Only a few have traveled through the Earth’s atmosphere and even fewer timepieces. While most of this space – pun intended – is ruled by Omega’s iconic Speedmaster Professional, others are rising to that potential. Recently, a Japanese billionaire and private space tourist, Yusaku Maezawa, wore his Richard Mille RM 27-02 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal while onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Jacob & Co, Bucherer BLUE, and Sotheby’s have come together for an exceptional timepiece – the Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE. It is also the first triple-axis tourbillon into space.
Launched from the International Space Station (ISS) from the Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the AX-1 flight took off on April 8 and returned to Earth off the Florida coast on Monday, April 25. Onboard this SpaceX Axiom Space-1 flight were Michael López-Alegría (a professionally trained astronaut), Larry Connor (an American real estate and technology businessman), Mark Pathy (a Canadian businessman and philanthropist), and finally, Eytan Stibbe. The Astronomia Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE is a one-off timepiece on the wrist of the Israeli impact investor and philanthropist Eytan Stibbe during the Rakia mission. Eytan Stibbe was in space for 17 days, 1 hour and 37 minutes. During this time, they orbited the Earth 273 times at an altitude of more than 400km, at a speed of nearly 17,500 mph (28,263 km/h). According to Stibbe, the timepiece continued to “accurately display the time during the launch and return to Earth, enduring extremely high G-forces and also micro-gravity while in space”.
“Bucherer BLUE is our platform for bringing to life daring projects with innovative partners. Together we strive to create the extraordinary and celebrate the drive and curiosity of our NextGen customers,” says Patrick Graf, Chief Commercial Officer of Bucherer. “Jacob & Co.’s exceptional timepieces, imaginative power, and can-do attitude make possible what seemed impossible before. Powered by the internationally renowned Sotheby’s, this collaboration brings the Bucherer BLUE philosophy to a whole new level, and we are incredibly excited that the Astronomia Bucherer BLUE went up to space, pushing boundaries beyond the expected.”
The dark blue background dotted with stars represents the space with the model’s four key elements — dial, tourbillon cage, a diamond representing the moon, and a lacquered magnesium globe – held on four arms that make a complete rotation on a central axis every 20 minutes. This unique piece has a case of 50mm in white gold, surrounded by no fewer than five ultra-domed sapphire crystals to observe the movement. Talking about the technical capabilities, this timepiece is identical to previous editions of the Astronomia. “It seems only fitting that the Astronomia Bucherer Blue ended up revolving around the Earth,” comments Jacob & Co. chairman Jacob Arabov. “The watch had the same viewpoint on us as we usually have on it.”
Well, that’s not the end of an exciting journey for this one-off horological creation; this unique timepiece will be offered by Sotherby’s during an auction on July 26. It will be on view at Bucherer TimeMachine on 57th Street in New York City July 11-17 and at Sotheby’s in New York July 21-15. Offered with no reserve and bidding starting at $1, proceeds will be donated to benefit charities – an excellent opportunity to fulfill your space fantasies!
While only one person will go down in history to own this iconic timepiece, Jacob & Co is giving 18 others an extraordinary opportunity to be part of this horological history. The exclusive 18-piece EpicX Bucherer BLUE Edition is a manually wound skeleton model in a 44mm black DLC titanium case with an engraving of an astronaut, clad in a spacesuit and helmet, gazing at the Earth from space. Astronomia and EpicX watches imbue innovation and exploration of the unknown, going beyond time and space.