Jacob Arabo: Watchmaker To The Stars
April 11th 2016
MOJEHMEN.com catches up with the man who makes watches for everyone from Cristiano Ronaldo to the Victoria’s Secret Angels.
Jacob Arabo’s tale of success is an unlikely one. After moving to the United States when he was 14, he wasted no time in immersing himself in the wonderful world of jewellery and watchmaking. A watchmaker’s apprentice at 16, by 17 he was designing and making his own pieces.
Since then his brand Jacob & Co. has seen an astonishing rise, with his timepieces and jewellery being worn by some of the world’s biggest stars, from Jay-Z and Cristiano Ronaldo, to Rihanna and the Victoria’s Secret Angels.
As his brand celebrates its 30-year anniversary and the opening of a new boutique in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, MOJEHMEN.com caught up with Mr. Arabo to find out what makes him tick (pun very much intended).
Where did your passion for watchmaking come from?
Ever since I started as a watchmaker’s apprentice in New York City, I immediately fell in love with this world. I dreamt of creating my own watches, and decided to make my dream come true.
What is your most complicated watch? Can you tell us a bit about it?
The most complicated Jacob & Co. timepiece is the Astronomia Sky. It has always been a dream of mine to wear the cosmos on my wrist. I wanted to offer my clients a kinetic movement in constant motion that emulates the beauty of our universe.
The watch features a manufacture movement showcasing the iconic gravitational triple axis tourbillon that had already stunned the industry with the launch of the Astronomia Gravitational Triple Axis Tourbillon. The Astronomia Sky takes the complication to a new level by adding a never-before-seen complication: a sidereal display (display of the stars) in three dimensions combined with an oval sky indicator and a 24-hour day and night display. Furthermore, this masterpiece provides two distinctive units of time: sidereal time and legal time (UTC time). The watch also features a premiere in the modern jewellery industry by presenting a spherical patented orange sapphire with 288 facets 'Jacob Cut', which rotates on its axis every 60 seconds and turns around the dial every 20 minutes.
How well has the UAE taken to the brand?
The UAE and the Middle East is very much part of our global strategy as it is a key location for many of our clients. The brand has always been successful in the area because the UAE clientele is looking for sophisticated and trendy design with the highest quality, characteristics belonging to my watches and jewellery.
The recent opening of our boutique in Dubai’s Mall of Emirates back in February illustrates our will to deeply assert Jacob & Co. as a one of the major luxury company in the region.
Who is the average Jacob & Co. customer?
I like to think that Jacob & Co. is more than a luxury brand. It sets an actual lifestyle for those wearing its creations. We have a wide range of customers going from the finest watch collectors to young urban professionals. Jacob & Co. also offers jewellery timepieces for the sophisticated women surrounding us.
How important are celebrity endorsements to you?
I’m lucky that I don’t have to make celebrity endorsements a strategy of communication as it is a spontaneous phenomenon that notables wear Jacob & Co. products. I have the chance that my creations caught the eyes of celebrities, singers, actors, athletes, show business men and women… Today, I am proud to see my creations dazzling red carpets. I am also deeply grateful that my first celebrity clients are still loyal to the brand and that we even got to develop this relationship into friendship.
Are you a fan of smartwatches?
Smartwatches are a fun toy that I don’t really consider as watchmaking, but more as an electronic device very convenient when you are playing sports for instance.