Billionaire luxury watch is one-of-a-kind timepiece for millionaires

The latest timepiece from Jacob & Co is the perfect embodiment of the “reassuringly expensive” mindset.

First launched at the 2015 Baselworld watch and jewellery fair in March, “The Billionaire” is a one-of-a-kind creation that doesn’t require you to be an actual billionaire to buy it. Though you will need to at least be a millionaire to afford it as it costs US$18 million.

The billionaire moniker comes not from the price tag but the close personal friendship and new partnership between Jacob & Co’s founder, Jacob Arabo, and the Formula 1 impresario Flavio Briatore.

After a series of talks between the two successful businessmen, Mr Briatore and his company Billionaire Lifestyle became the official licenser of the Billionaire timepiece. To mark the partnership, the case back of the watch bears an engraving of the Billionaire logo.

“Mr Briatore’s dynamic successes in the world of luxury align with the values of innovation and incomparable quality that we seek to demonstrate through our work,” says Mr Arabo of the partnership. “We wanted to create a statement of opulence that encapsulated the luxury lifestyle in tangible wearable form. The Billionaire is just that.”

The watch is as extravagant as one would expect. Far from understated, it seizes attention with its sparkling opulence. Comprising 239 emerald-cut baguette diamond stones, each GIA-certified and weighing up to three carats each, the total diamond weight is a jaw-slackening 260 carats. The sheer amount of gem-setting required means it measures in at quite a size – 47.5mm wide and 58mm tall.

At the heart of the watch is a calibre JCAM09 manually wound tourbillon movement with fully skeletonised bridges. It boasts 72 hours of power reserve in its skeletonised mainspring barrel and the tourbillon at 6 o’clock is quite hypnotic, but it’s the diamonds that really fascinate. Interestingly, the case is fashioned in 18-carat white gold, rather than the more expensive platinum, and the case back and cover are sapphire crystal.

Besides, all Jacob & Co watches are guaranteed for manufacture defects for two years.

q&a both carats and quality

Jacob Arabo, the founder and chief executive of Jacob & Co, explains to Nick Rice why he created this one-off Billionaire masterpiece:

Why was the Billionaire watch made?

The Billionaire was created out of my desire to combine high-jewellery craftsmanship and complicated watchmaking and to surprise my clients with something never-before-seen in the global marketplace. Flavio Briatore is a long-time personal friend, and the founder of the Italian lifestyle brand, Billionaire. His appreciation for quality and innovation, as well as his dynamic successes in the luxury lifestyle realm are reflective of the values we strive to demonstrate through our work, so a partnership couldn’t be a better fit.

How long did it take to create?

The Billionaire in its entirety took two years to make, and the most complicated part of the manufacturing process was sourcing the diamonds. A highly skilled craftsman was necessary to set and cut the stones and obviously a very gifted watchmaker was needed as well.

Who would you like this unique watch to go to?

To someone that not only appreciates the quantity of carats, the quality, the craftsmanship and uniqueness of the masterpiece, but also someone that understands the fine details such as the setting on the side of the bracelet with emerald cut diamonds.

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