The Jacob & Co. Casino Roulette Tourbillon is every gambler’s dream – or worst enabler

The Jacob & Co. Casino Roulette Tourbillon is every gambler’s dream – or worst enabler

D.C. Hannay
  • Jacob & Co. dials back their outsized aesthetic for a surprisingly restrained new Casino model
  • Yes, there’s an actual functioning roulette wheel built into the dial
  • The flying tourbillon is displayed on the caseback, so as not to interrupt the clean lines of the dial

Jacob & Co. have long been pushing the horological envelope. After Jacob Arabo’s beginnings as hip-hop’s jeweller of record, his namesake company’s offerings have become more and more out there, with outrageously lavish timepieces brimming with fiendishly inventive complications, including multiple tourbillons, music boxes, and revolving planets.

One of their most outre limited editions was the Astronomia Casino, which features a rotating time display, a tourbillon, a revolving globe, and a spinning diamond for good measure, all rotating around a central axis. But the real attraction in this version of the Astronomia (there are several) was the addition of a functioning roulette wheel spinning below all the upper level fireworks. Restrained it’s not, but damn, is it fun to look at.

Now, Jacob & Co. have released a slightly more reserved version of their roulette watch in a more wearable package, but rest assured, the Casino Roulette Tourbillon has plenty to love for high-rolling fans of high horology. First and foremost, this is an unapologetically fun watch. Whenever we talk about high horology, there’s always something interesting to look at, but with an actual functioning roulette wheel as part of the overall package, the Casino Roulette Tourbillon is truly interactive.

Getting down to the nuts and bolts of the watch’s “killer app”, there’s actually quite a bit of craftsmanship at play here. You can play by laying the watch flat, and the action starts with a push of the button at 8 o’clock, setting the wheel in motion at a high rate, with a white ceramic ball flying around the polished outer track. The rose-gold roulette wheel spins freely, thanks to ceramic bearings, and as it slows, the ball finds its way into one of the enamelled red, black, or green numbered pockets. To better randomise the results, the ball interacts with the eight diamond-shaped deflectors around the outer track, just like the real thing. Additionally, the ball is kept in play (and away from the hands) via two clear sapphire discs.

It’s an altogether clever mechanism that works seamlessly. The rest of the dial is typical Jacob & Co. in terms of its flawless execution, but way less visually busy than some of their more over-the-top models. The inner dial is crafted from polished black onyx, which affords some nice negative space to balance out the colours of the roulette wheel. The kite-shaped indices are made from 5C rose gold, as are the skeletonised hands, and both are filled with Super-LumiNova. In fact, this might be one of the most, dare I say, understated Jacob & Co. references I’ve ever seen, which makes me love it even more.

The case size, while typically large, is actually pretty wearable, considering all that’s at, ahem, play here. Diameter clocks in at 44mm, with a tall 16.3mm case height, but some of that can be attributed to the domed sapphire crystal that rises in a perfect arc from the sloped bezel of the 18K rose gold case. Lugs are substantial but elegant, following the form of the rounded case at their ends, and the strap is black alligator with a rose gold deployant, a refined design choice. The roulette pusher button at 8 is protected by a long, crescent-shaped guard, and these elements are the only appendages on the outside of the case, as the two “crowns” are set flush into the caseback.

One sets the time, and the other manually winds the movement, with the integrated “keys” flipping back down against the caseback when not in use. Very clever, but the real smokeshow is the tourbillon display below. Wanna know when you’ve really got it going on? When your watch is so baller, the flying tourbillon is on the caseback. Of course, it’s beautiful too, but again, some remarkable restraint is at work from a brand known for their three-ring circus dial aesthetics. The 24-jewel JCAM51 manually-wound movement has a rate of 3Hz, and a 72-hour power reserve, but again, the overall design is surprisingly reserved, with only the tourbillon on view, mounted behind an enamelled ring mirroring the roulette wheel up front. Lovely work.

Given the amount of craft that goes into a model like the Casino Roulette Tourbillon, you’re definitely not playing nickel slots, chief. This limited edition of 101 is priced at US$280,000, so high rollers only need apply. But if you’re on a first-name basis with your croupier at Casino de Monte-Carlo, there are worse ways to burn through some disposable income, given that you can actually play this complication. In fact, you can bet the house on it.

The Jacob & Co. Casino Roulette Tourbillon pricing and availability:

The Jacob & Co. Casino Roulette Tourbillon is available now and is limited to 101 pieces. Price: US$280,000

Brand Jacob & Co.
Model Casino Roulette Tourbillon
Case Dimensions 44mm (D) x 16.3mm (T)
Case Material 18K rose gold
Water Resistance 30m
Dial Black onyx stone
Crystal(s) Sapphire, domed
Bracelet/Strap Black alligator, 18K rose gold deployant clasp
Movement JCAM handwound tourbillon
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, functioning roulette wheel
Availability Now, limited to 101 pieces
Price US$280,000