Molière, one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature, once said: “Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive.” There is a grain of truth to this ironic statement, for the opera is still associated with high performance art and the elite. But the opera also evokes emotions and displays magnificent sceneries and grandiose effects.
Jacob Arabo dominates the art of creating emotions and grandiose effets, too. The Opera Musical Watch, one of the most exclusive timepieces presented at Baselworld 2017, is a world premiere combination of two traditional Swiss crafts: a mechanical music box basting two cylinders and combs, and an exclusive Jacob & Co. JCFM02 manual-winding caliber.
The making of music boxes has been a traditional Swiss craft for hundreds of years. In the Opera timepiece, Jacob & Co. has combined this artisanal work with high watchmaking for the very first time, incorporating two cylinders and combs. The watch is able to play a 120-note melody never-before-heard in a musical watch. Using a sophisticated one-piece sapphire crystal that encircles the whole timepiece, the mechanics of the Opera are put on display for all to see and allows the movement to deliver the purest sound.
A central flywheel drives the two cylinders, which is a real challenge for the movement due to the weight of the cylinders. A pusher located at two o’clock activates the rotation of the entire movement and simultaneously plays the 120-note melody. Each note is played as the tiny pins on the cylinder make contact with the individual teeth of the comb. As the cylinders turn to play the melody, the entire assembly on which they are fixed, including the triple axis tourbillon and the hour and minute dial, rotates 120 degrees around the dial.
The tourbillon rotates around its inner cage once in 40 seconds while its intermediate cage rotates in three minutes and its outer cage in eight minutes.
Finally, in order to display the time with 12 o’clock always in its correct position, a patented differential gear system is used; both the dial and the hands have to turn counter-clockwise.
OPERA MUSICAL WATCH
The Jacob & Co. Opera Musical Watch comes in two different versions: one 18-piece limited edition that is minimalist in its presentation with black and gold high end finishes showing the mechanical workings. The other is a unique version, which allows decorations on the cylinders. These decorations depict a romantic gala night with an orchestra.
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