Introducing the Jacob & Co. Casino TourbillonBy Sheng Lee
A watchmaker famed for its intricacy and opulence, Jacob & Co. has unveiled its latest creation – the Casino Tourbillon, a surprisingly minimalist watch for the brand. The Casino Tourbillon has a singular focus on the roulette automaton, complemented by a hidden tourbillon on the back.
The roulette complication was first introduced in Jacob & Co.’s signature high-complication watch, the Astronomia, in 2019. The Astronomia Casino features a wheelhead that spins freely when activated, with a ceramic ball bouncing around before landing on a lucky number.
Now, the same roulette module has been integrated into a minimalist movement that is technically time-only, with the roulette automaton taking centre stage. This allows the watch’s owner to easily enjoy the game by activating it, or admire the colourful dial when the watch is not in use. The dial itself is indeed eye-catching due to its multi-level construction, which is required to accommodate the movement of the ceramic ball (which is prevented from interfering with the time-telling dial by a clear disc above the wheelhead).
While the random spinning of the wheelhead is intriguing, the underlying principle is simple, which highlights the cleverness of the concept. Based on assembly footage of the Astronomia Casino, the roulette complication works even when the mainspring barrel of the watch isn’t installed, indicating that it has its own power source, presumably a small, secondary barrel. The same is likely to be the case in the Casino Tourbillon since both models share the same module.
Notably, the Casino Tourbillon uses back-winding crowns just like the Astronomia, which reduces the fuss around the case and gives it a more rounded look. However, the roulette automaton still requires a pusher to activate, which explains the button at eight o’clock. Nonetheless, the pusher is accompanied by a crescent-shaped crown guard to create a smooth transition from the case to the button, a smart design that adds flair to the case.
The Casino Tourbillon distinguishes itself from other Jacob & Co. watches by showcasing a singular focus on the roulette automaton along with a streamlined design. It is one of the cleanest designs in the brand’s lineup, while still retaining the brand’s signature flair. The sleek onyx dial against the rose gold case is stunning, while the colourful roulette dial and the interesting hour markers elevate the watch’s lavishness. The hidden tourbillon further highlights the intricate and restrained design of this watch.
More importantly, the Casino Tourbillon’s mechanics are both simple and intelligent. Unlike earlier roulette watches, such as the Franck Muller Las Vegas or Azimuth Sp-1 Roulette, which use a spinning hand to point at the dial, Jacob & Co. features a more dynamic and realistic spinning wheelhead with a free-running ball. This excellent execution makes the Casino Tourbillon stand out in the relatively narrow world of roulette watches.
Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon
Movement: JCAM51; manual wind; 72 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, roulette automaton, and tourbillon
Case: 44 x 16.3 mm; 18k rose gold; water resistant to 30 m
Strap: Black alligator with 18k rose gold folding clasp
Price: USD 280,000
Availability: Limited edition of 101 pieces