Jacob & Co. Introduces the new Epic XBy Cheryl Chia
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While Jacob & Co. has come to be known for some of the most mechanically complex and visually spectacular watches in the last decade such as the Astronomia and the Twin Turbo Furious, the brand also makes watches that are more attuned to the rhythm of everyday life in the form of the time-only Epic X.
Launched in 2015, the Epic X was initially designed by Benjamin Muller, a French jewelry and watch designer and the founder of independent watch brand M. Benjamin before it was re-licensed under Jacob & Co. Originally known as the Spyder in M. Benjamin’s collection, the Epic X is characterized by dramatic angled lugs that extend from the bezel to embrace the strap like legs of a spider. Now at Geneva Watch Days, Jacob & Co. has unveiled a new generation of the Epic X with subtle but significant design tweaks made to the both the case and dial.
Previously, the entire case was finished with contrasting brushed and mirrored surfaces. The spider lugs had a raised polished lip while the satin-brushed bezel had a wide polished bevel. Now the bezel and lugs are smooth and entirely polished, giving them a fuller appearance and the watch, a louder presence on the wrist. The effect is further amplified by its massive 44mm case, offered in either pink gold, stainless steel or black DLC. It is paired with an equally striking five-link bracelet with polished, chamfered links but remains available with its signature honeycomb rubber strap.
Another update that gives it a much bolder profile are the crown guards, which have been extended much further from the bezel. The crown itself has also been redesigned with a two-level notch tip while the crown tube has been covered with coloured aluminum.
Powering the Epic X is the remarkably airy, openworked Caliber JCAM45 developed by Concepto. The movement was thoughtfully constructed from the ground up as an openworked movement. It features a skeletonized barrel held in place by a separate bridge, allowing the state of wind to be approximated from the coils of the mainspring.
Like most openworked watches, the barrel and balance are vertically aligned. However, to provide an unobstructed view of the balance wheel below, the gear train does not traverse the central axis of the movement. Instead, it is relegated to the left, with a pinion above the second wheel of the movement driving the minute wheel in the motion works directly. This opens up the dial and provides a full view of the escapement and balance wheel. At the same time, the motion works, which are left completely exposed, are bookended by a pair of vertical bridges that have been decorated with Clou de Paris guilloché.
One notable detail on the reverse is an Octopus-shaped spring with three elegantly curved blades. It functions as a detent spring for the setting lever and clutch lever in the keyless works as well as a click spring that tensions the winding click.
The smooth and uniform polished finish helps accentuate the lines of the watch and create a flashier visual presence, re-orientating the watch within the brand’s maximalist watchmaking language, as spearheaded by its top-of-the-line watches.
The movement is actually impressively airy in construction, but the effect is diminished by a pair of vertical bridges, which serves to highlight the vertically aligned barrel and balance, visually connect the lugs as well as bring texture to the high-polished case. Jacob & Co., however, has assured that they might be openworked like the original in future. For now, it all makes for a watch with a powerful and assertive character, and one that, when judged by the standards of the Astronomia, might make for a casual everyday sports watch.
Jacob & Co. Epic X
Movement: Caliber JCAM45; 48-hour power reserve, 4Hz (28,800 vph)
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 18K pink gold, steel or black DLC; 44 mm x 13.05 mm
Dial: Clous de Paris bridges with coloured outline, coloured aluminium flange with white minute track
Strap: 5-link bracelet or Honeycomb rubber strap on pin buckle
Price and availability: USD 26,000 (rubber strap), 29,000 USD (steel bracelet)