acob & Co. takes on a new challenge. In terms of design, complication, and historical relevance, the Jean Bugatti is one of the most sophisticated timepieces to be released in recent years. Among those, it just might be the most complex chronograph. And it’s in a design field that Jacob & Co. is tackling for the first time.
The Jean Bugatti presents itself in the guise of a classical, elegant, refined 46-mm timepiece with a pronounced retro feel. This latest offspring of the fruitful partnership between Jacob & Co. and Bugatti Automobiles feels like the dashboard of a collectible car.
It may look classical, but it actually isn’t. Just as Jean Bugatti’s sense of automotive design was definitely outside the box, so is the appearance of the eponymous timepiece. The two openings on the dial cradle a pair of one-minute flying tourbillons. Their cage design is topped by the Bugatti EB logo, manufactured in perfectly polished steel.
The pair of short, blued hands anchored in the middle of the dial are really the chronograph hands. The first, longer one indicates the chronograph seconds. The other, shorter hand just below shows the chronograph tens of seconds. To manage the very complex and unique chronograph system, the JCFM09 calibre is fitted with a double set of regulating organs.
The Jean Bugatti chronograph may just be Jacob & Co.’s most demanding watchmaking project ever. 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 while the other hand jumps forward, from 00 to 01.
As time advances, the first retrograde hand keeps moving up like the rpms on a dashboard counter and back as the gears change. The other one soon reaches 60, at which point it also jumps backwards to 00. At that point, in the oval medallion at 6 o’clock, a disc with gilded numerals instantly jumps from 01 to 10.