On July 30th, leading high-end watchmaking brand Jacob & Co. donated a one-off timepiece to the yearly Luisaviaroma x Unicef charity gala. After a heated fight between buyers, the watch was auctioned off for 450 000 €, 50% above the retail price of its regular version.
A charity auction may be about charity, but buyers rarely loose their temper over the event itself,however laudable the cause. The yearly gala organized by high street digital retailer Luisaviaroma is indeed one of the most highly regarded. Each year, its entire proceeds benefit Unicef, the United Nations fund for Children and Education. Heldat La Certosa di San Giacomo in Capri on July 30th,it welcomed celebrities such as Spike Lee, Jamie Foxx, Jared Leto, Ansel Elgort and star of the show J.Lo. It featured many lots gifted by many brands and artists. But Jacob & Co. upped the ante by offering a one-off timepiece from its flagship Opera Godfather collection.
Jacob & Co. has been deeply involved in philanthropy for over fifteen years. The New York City-born and-based brand is in the habit of donating upper-crust, complicated timepieces to several charities from all over the world. This is the result of a New York state of mind, but also a personal inclination from founder, Chairman and art director Jacob Arabo, who considers giving back to communities a pillar of his personal ethics. That is one of the reasons Jacob & Co. was once more a major player in the Luisaviaroma yearly gala.
Jacob & Co. chose no other than one of the Opera Godfatheras a gift bestowed upon the charity gala, for good reason. This timepiece takes pride of place among the brand’s collections. In 2019,Jacob & Co. entered into an agreement with Paramount pictures and gained the right to use and deploy. The Godfather franchise into its own collections. The first result of this unique and inspiring partnership was the Opera Godfather, a musical,high complication timepiece of striking design. It plays The Godfather’s main theme on a music box integrated into the rotating movement with triple-axis tourbillon. Furthermore, this piece is designed to be a reference, a tribute and a memory capsule dedicated to the cult classic movie, which is turning 50 this year.
Elements of the movie’s theater poster, set, costumes and overall narrative are integrated into the piece’s design, such as the rose Don Corleone wears at his daughter’s wedding, the puppeteer strings depicting the atmosphere of manipulation and betrayal of the movie, and a violin, used as a crown.This collection, by its sheer ambition and scope, has zero equivalent on a market crowded by generic designs and overwhelmed by vintage inspiration. This 1/1 Opera Godfather was housed in arose gold case surrounded by transparent sapphire crystal. It differs from the core collection model,which currently carry a 300 000 € MSRP, by its wide red rose inlaid on the piano that’s part of the movement.
Heat of the moment
Speaker, master of ceremony, star auctioneer and art collector Sir Simon de Pury was holding the gavel during the auction. As he introduced this one-off Opera Godfather, he put it on supermodel Sofia Riesing’s wrist and activated its music box complication. Holding the microphone to thesapphire glass, he allowed the Godfather’s main theme to be heard by the crowd. A few minutes later, the piece sold for the final price of 450 000 €. The 50% premium put on this one-off goes to show how regarded and bankable Jacob & Co.’s exclusive creations are.