In 2020, Jacob & Co. and Bugatti introduced new watches in the Twin Turbo Furious collection, and the Bugatti Chiron, a completely new line. In 2022, this partnership adds a historic, classic and still high performance facet with the Jean Bugatti.
The Jean Bugatti feels like the dashboard of a collectible Bugatti car. And the openings at the bottom of the dial feel like the grille and headlights of a 1930’s coupé from Molsheim.
With two large openings at 5 and 7 o’clock under discs of smoked sapphire, with hands pointing in a direction that makes no apparent sense, with a vertical large opening at 6 o’clock, the Jean Bugatti is puzzling, misleading perhaps.
Pointing inwards, located on the outside rim of the dial, two short, red hands tell the hours and minutes. The pair of short, blued hands anchored in the middle of the dial are the chronograph hands. The first, longer one stands for the chronograph’s second’s units. The other is in charge of the chronograph’s second’s tens. The two openings on the dial, at 5 and 7 o’clock, harbour a pair of one-minute flying tourbillons.
The Jean Bugatti features a chronograph whose layout, functions and performance is undoubtedly unique. Its chronograph seconds are double retrograde. The chronograph’s minutes are digital and jumping. Both rely on a separate, high frequency, 5 Hz regulating organ with a dedicated barrel. Its action is coordinated by a column wheel with horizontal clutch.
It relies on hands located at the centre of the watch. When the start/stop pusher is activated, the first hand starts moving from 0 to 10. As it reaches 10, it jumps backwards to 0 and starts its course anew. Meanwhile, the other hand has jumped forward, from 00 to 01. The sequence repeats itself as long as the chronograph is in operation. After 59 seconds, the shorter hand reaches 60 and jumps backwards to 00. At that point, in the oval medallion at 6 o’clock, a disc with gilded numerals has instantly jumped from 00 to 01.
Furthermore, when the chronograph is stopped and reset, the seconds’ hands don’t jump backwards instantly. They slowly continue their course to their final position, and only then can they make their final retrograde leap. This is one of many unique features of Jean Bugatti.
The two openings on the Jean Bugatti dial harbour a pair of one-minute tourbillons. Lying underneath a smoked sapphire crystal, they integrate a design feature that further enhances the Buatti-esque nature of this timepiece. A Jacob & Co. tourbillon cage can be modified in a host of ways to convey a design message. In this case, it’s been given the shape of the Bugatti EB logo. This component is manufactured in perfectly polished steel.
Since they’re held only by their underpinnings, these two rotating systems are flying tourbillons. Their rotation period is a classical one minute, and the frequency of the balance wheel they harbour is 3 Hz.
The Jean Bugatti houses a dial that’s unheard of in Jacob & Co.’s 20 years of watchmaking. A cream-white lacquered base is fitted with a pair of rose gold-plated appliques. They define a 225° sector along which the chronograph hands run. They’re complemented by applied, arabic numerals acting as their scale. The outermost one runs from 0 to 10 and the other, inside scale runs from 00 to 60.
The frontier between the dial surface and the three openings between 5 and 7 o’clock is marked by another rose gold-plated applique. It defines the areas where the tourbillons and the digital chronograph minutes are located.
A rose-gold plated and lacquered applique sits just underneath the chronograph hands, reminding of the Bugatti essence of the Jean Bugatti.
The Jean Bugatti is crafted out of 18K rose gold. The precious metal is polished throughout and shaped in a round case, with a rounded bezel, short rounded and elaborate lugs for optimal wearing ease.
The Jean Bugatti case measures 46 mm in diameter and 16 mm in thickness. Its sapphire crystal is shaped like a dome, whose curves are an extension of the bezel’s and case’s. The caseback is fitted with a transparent sapphire crystal and offers an unobstructed view on calibre JCFM09.