Street culture is becoming ever more a part of the luxury brand world, and now, New York watchmakers Jacob & Co. have unveiled the first timepiece in its recently-announced partnership with graffiti artist Alec Monopoly: The Replica Astronomia Alec Monopoly.
“It’s the perfect setting for my art and a watch made for true collectors to wear,” Monopoly is quoted in a press release. “My hope is this is a watch that gets passed down generations with the same passion and pride as a masterpiece original artwork.”
The Astronomia Alec Monopoly blends the artist’s interpretation of street culture with the Astronomia’s four-arm vertical movement. The watch retails for $600,000 and is limited to just nine pieces.
The luxury, hand-sculpted watch is crafted in 18-karat rose gold, with a sapphire crystal dome and four sapphire windows that create a transparent view of the entire structure and inner-workings of the piece. Most striking of all is the spinning, 1-carat Jacob Cut diamond with 288 facets. It completes one rotation every 60 seconds, marking the time and completing a picture of the night sky with shining stars.
Across from the diamond spins a magnesium, hand-lacquered globe of the Earth. A double-axis tourbillon finishes its first rotation in 60 seconds and a second rotation in five minutes. The timepiece also boasts miniature pop figures of Monopoly’s most famous character situated among two differential gears systems. All the characters are designed by Monopoly and then resized through CAD renderings.
“I love the juxtaposition of my youthful cartoon characters, brought to life with bright and vivid colors in a timeless watch with stunning complications,” Monopoly says. “This is by far the smallest scale ‘canvas’ I have ever painted. Every element, brushstroke and color choice needed to be carefully thought out and perfectly executed. My street art murals are often free flowing and wild, but given the intricacies and meticulous mechanics within these watches, I needed to approach the creative process with much more precision and patience.”
The collection includes Monopoly’s interpretation of Scrooge McDuck which holds a bright green money bag with gold coins lying at his feet. On the other side, a dollar sculpture is painted with the Jacob & Co. logo in diamonds. One figurine, which is inspired by “The Monopoly Man,” is a top-hatted character holding his money in the shape of wings. Another top-hatted man with a white mustache is placed on the opposite side with a melting pink ice cream dollar sign.
“Jacob’s watches are works of art,” Monopoly says. “Combining my art with his incredible watches is something that has never been done before. To have 3D sculptors inside a watch is just amazing and beautiful to me.”
See more of the watch in the video below and learn more about the limited release Astronomia Alec Monopoly
Jacob & Co has unveiled its first watch made in partnership with internationally renowned contemporary graffiti artist, Alec Monopoly.
The Astronomia Alec Monopoly contains miniature pop characters and images that are staples of Monopoly’s artwork within the iconic Astronomia watch form, with its four-arm vertical movement and exclusive complications including a hand-lacquered globe of the earth rotating every 60 seconds; and a double-axis tourbillon with the first rotation in 60 seconds and the second rotation in five minutes. The ultra-haute jewellery and watchmaker and irreverent street artist Alec Monopoly may be strange bedfellows, but they share a vision for taking their passions to the extreme.
“Alec is a young artist that started his career taking risks and not thinking twice about it,” Jacob Arabo, founder of Jacob & Co, says. “He acted as if he had nothing to lose and he continued to persist until he broke through to become world famous for his creativity and unique angle. I started out the same way by doing something different and unique and I persisted until I was able to break through.”
Mr Monopoly recalls running into Mr Arabo at events around the world, and eventually acquired his own Astronomia Tourbillon “and immediately fell in love with the brand”.
“There is just so much thought, time and talent put into each of these timepieces,” Mr Monopoly says. “This collaboration is a work of art within a work of art.”
The Astronomia Alec Monopoly has four main sculptures on the dial: a Monopoly Man holding an ice cream cone with a melting pink dollar sign; an interpretation of Scrooge McDuck, holding a Money Bag with gold coins piled at his feet, Money Wings, and a multicoloured dollar sign with multiple drawings of diamonds, dollar bills and the Jacob & Co. logo.
“I love the juxtaposition of my youthful cartoon characters, brought to life with bright and vivid colors in a timeless watch with stunning complications,” Mr Monopoly says. “It’s the perfect setting for my art and a watch made for true collectors to wear. My hope is this is a watch that gets passed down generations with the same passion and pride as a masterpiece original artwork.”