Jacob & Co. debuts a $20 million watch

The Billionaire Timeless Treasure is one of the most expensive timepieces ever crafted and comes embellished with a mighty 482 fancy yellow and fancy intense yellow diamonds

By Joshua Hendren

A staggering 216.89 carats of fancy yellow and fancy intense yellow diamonds adorn Jacob & Co.’s new $20 million timepiece, the Billionaire Timeless Treasure.

Under the expert eye of Seraina Wicht, head of gemmology watch production at Jacob & Co., a total of 10 experts sourced, sorted and cut some of the rarest and high-quality yellow diamonds from across the globe. A further fifteen staff members crafted the yellow gold lattice structure, encasing within it the skeleton JCAM39 movement.

“It all seemed impossible,” says Wicht, of the three-and-a-half years it took to gather the gemstones, a search which bore fruit to 880 carats of rough diamonds. “One, to lay our hands on so many gems of so rare a colour and so large. Two, to have all gems meet our demands at the rough, pre-cut stage. Three, to maintain colour consistency after cutting. And four, to cut every single one of them so they would fit into their designated place, their little bed of yellow gold. Jacob & Co. challenged itself like never before.”

Jacob & Co. The Billionaire Timeless Treasure
The $20 million Jacob & Co. Billionaire Timeless Treasure timepiece

Yellow diamonds are the world’s most valuable yellow gemstones, highlighted by their yellow, orange, brown, or even green tints caused by small amounts of nitrogen contained within the diamond’s crystal structure. With a 10,000 to 1 occurrence, they are far rarer than colourless stones.

“With white diamonds, we receive lots with dozens or hundreds of gems,” says Wicht. “For Billionaire Timeless Treasure, we were receiving stones one by one, two by two, three at the most. It happened several times that we spent several weeks without receiving a single one that was worthy of the piece.” The process of Asscher-cutting the diamonds was another challenge. The square shape with inclining corners, which is actually more of an octagon, requires 57 facets and demands much larger roughs than the typical brilliant cut.

Jacob & Co. The Billionaire Timeless Treasure
The Billionaire Timeless Treasure comes set with 482 fancy yellow and fancy intense yellow diamonds

Introduced in 2015 as a bespoke project, the original Billionaire timepiece was set with 239 emerald-cut diamonds, with a price tag of $18 million. The Billionaire II took this concept even further with a whopping 424 diamonds totalling 161 carats, its filigree structure set with 57 baguette-cut diamonds. The Billionaire III followed, set with 714 white baguette-cut diamonds in a limited-edition run of just 18 models, with the unique addition of the Billionaire III Diamonds and Rubies, a masterful creation set with a total of 134 rubies.

Jacob & Co. The Billionaire Timeless Treasure
The Billionaire skeleton tourbillon movement is adorned with another 57 yellow baguette-cut diamonds

As of February 2023, a total of 21 Billionaire timepieces have been produced and all of them sold either directly to their owners or to the most high-end watch retailers on the planet, with the exception of one. Today, the Billionaire Timeless Treasure sets a new bar for watchmaking, one Jacob & Co. will no doubt strive to exceed.

“We’ve browsed the entire world for three and a half years in search of an unprecedented number of perfect gems,” says CEO Benjamin Arabov, of Jacob & Co.’s newest Billionaire. “We’ve gathered them here, in our Geneva headquarters, where each one was scrutinised at rough stage, at cut stage, before and after setting. The incredible work done by our gem setters happened entirely here, in Geneva.”

“We’ve combined our expertise in high jewellery with our skills in high watchmaking and used our drive to achieve what has never been done before,” he continues. “So we’ve created a unique piece that outshines every other high jewellery timepiece in opulence, exclusivity and diamond quality.”

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