The new Jaeger-Lecoultre AMVOX2 Transponder doesn’t just have a cool name and a handsome face; it offers its wearer the opportunity to be just a little bit more “Bond” with its ingenious in-built technology.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre/Aston Martin dalliance is an enviable partnership. The two companies first did business together as far back as the 1930’s, but a structured relationship was not formed until 2004. The annual AMVOX editions are notable for their understated representation as both parties prefer to convey their branding through subtle styling and trick features, rather than taking the easier route of in-your-face logos on the dial.
This year’s AMVOX has similar technology to a model which was unveiled in 2006. It was a highly innovative chronograph timepiece which was, and still is, very avant-garde. What made that model so unusual, was the fact that its chronograph start, stop and reset functions were not activated using traditional pushpieces, but by an “active” crystal. To begin timing, the wearer tilts the glass by pressing on the sapphire crystal at the 12 o’clock and stops the timing function by repeating the same action. Reset is actioned by simply pressing the sapphire at 6 o’clock – I say “simply” but of course it is anything but simple.
Beneath the glass, at the edge of the dial, a ball-and-socket joint uses the leverage which is generated by the pressure exercised on the crystal on activation. This controls the chronograph functions by transmitting precise impulses. Each of the levers involved is mounted on a miniature stainless steel ball-bearing mechanism containing seven 0.1 mm-diameter balls. Clumsy fingers cannot trigger the mechanism without first activating the dial, using the lever on the left side of the case. A top-notch techy feature then, one which you’d think couldn’t be bettered – but this year’s AMVOX watch doesn’t just have the fancy sapphire timing functions, it also cements the relationship between car and watch in a most exclusive and unique manner.
Built into the double case-back of the 2014 AMVOX2 model is a micro-transmitter, which enables the wearer to control the doors of their Aston Martin using their watch with just a light touch on the sapphire on the section marked “Close” and “Open”. The antenna for the device which has been applied using thermal vapour depositation and is clearly visible between the 8 and 4 o’clock, has also been designed to operate using minimum power so as not to affect the timekeeping abilities of the watch.
Inside the Calibre 751E features a column-wheel chronograph and vertical-clutch mechanism has a power reserve of 65 hours, generous considering the features which this piece packs in – but to save the embarrassment of a non-event while trying to impress your lady friend, the little logo which is viewable through the window at 6 o’clock will stop spinning on its axis if the piece has stopped working allowing you to quickly find your car keys instead. Jaeger-Lecoultre and Aston Martin have, in the spirit of Mr. Bond’s Quartermaster, quite simply thought of everything. Price for the watch is $29,500