Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX2 Transponder

04.29.14

  • AMVOX2

The new AMVOX2 Transponder watch embodies a blend of high-end mechanics and ingenious electronics. It offers the best of two diametrically opposing worlds and proves that no challenge is insurmountable for the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre.

With the AMVOX2 Transponder  a mechanical and electronic hybrid, the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre presents the latest result of its partnership with British sports car marque Aston Martin

In 2006 this cooperation led to an avant-garde horological innovation. In the first AMVOX chronograph, Jaeger-LeCoultre developed an entirely unprecedented mechanism to activate the chronograph start, stop and reset functions. On this timepiece, the traditional push-pieces on the right side of the case are replaced by a lever on the left enabling an instant check as to whether the sapphire crystal watch glass is “active” or not. In the “locked” position, it is blocked in a central, neutral position; while in “unlocked” mode it can be tipped upwards or downwards in relation to a central horizontal axis. The chronograph start, stop and reset functions are activated by pivoting the watch glass towards 12 or 6 o’clock. To start the chronograph, the wearer tilts the glass by pressing the edge of the crystal at 12 o’clock, and stops it by repeating the same move and thus breaking off the current timing operation. Meanwhile, the central seconds hand as well as the 30-minute and 12-hour counters are reset by pressing the edge of the crystal at 6 o’clock. The whole process is simple, ingenious and intuitive. There is absolutely nothing to distract the wearer of an AMVOX2 when he wants to start the chronograph.

The vertical-trigger action enabling this optimal user-friendliness is based on an entirely original mechanism. On the edge of the case, beneath the glass, a ball-and-socket joint uses the leverage effect generated by the pressure exercised on the crystal and thus controls the chronograph functions by transmitting precise impulses. Each of the levers involved in the process is mounted on a miniature stainless steel ball-bearing mechanism containing seven 0.1 mm-diameter balls. The ‘engine’ powering the AMVOX2 chronograph is Calibre 751E: a column-wheel driven, vertical-clutch movement developed and produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre, featuring a 65-hour power reserve and an index-free Swiss lever escapement. The watchmaker adjusts any variations in rate of the watch using four tiny screws placed around the rim of the balance. These screws enable him to spread the weight in a carefully targeted manner and to thereby rapidly compensate for any existing imbalance.  Extrapolating a little to the automobile world, this operation is comparable to balancing the forged aluminium wheels and performance tyres on an Aston Martin. The rotor serving to wind Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 751E is mounted on a ceramic ball-bearing mechanism requiring no maintenance, guaranteeing that all wrist movements will be sustainably transformed into new energy for the barrel of the AMVOX2. 

The major difference between the 2014 version of this timepiece and the original 2006 model lies in its remote lock/unlock function controlling the doors of an Aston Martin. For the new 2014 AMVOX2 Transponder, Jaeger-LeCoultre has integrated the remote lock/unlock function which enables the wearer to control the doors of their Aston Martin within the watch case. Some may well recall that there were already certain AMVOX watches equipped with this function and that is indeed so, since Jaeger-LeCoultre had already developed the concept for the AMVOX DBS Transponder, AMVOX2 DB9 Transponder and AMVOX2 Rapide Transponder. However, these versions were thus named because they worked exclusively with the Aston Martin DBS, DB9 or Rapide cars – and not, like The new AMVOX2 Transponder is compatible with all current model range Aston Martins. 

Owners of an AMVOX2 Transponder can use it to lock or unlock their Aston Martin from a distance or to find it easily by turning on the headlights. With the AMVOX2 Transponder, Aston Martin drivers can now activate and programme these functions for all models currently in production. The watch does not however entirely replace the key of the car, for while opening and closing can indeed be operated using the Jaeger-LeCoultre watch, the Keyless Access function serving to start the engine of an Aston Martin by pressing the engine stop/start button still requires the presence of the ignition key. One particular detail deserves special attention: opening an Aston Martin by simply pressing the sapphire crystal of the watch procures the same feeling as when the driver starts the engine using the stop/start button – since both smooth moves involve pressing a round sapphire crystal surface.

This perfect interaction between watch and car is engineered via a micro-transmitter built into the double case-back of the AMVOX2. The antenna of the system, positioned directly beneath the watch glass, is however clearly visible. It has been meticulously applied by thermal vapour deposition between 8 and 4 o’clock so as to ensure optimal communication with the Aston Martin as well as low energy consumption, thus saving battery power. Jaeger-LeCoultre designers naturally took the opportunity to transform this technical constraint into a decorative feature on the watch. Two elegant and discreet sensors marked “Open” and “Close” have also been applied by thermal vapour deposition beneath the watch glass, and a light touch is enough to lock or unlock the Aston Martin and light up the headlights.

For the 2014 AMVOX2 Transponder, Jaeger-LeCoultre has further perfected the initial concept, which was to make a user-friendly chronograph for ambitious sports car drivers. The watch has the same vertical-trigger start, stop and reset system via the watch glass; the ingenious Jaeger-LeCoultre mechanism integrated beneath the dial to enable this activation; and the incomparable appeal of a chronograph free of the conventional stop/start pushers on the right side of the case. On the other hand, the microelectronics housed inside the double case-back of the AMVOX, together with the antenna applied by thermal vapour deposition to the watch glass and jointly serving to enable communication with the car have been further refined.

Nonetheless, this watch would not be a true Jaeger-LeCoultre if it did not offer a small yet remarkable distinctive feature. When the ‘heart?’ of the AMVOX2 Transponder, Calibre 751E, is in operation and making its characteristic ticking sound, the logo can be seen spinning on its axis at the rate of once a minute in a small window at 6 o’clock. If it stops, that means the watch has also stopped.