Hands-On: The Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious

By Jack Forster

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One of the most delightful booths to visit during Baselworld is that of Jacob & Co., which is an environment in dramatic contrast to most of the others found at the fair. While exhibitors’ booths tend to be either rather dourly horological or extravagantly gem-strewn (it’s a watch and jewelry show, but with very few exceptions, exhibitors are showing one or the other), at Jacob & Co. you not only get vitrine after vitrine groaning under the carat weight of absurdly oversized diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, but also vitrine after vitrine groaning under the horological weight of some of the most extroverted, mechanically complex wrist-mounted entertainments ever to come down the pike. Jacob & Co. seems to have the positive cash flow to more or less do whatever they want, and boy, do they do whatever they want. One example of their almost relentlessly exuberant approach to watchmaking is this year’s Twin Turbo Furious.

The Twin Turbo Furious is a (take a deep breath) double, triple-axis sequential high-speed flying tourbillon, decimal minute repeater and monopusher chronograph with reference time differential indication, and indication of the power reserve. The two triple-axis tourbillons are connected by a differential, which averages the rates of each oscillator – this, theoretically, should produce a single average rate more stable than that of either oscillator in isolation, although even a cursory glance at the Twin Turbo Furious should make it abundantly clear that it’s sheer wow factor, not an obsession with chronometry, that motivated the design of this magnificent bug-eyed monster. The tourbillons, from innermost to outermost, rotate once every 24 seconds, eight seconds, and 30 seconds, and watching them in action is both unsettling and weirdly exhilarating, like eating fugu, or inhaling nitrous oxide.

For most of us the most mysterious complication will be the so-called reference time differential. This is function of the chronograph; the reference time differential allows you to determine whether an elapsed time period is greater or less than a chosen reference time. You use the crown (in its second position) to set the reference time, which is shown with arabic numerals at the six o’clock position on the dial (in the top image, the chosen reference time is three minutes and ten seconds. This also changes the position of the outer, “Pit Board” (a term taken from motorsports) scale. You’ll notice that zero …read more      

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