There’s no arguing that the Astronomia Tourbillon revolutionized watchmaking when it was introduced in 2014. But it’s not exactly considered an outdoorsman’s watch. That didn’t stop renowned Swedish explorer and adventure activist Johan Ernst Nilson from taking an Astronomia Tourbillon with him on his recent expedition to the Himalayas.
“I wore the regular Astronomia Tourbillon on my last climb to the Himalayas, where I went up to 6,200 meters (almost 20,000 feet), in -30 C degree, extreme conditions,” Nilson says. “I used the Astronomia on the climb in order to test it. You would think that such a complicated watch would be delicate and fragile, but it isn’t, and it performed perfectly in all conditions. I used it climbing up ice walls, with my ice ax, banging it against rock and ice and it held up extremely well.”
Nilson has climbed the Seven Summits (and many other peaks), visited 172 countries and some of the most remote places on Earth, and he is in the Guinness Book of World Records for his Three Poles Challenge Expedition. His travels and experiences have allowed him to see climate change and its consequences first hand, and now Nilson is an activist for change, leading people on expeditions and giving talks and making films about the environment.
Jacob & Co. is pleased to partner with Nilson, creating a new, exciting version of the brand’s iconic Astronomia, but this one with key elements celebrating the beauty of and highlighting the risks facing Planet Earth.
“Raising awareness about the dangers facing our planet is important,” says Jacob Arabo, founder of Jacob & Co. “Working with well-known explorer and activist Johan Ernst is a great way for our brand to get involved, and the new limited edition of the Astronomia Everest is really special.”
Based on the Astronomia Sky, the Astronomia Tourbillon Three Poles/Everest features Jacob & Co.’s iconic double axis gravitational tourbillon on one of four satellites, the others holding a turning, one-carat 288-facet Jacob-cut diamond, the time display, and a spinning magnesium globe.
The partnership with Nilson joins the stable of collaborations that Jacob & Co. has with hyper sports car manufacturer Bugatti, Universal Pictures, world football star Lionel Messi, Paramount Pictures, streetwear icon Supreme, design icon Virgil Abloh and Off White, and more.
Included in the purchase of the watch are two key elements. One, 10% of the purchase price will be donated to charity, helping to make a difference immediately.
“I want this special timepiece to help make a change in the world,” says Nilson. “The Astronomia is the only watch I’ve ever had people ask me about while I am wearing it, so we will be starting conversations that hopefully will lead to change. This special edition will spread the word about the fragility of our planet.”
On top of all this, each purchase includes an expedition with Nilson, by helicopter, to the place on Mount Everest where the rock was found. In this way, the buyer and a plus one can feel first-hand what Nilson experiences, and will see the need for further action.
The Astronomia Everest is limited to 24 pieces to match the 24 time zones of the Earth — 12 pieces with a black Celestial Vault and 12 pieces with a blue Celestial Vault. Both Arabo and Nilson expect its reach to be much greater than the lucky few who can own it.
“Everyone is attracted to the Astronomia, it’s so unique,” Nilson emphasizes. “If you add to that the story of the two poles and Mt. Everest, people will be really drawn to it, and they will help spread the word.” The price of this special timepiece-expedition-donation package is $884,800, to match the height of Mount Everest, 8,848 meters.