This is the Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon Bucherer Blue.
It just came back from the International Space Station and will soon be auctioned off for charity through Sotheby’s.
The Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon Bucherer Blue isn’t the first watch to have gone to space, of course, and some might argue it isn’t even the most prestigious in terms of the name it carries.
And yet there are a couple of reasons why this may be end up breaking a few records.
Is it just a marketing stunt?
The short answer is: yes and no.
Most people are familiar with the Omega Speedmaster, and we know that it went to the moon because astronauts were issued one by NASA.
And a lot of people are also aware of the story behind the Bulova that went to space.
In 1971, Apollo 15’s commander David Scott had to wear his own personal Bulova for the mission because the Omega he was supposed to use wasn’t working properly.
The story behind the Astronomia watch is different, this watch went to space as part of a marketing exercise.
On April 8, four people travelled to the ISS as part of the Rakia mission, which was essentially a private trip to space for four people, two astronauts and two businessmen.
The astronaut and leader of the mission, Eytan Stibbe, wore the Astronomia and took the pictures you see here.
The thing is, the watch spent more than 17 days in the absence of gravity.
It orbited the Earth 273 times, travelling at nearly 17,500 mph at an altitude of 250 miles.
This would put a lot of stress on any watch and the Astronomia is actually a triple-axis tourbillon, which in theory is one of the most fragile complications on a watch.
So yeah, it was a marketing exercise, but it was also a technical demonstration of what the watch can do.
And on top of that, the proceeds are going to charity.
How much will the Astronomia watch go for?
It’s always nearly impossible to predict the outcome of an auction.
Having said that, it’s safe to say that the Astronomia will end up setting a few records for a couple of reasons.
First of all, the actual Bulova that went to space was sold for $1.3 million at auction in 2015 but the Astronomia is worth nearly a million dollars.
That’s basically the price tag if you want to buy a new one.
In addition to that, we know that today’s buyers are willing to spend more on rare and unique items at auction.
Sotheby’s declined to make the estimate public so we will know when the auction actually takes place on July 26.
However, considering the story behind it, and the fact that that Jacob & Co. watches are extremely sought after at the moment, a winning bid in excess of $2 million might actually be realistic.