powering the famous Paul Newman Daytona).
I would argue that the Wakman watch is a far more elegant piece, devoid of the in-your-face-ed-ness of the Jacob & Co. Dual Time Zone. The two typefaces on the earlier watch make sense. The dial’s two shades of gold are elegant and, let’s face it, exquisite.
Anyway, that’s a rabbit hole. Getting back to the Jacob & Co. Dual Time, make no mistake: this is a finely crafted 43mm self-winding watch. The addition of the center seconds wind rose is clever in its own way.
The relief map craftsmanship of the continents – 3.7 mm at their highest point – is far more detailed than the Wakmann version, requiring a 12 degree tilt to all the hands on deck.
J & Co.’s “exclusive” Manufacture Jacob & Co. Self-Winding JCAA11 drives those hands. That’s right: it’s not a manual. What does that tell you about its intended buyers’ priorities?
The Jacob & Co. Dual Time “The World is Yours” watch is a “limited edition” timepiece – assuming anyone in their right mind thinks they’ll sell 999 examples at $57k each ($56,943,00 worth).
I wouldn’t blame anyone for buying it, or any other watch that strikes their fancy. And respect to the clan for finding a niche and making beaucoup bucks from satisfying their, uh, non-traditional tastes.
But I would caution potential buyers that their 60 large would go a long way with a more horologically respected brand, if they took the time to explore their options. That is all.