A brand new partnership with DC Comics emerges from the shadows, and a new facet of Jacob & Co. watchmaking comes to light through darkness. Gotham City is a 45.5 mm Bat-watch filled with details, hints, winks that speak to every Bat-fan out there. It’s also a timepiece Bruce Wayne would wear : Jacob & Co. created a limited series of 36 pieces in black DLC titanium and another 36 in 18K rose gold, so that The Batman can begin, rise, return, forever.
Fitted with a hyper complicated movement with twin, flying, sequential, high-speed, triple-axis tourbillons, the Gotham City is true to the hyperbolic nature of the Dark Knight. He only ever uses the best gear available, and said gear always resembles his costume, his colors, his style.
The Gotham City is both matte and luminous, dark and funny, earnest and playful, highly engineered and in final analysis, toy-like. Because the last thing Jacob & Co. wants is someone asking “Why so serious ?” with a disturbing, enlarged smile.
The Batman is all about gear and justice. He uses the one to dole out the other. No superpowers, no radioactive exposition, no extraterrestrial origin, he’s driven by sheer willpower. He also relies on advanced materials, technology, machines and design to fend off crime and evil (which generally comes with make-up). Jacob & Co.‘s Gotham City is a tribute to every tool that helps the Dark Knight protect his home town.
By design, Gotham City is both a watch and metaphor, a piece of extremely advanced watchmaking technology and a symbolic capsule. As a result, it represents to totem, a synthesis whose function is to honor Batman and everything he stands for.
Dual in nature
The Gotham City is destined for a Jacob & Co. audience that also relates to his secret identity : that of a playboy billionaire, nonchalant and gifted with extremely good taste. The duality of the comic’s character invented by Bob Kane is furthered in the Gotham City.
A first limited edition of 36 pieces is done in black DLC titanium, directly relating to Batman. A second limited series of 36 pieces in 18K rose gold relates to the Bruce Wayne figure.
Dark as night
The symbolic aspects of the Gotham City are everywhere. They’re the root of its design, from its core attributes to the most minute detail. Inspired by the latest iterations of the DC Comics franchise, Gotham City is dark, angular, pointy, edgy and muscular.
The case is made of black DLC titanium. Titanium is light and hard to begin with, and is used in many airspace and advanced applications. DLC is a technology that covers the metal with an array of carbon atoms that mimics that of the perfect cubic crystal structure that provides the diamond with extreme resistance to wear. As a result, the 45.5-mm case is immune to scratching and as light as the Batwing.
Stealthy and matte
The shape of the lugs is meant to resemble the Batsuit’s multi-faceted design. Itself inspired by stealth airplanes, it further reduces the visible signature of the invisible vigilante. So in order to fully absorb as much of the light spectrum as possible, the titanium case has been entirely finished with techniques that make it matte. Sand-blasting and horizontal-brushing suppress all traces of shine and polish.
The crown is covered with a rubber band shaped like the Batmobile’s tires. The indices are black, as pointy and sharp as a Batarang. They’re anchored only on the outside rim of the dial, therefore hovering above the central surface, like the Batman standing still before pouncing on his prey.
Light within darkness
That central surface, which is the most part of the Gotham City dial, is shaped like the Bat emblem. It’s been cut into a slab of solid onyx, a hard stone that’s perfectly pitch black, and polished. It’s been further outlined by a contour made of Neoralithe. This composite is colored in yellow, the Batman’s other color, and contains SuperLumiNova. It glows blue in the dark.
Together, these two attributes are a nod to the Batsignal: casting a shadow in the dark with the help of light, a further nod to the Batman’s ambiguous nature.
Claws in motion
Inside the case, under the dial, rests the Gotham City’s movement. Its most visible feature is a pair of triple-axis tourbillons. Architectural, technical and design creatures, these Jacob & Co. tools are shaped like the grappling hooks Batman uses to climb up the walls and roofs of Gotham City.
They’re made of sandblasted titanium, and the central part of the cages is covered in black. As the cages rotate, recreating a full sphere, they show both matte gray and shiny black parts, illustrating the constant switch from darkness to light that makes up the Batman/Bruce Wayne character.
Open or shut
The Gotham City’s back is twofold, depending on which version one considers. On the black DLC one, it’s covered with a signature drawing. The Batman’s figure Jacob & Co. used comes from a 2003 episode penned by Jim Lee. Perhaps Batman’s most influential artist in the past 20 years, Lee created a seminal and uncompromising portrayal of the Dark Knight. Its rendering is a craft feat in and of itself.
The underside of a sapphire plate is laser-etched with a design of the Batman and the customary brand signatures, that of Jacob & Co. and of DC comics. The hollowed parts of the plate are filled with black lacquer and the rest with yellow. On the rose gold version, the caseback is made of traditional transparent sapphire and therefore opens a new perspective on the Gotham City’s mechanical nature and advanced design.
Call it the Bat-movement, the Bat-calibre, the Bat-engine. Because this is the first horological movement that’s fully taken on the Batman’s personae. An immense bat-shaped bridge, rose gold in color, encompasses the entire diameter of calibre JCFM10. A direct nod the the bat-shaped shuriken he throws to pin his foes against a wall, it defines the personality of the Gotham City’s movement.
From an horological point of view, this calibre is as advanced as it gets. It’s comprised of 382 components, the most striking of which may be that bat-bridge, but the most complex being the tourbillons. Each one of them rotates along three different axes. Each axis drives a separate cage. The first, outermost one makes a full turn in 72 seconds, the second one in 8 seconds and the third one, closest to the 3 Hz balance wheel, in 24 seconds.
Compared to the traditional one-minute rotation of a flat tourbillon, and to many multi-axis tourbillons, 8 and 24 seconds are very high figures. This explains why Jacob & Co. dubs them high-speed tourbillons.
The other special feature of these rotating organs is the fact that they’re sequential. Mounted on the wheel that drives the tourbillon, a spring accumulates energy to allow the cages to jump forward. They don’t just move in small incremental moves, but large ones, creating a series of sequential, very visible moves, with pauses in between.
By nature, a triple-axis tourbillon is already energy-consuming. That sequential modality adds to the load resting on the movement. Yet, with powerful-enough twin barrels, calibre JCFM10 is able to achieve a 48-hour power reserve. The energy left in the Batmovement’s tank is shown on a power reserve indicator, located at 6 o’clock, between the tourbillons.
As a finale, the tourbillons inside the Gotham City are flying kind. It’s only fitting for a superhero who leaps in the air, travels in a winged hovering machine and responds to a signal etched on clouds to have a flying attribute.
In both instances, the tourbillons inside calibre JCFM10 have no upper bridge. Their only grounding in the black-chromium mainplate happens underneath, a subterranean nature that’s one more likeness with the Batman. As a result, their sequential jumps happen just under the sapphire crystal, in plain, unhindered and extremely spectacular view.
The aforementioned barrels speak to the spirit in which calibre JCFM10 was designed. Their covers are laser etched with a complex, architectural pattern that reminds of a high-rise inner structure, made of intersecting beams. That’s another tribute to Gotham City, a vertical, sometimes dark, sprawling metropolis not unlike New York City, Jacob & Co.’s home town.
The pattern on the barrels is also found on several wheels of the gear train. Similar in its complexity, the shape of the fourth wheel, under the tourbillons, may remind of an umbrella, the kind that a certain web-footed villain doesn’t leave his sewers without…
Jacob & Co. Gotham City Technical Specifications
- Calibre: Hand-Winding, Jacob&Co JCFM10, Twin Flying Triple-Axis Tourbillons at 5 and 7 o’clock.
- Diameter: 39.2 mm
- Height: 14.2 mm
- Components: 382
- Functions: Off-centered Hours and Minutes, Power Reserve Indicator
- Power Reserve: 48 Hours
- Frequency: 21’600 vph (3 Hz)
- Tourbillon System:
- Twin, Triple-Axis, Sequential, Flying, High-Speed Tourbillons
- Internal Cage Rotation in 24 seconds
- Intermediary Cage Rotation in 8 seconds
- External Cage Rotation in 72 seconds
- Jewels: 56
- Finishings: Black Chromium, Circular-grained Mainplate; Polished and Beveled Bridges; Gold-Plated, Openworked, Satin-finished, Bat-Shaped Gear Bridge; Laser-Etched, Sand-blasted, Black Barrels; Blacked-out Wheels with Bespoke Spokes; Sand-blasted, Rhodium-plated and Black Titanium Tourbillon Cages.
- Diameter: 45.5 mm
- Height: 17.2 mm
- Material: Black DLC Matte Titanium or Polished 18K 5N Rose Gold
- Crown : Black DLC Titanium or 18K 5N Rose Gold, with Rubber Ring and Lacquered Batman Logo
- Case Back: Sapphire Glass or Laser-Etched Sapphire with Yellow and Black Lacquer
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire with Anti-Reflective Treatment
- Water resistance: 30 m (100 ft)
Dial & Hands:
- Dial: Polished and Beveled Onyx Bat-Shaped Plate with Yellow Neoralithe outline; Black PVD or Rose Gold-plated, Suspended Indices
- Hands: Black, Sword-shaped
Strap & Clasp:
- Strap: Black Rubber
- Clasp: Black DLC Matte Titanium Deployment Clasp or 18K Rose Gold Deployment Clasp
- 36 pieces in Black DLC Titanium
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