Jacob & Co. Opera “The Godfather” Movie 50th Anniversary Musical Triple-Axis Tourbillon Watch
Fifty years ago, Francis Ford Coppola’s cinematic account of Mario Puzo The Godfather was an instant classic with moviegoers. This contributed to the birth of a long era of rich storytelling and deep character development in the “organized crime” entertainment genre, which later spawned The Godfather film trilogy, plus a long list of other films and television programs that have captured the minds and imaginations of audiences around the world. For some time now, the high-end watchmaker and jeweler Jacob & Co. has had an official license with The Godfather’s rights holders to produce luxury items which, of course, include timepieces. Today, on the 50th anniversary of the original film, Jacob & Co. presents a new limited edition variant of its Jacob & Co. Opera “The Godfather” watch.
Known as the reference OP110.30.AA.AA.ABALA, the watch builds on the earlier version of the Opera Godfather with detailed decorations meant to pay homage to 13 classic scenes from The Godfather film. Much of this is based on Marlon Brando’s character, Don Vito Corleone, who is one of the most interesting and enigmatic mob bosses in fictional history. That said, Puzo brought his fictional characters from real-life locations, including the name “Corleone,” which is a real town in Sicily, where the powerful family in the film is from. Jacob & Co. has chosen Sicily to unveil this latest limited edition creation and luxury testimony to one of the greatest films of the 20th century.
Why Jacob & Co. and The Godfather? In the luxury watch world, there is often a fascination with powerful people. Real and fictional characters that match our sense of self and aspirations are often tied to the objects we covet. Essentially, our culture places special emphasis on the real objects and clothing worn by these real or imagined heroes. With the exception of the actual objects worn or used by these people, we are often more than happy to appreciate the totem objects later created in their honor. This psychology explains why children want to dress like their favorite music stars and why some people have shrines to celebrate people and characters important to them.
Watches are objects of power and the stories surrounding them are vast and varied. When these objects connect with characters we admire, the mix can lead to an engaging product experience that tugs at our emotional strings. Whether a watch is powerful in its utility or powerful in its exclusivity, watches remind the wearer of their hopes, their aspirations, but also those they admire. A watch like the Jacob & Co. Opera Godfather does a lot of those things. First, it reminds people of the powerful and beloved central character of The Godfather movie (Don Corleone). Second, it offers impressive entertainment value in the form of its tri-axis tourbillon as a music box complication. Finally, as a luxury item, its cost and complexity make it desirable and therefore powerful to wear. Add to all that the fact that the Jacob & Co. Opera watch is anything but understated. Similar in shape to the popular Jacob & Co. Astronomia, the Opera watch case is 49mm wide and 23mm thick. It’s a very large watch, but with short lugs it offers portability – don’t try to tuck it under your sleeves.
I’m writing this article before I’ve seen the Opera Godfather 50th Anniversary watch in the flesh, but I’ll be following this watch release article with a hands-on preview of the exclusive watch very soon, as I have to join Jacob & Co. for the official release event in Sicily. I understand that in Sicily it is not considered polite to talk about the Mafia as it is not exactly the cultural export that Sicilians want their island to be known for. Of course, Jacob & Co.’s fascination with The Godfather is not so much about the crime as it is about the people in power and the personalities around them.
If you remember the film, Don Corleone touches on a number of important topics, such as the discreet and unbrazen way to exercise power, the importance of respect and friendship, the judicious use of violence and the overall health of the community (Don Corleone, for example, is opposed to the family getting into the illegal drug business for fear of its harmful effects on the community). At the same time, Don Vito is part of an older, perhaps romantic, generation succumbing to the ambitions for power and easy money inherent in the war on drugs, which has largely defined crime. organized (as well as unorganized) internationally for the last time. several decades. In that sense, The Godfather was very visionary in terms of predicting what the future of organized crime would look like in the future. In the film, after his son Michael takes over the family business, their goal is to move to Las Vegas and get involved in gambling – an activity which, in the film, according to Don Vito, is tolerated by politicians. and that they would have preferred to run by the mafia (with whom they can ostensibly negotiate) over less civilized members of the criminal community.
I discuss all of this as a way to explore some of the deeper themes of The Godfather, as well as why it makes for a tasteful backdrop on which to post a luxury item. Many people today are still captivated by the enduring performance of The Godfather, and the lessons they learn from the dialogue always have a major effect. With a watch like the Opera Godfather, Jacob & Co. is both honoring fans of the film and also embedding itself into an ever important facet of popular culture. It’s interesting how that honor manifests itself in this 50th anniversary watch from The Godfather. The watch case and dial components make extensive use of new forms of laser cutting and shading. Most notable is the 18k white gold case which, around its periphery, has been engraved with highly detailed black and white filmstrip-style scenes from The Godfather movie. The level of detail is excellent and shows how, even today, new manufacturing techniques give luxury watches new abilities to dazzle with interesting visuals and decorative opportunities. More laser engraving is used on the dial, in particular with the two barrels of the music box which are engraved with famous lines from the film while bearing the small pins which, when rubbing against the row of blades, create audible musical notes.
The watch case uses both 18k white gold and 18k rose gold (for components such as the crowns and caseback). The contrasting color is a big part of the theme of the watch and also helps promote many small details on the case and dial that are to be admired. The watch face itself has a lot going for it. This includes text mentioning The Godfather 50th anniversary, plus a performance of Don Vito Corleone on the miniature grand piano. The dial features the entire music box complication, including the two melodic barrels, blade combs, an off-center dial to indicate the time, and a prominent three-axis flying tourbillon. The watch case has no traditional crown to set the time or wind the hand-wound movement. Instead, these functions rely on “arc-shaped” folding crowns located on the back of the case. What’s on the side of the watch is an activation lever (inspired by a violin). When activated, it sets in motion the music box complication, which plays the famous The Godfather theme song. Note that one of the reasons the watch crystal is so tall is to allow for a reverberation chamber which helps amplify the music from the music box complication.
What’s also interesting about the movement and the music box complication is that when activated, the entire watch face spins. This visual animation has no practical function, but like the miniature hand-painted red rose located in the very center of the dial (in the previous version of the Opera Godfather watch from Jacob & Co., in place of the rose was a hand-painted miniature bust of Don Corleone), the rotating dial contributes to the overall “wow” effect this timepiece seeks to deliver.
The Opera’s caliber JCFM04 movement was developed by Jacob & Co. with its close-knit group of suppliers and experts in Switzerland. It is hand-wound, operating at 3Hz with a 42-hour power reserve. The highly complex movement is made up of 658 parts, most of which are produced from gold, steel, brass or titanium. The watchmaking centerpiece of the Opera movement is not really the music box but rather the three-axis flying tourbillon. While single-axis tourbillons once made for ultra-luxury items, nowadays companies like Jacob & Co. have had to step it up if they want to charge top dollar for their mechanical creations. As a result, the sphere-shaped tourbillon assembly rotates on three axis points. Oddly, none of these rotations are 60 seconds, so the tourbillon can’t really be used as a seconds indicator (not that you’ll worry about that). Jacob & Co. designed the Opera movement’s three tourbillon axis points to have rotation times of 24, 48 and 180 seconds respectively.
Presentation is very important to Jacob & Co. and therefore the Opera Godfather 50th Anniversary watch will come in a red velvet lined case befitting a creation of this caliber. I believe Jacob & Co. even has other items it created for the 50th anniversary of the movie. More to come after finishing my visit to Sicily with the brand and being able to inspect the Jacob & Co. Opera Godfather 50th Anniversary watch myself. The price of each of the 50 limited edition pieces of this reference watch OP110.30.AA.AA.ABALA is $500,000. Learn more on the Jacob & Co. website here.