The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, a Maximalist Exercise in Pure Excess

Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000 9 photos
Photo: Jacob & Co.
Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000Limited-edition Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, $280,000
There are car-themed watches, and then there’s the partnership between luxury watchmaker Jacob & Co. and supercar maker Bugatti. Their third car-themed offering is the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, a watch so beautiful and impressive it’s in a league of its own.
The Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon laughs in the general direction of other car-themed luxury watches, no matter how limited-edition, diamond-covered or expensive. Where they use rubber and certain design elements to pay homage to the automotive works of art that inspired them, the Chiron Tourbillon takes an actual W16 Bugatti engine, shrinks it down and puts it on your wrist.

And, why yes, it works as flawlessly as the actual car engine that inspired it.

Best described as a maximalist exercise in pure excess, the Chiron Tourbillon is visually arresting, flawless and incredibly detailed – and ultimately pointless. The automaton has nothing to do with timetelling and is included merely to allow the lucky wearer to show off.

On the off-chance that said wearer doesn’t find enough to brag about in the miniature W16, Jacob & Co. also throws in a one-minute tourbillon, and places the entire thing on a base that floats in the middle of the case on patented suspension-like shocks.

Limited\-edition Jacob & Co\. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, \$280,000
Photo: Jacob & Co.
Chiron Tourbillon is the third release resulting from the partnership announced last year, after the Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti and the Epic X Chrono Bugatti 110 Years Anniversary Edition. It will be a limited edition (reports mention only 250 items will be made, but neither watchmaker nor carmaker has confirmed it yet) and will set you back $280,000 for the base, uncustomized model. The good news is that you don’t have to actually own a Chiron to qualify for the purchase.

With this watch, you might not even want one. Lol, joke.

Inside the case, on a floating base that takes more than half the space within, is a minute and very detailed replica of the W16 engine inside the Chiron, complete with steel crankshaft, pistons and turbochargers. The automaton took over a year to develop and is made of 578 hand-assembled parts. You can set it in motion by pressing an actuator on the side of the cage – and, because photos rarely do justice to a timepiece of this time, there’s a video of the working mini-engine available at the bottom of the page.

The case also includes a tourbillon inclined at a 30-degree angle and the hand-wound JCAM37 movement with hour and minute functions. Power reserve is at 60 hours and is monitored on a gauge at 3 o’clock, modeled after the universal gas tank icon with Empty and Full markers.

The W16 automaton and the mechanism are supported by shock protection systems made to resemble automotive shocks on the real-life Bugatti Chiron. The four that support the automaton are painted blue, but color can be customized according to the owner’s preferences. They allow the small engine to slightly float around in the case, as the wearer moves his hand – and this patented system alone took a year of its own to develop.

Limited\-edition Jacob & Co\. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, \$280,000
Photo: Jacob & Co.
All the working, moving parts are visible from all sides, through apertures made to resemble the Bugatti grill made, of course, of sapphire glass. The case itself is black titanium, and the watch sits on a ventilated black rubber strap with titanium buckle.

The watch is massive in size, which was to be expected given the mechanism placed inside: 54mm x 44mm in diameter, and 20mm in thickness. It goes without saying, this is not a timepiece designed to be subtle: everything about it screams for attention, but it does so in the most stunning way. It is rated as water-resistant for up to 30 meters.

As noted above, the base model of the Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon is $280,000, but price goes up depending on the type of customization the owner wants. The watchmaker notes that colors can be added and precious gems can be inserted upon request. This will virtually ensure that an already limited edition piece becomes even more exclusive through personalization.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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