Of all the collaborations between watchmakers and automakers, the partnership between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin yields some of our favorite results. The Swiss timekeepers and the British purveyor and racer of GTs have together given birth to four wristwatches in the AMVOX range, including tourbillons, GMTs, alarms, chronographs and even transponders capable of unlocking an Aston's doors. Now they've released their fifth: the AMVOX5 World Chronograph.
Inspired by Aston's all-conquering race cars, the AMVOX5 is driven by JLC's own Calibre 752 movement, with a column wheel, vertical clutch chronograph and lubricant-free ceramic ball-bearing mechanism. The movement is encased in either ceramic and titanium or 18-karat rose gold, and can instantly display the time in any zone around the world. They even replaced London on the bezel with Gaydon, home to Aston's headquarters. How's that for attention to detail?
Only 300 and 200 examples will be made in ceramic/titanium and gold, respectively, with an additional two 100-example racing versions to be launched in the near future. If you like what you see, have a closer look in the gallery below and in the press release after the jump.
The fifth watch borne out of the partnership between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin
The AMVOX5 World Chronograph, the first timepiece in the AMVOX collection associating the chronograph with worldtime functions, celebrates the fifth watch borne out of the shared values of two exceptional brands: absolute respect for the noblest traditions; and the tireless pursuit of perfection.
The Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux and the famous British sports car maker are fuelled by the same passion: a love of mechanical beauty be it of the automobile or horological type. Jaeger-LeCoultre is the only manufacturer to unite over 40 professions and skills under a single roof, from watchmakers and artisans who perpetuate and enrich the heritage passed on by former generations, to microtechnical engineers and cutting-edge technology specialists. "Striving for success is one of the cornerstones of our partnership. The fabulous accomplishments that have punctuated the history of our brands have led to decisive breakthroughs, both in watchmaking and in car manufacturing", said Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Jérôme Lambert.
Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez said: "Aston Martin and Jaeger-LeCoultre enjoy a highly productive collaboration, one which shares the values of each brand perfectly. The similar approach to manufacture, attention to detail and craftsmanship lends itself perfectly to this latest time piece in the AMVOX range.
Shared passion and historical roots
Jaeger-LeCoultre is reviving a prestigious although little-known chapter in its long history. In the wake of World War I, Edmond Jaeger had undertaken a daring diversification into a sector of which only a visionary mind could imagine the future importance: the automobile industry.
Thanks to their accuracy and reliability, Jaeger counters soon appeared on the most luxurious cars of the era. From the 1920s onward, the speedometers made in the Vallée de Joux earned an unassailable market position, with 95% of motor-racing competitions won by cars equipped with Jaeger counters. To meet the steadily increasing demand, Jacques-David set up a workshop in London which within a few years became a leading producer in the field of automobile dashboard instruments.
AMVOX1 Alarm : legendary design and iconic function
It was however not until the 21st century when the longstanding ties between Jaeger-LeCoultre and the automobile world returned to the spotlight. The doubtless predestined encounter between two exceptional brands – one Swiss, the other English – soon took the form of a broad-scale endeavour blending avant-garde and traditional elements. Like Aston Martin cars, the horological creations bearing the emblematic Jaeger-LeCoultre signature are patiently crafted in the company workshops and embody an ideal blend of hand workmanship and innovative technologies.
The AMVOX1 Alarm watch unveiled in 2005 is the perfect symbol of this symbiosis between two visions of mechanical engineering. Epitomising a new take on the spirit of automobile competition, the AMVOX1 Alarm brilliantly plays on the contrasts between contemporary accents and historical references, revealed through its original dial design featuring thecharacteristic 270° sweep of car speedometers from the 1920s and 1930s; as well as in the alarm function representing a playful allusion to the famous Memovox alarm watches produced by the Manufacture during the 1950s.
The exceptional design of the first watch in the line was matched by the technical characteristics of its striking mechanism: a suspended gong with an unusual shape had been specially developed to guarantee a sound of peerless clarity and sonorous fullness.
AMVOX2 Chronograph: The vertical-trigger chronograph revolution
The shock wave generated by the introduction of the second AMVOX model is still reverberating. The sheer scope of the change embodied by the AMVOX2 Chronograph easily explains its massive impact on the watch industry. Based on a truly revolutionary concept, the world's first vertical-trigger chronograph stemmed from a technical feat that swept the case sides clean of the pushers indispensable to traditional chronographs, thereby providing the designers of the Manufacture with the creative freedom to imagine models featuring lines of unprecedented purity. Like all inventions from the Manufacture, the device is distinguished by its extreme user-friendliness.
Simply pressing the sapphire crystal at 12 o'clock stops and starts the measurement, while resetting is done by the same operation on the lower part of the crystal, at 6 o'clock. Never before had the chronograph function been so easy, intuitive and ergonomic. Since the advent of the vertical-trigger chronograph, measuring short times has become a natural extension of the user's hand movements. The ultimate driver's watch in turn paved the way for the AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT with its two-fold mechanical heritage.
AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT: horology meets high technology
Above and beyond the specific codes that immediately establish the automobile-related identity of this unparalleled watchmaking creation, the third model in the line, the AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT, immediately stakes its claim within the most exclusive fine watchmaking segment. The extraordinary Jaeger-LeCoultre 988 movement combines the precision of the tourbillon with two complementary functions: a dual time-zone display and a date indicated by a hand that makes a big leap between the 31st of the month and the 1st of the following month, in order to avoid spoiling the view of the constantly spinning tourbillon. The openworked dial provides a clear view of the bridges and mainplate, clothed in titanium in harmony with the finest watchmaking traditions. Nonetheless, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin are never content with "mere" excellence if it does not also comprise an innovative touch – which is why the case of the AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT will go down in history as the first ceramic case ever made by the Manufacture.
AMVOX Transponder: an ideal synthesis of watchmaking and automobile elements
A watch featuring perfect watchmaking technical characteristics, powered by Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 751 and incorporating the now famous vertical-trigger chronograph function, the AMVOX Transponder embodies the tangible link between the worlds of the two manufacturers. In this model, mechanics meets state-of-the-art technology, since the watch houses a transmitter microsystem that locks and unlocks an Aston Martin car. Jaeger-LeCoultre's engineers entirely redesigned the transponder module in order to integrate it within the back of the watch. The antenna metallised on the inside of the sapphire crystal serves as a transmitter and maintains its range, while keeping it far enough away from the watch mechanism to ensure it does not disturb the latter's reliability. The synergetic effects between the two industries have reached unprecedented levels in the AMVOX Transponder, which is a perfect example of the successful association of high-precision mechanics and avant-garde technical solutions.
AMVOX5 World Chronograph : the collection's first worldtime chronograph
In 2010, the AMVOX5 World Chronograph, the fifth creation in the line, has caused a sensation as the first Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece to boast both chronograph and worldtime functions. Its appearance comprises all the successful signature features of the AMVOX line: luminescent white numerals and hour-markers arranged in the classic 270° sweep; the openworked dial adorned with a gridwork motif evoking the radiator grilles on Aston Martin cars; as well as the time and chronograph functions displayed on round subdials complemented by a movement operating indicator at 6 o'clock above the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo. The inner bezel ring carries the cities symbolising the 24 time zones and enabling one to immediately check the time anywhere on the globe. In a subtle detail emphasizing the watch's automobile heritage, London is replaced by Gaydon, the town in Warwickshire where the prestigious Aston Martin cars are painstakingly made. The splendid mechanical Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 752 powering the AMVOX5 is distinguished by its exceptional accuracy and sturdiness. Its columnwheel and vertical-clutch chronograph, in harmony with the finest watchmaking traditions, boasts remarkable technical characteristics such as the lubricant-free ceramic ball-bearing winding mechanism, the large variable-inertia balance, and the laser-welded balance-spring, together ensuring peerless reliability and longevity.
This "all-road" calibre is housed within a case in high-tech ceramics and titanium or 18-carat pink gold. Its entirely in-house production is based on innovative cutting-edge processes identical to those used in the aeronautics and medical technology industries. Obtained by highpressure compaction of yttrium oxide combined with a binding substance and a small proportion of zirconium oxide, the mixture is then heated to 2000°C. After radioscopic testing of the homogeneity of the resulting material, the ceramic block is then machined using diamond-tipped tools. The deep black case which is significantly lighter than steel and twice as hard, guarantees the AMVOX5 World Chronograph unprecedented resistance and longevity, making it a timepiece able to stand the test of time without showing its age.
The AMVOX5 World Chronograph will be produced in editions of 300 in ceramics and titanium, and 200 in ceramics and pink gold. Two Racing versions, each issued in 100-piece limited editions, will appeal to motor-racing enthusiasts. The day/night disc on these models is distinguished by its striking black and orange or black and white shades. The large seconds hand also features an orange tint inspired by the Aston Martin racing-car prototypes. The chronograph counter discs are carbon-finished in a manner reminiscent of the LMP1 cars.
About Aston Martin
Aston Martin entered 2010 as Britain's most exclusive sports car company, a reputation the brand enjoys around the world. Since 2007, when Aston Martin entered independent ownership, the company has embarked on an ambitious programme of new product launches and expanded facilities. Today, Aston Martin is proud to manufacture an impressive range of sports cars at both its ultra-modern factory at Gaydon in Warwickshire and a new production facility in Graz, Austria. In addition, the company has an engine plant in Cologne, Germany, where it creates the bespoke Aston Martin V8 and V12 engines as well as an engineering test centre alongside the legendary Nürburgring race track. Innovation is a core component of the company, and quality of craftsmanship is paramount, ensuring every Aston Martin, including the Rapide, DBS, V12 Vantage, DB9 and V8 Vantage, represents the pinnacle of their class.
In 2010, Aston Martin launched the Rapide, a four-door sports car. Greeted with universal acclaim by the world's media, the Rapide can lay claim to being one of the most beautiful fourdoor cars ever made, a harmonious and elegant design that demonstrates Aston Martin's ongoing commitment to the car as a sculptural object. 2010 will also mark the birth of the One-77, Aston Martin's fastest and most advanced road car. This highly bespoke V12-powered supercar is undergoing extensive testing in advance of the first of 77 customer deliveries later in the year. Already, a development car has recorded a top speed in excess of 220mph, exceeding the already high expectations for Aston Martin's most powerful ever production model.
Founded in 1914 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, Aston Martin builds sports cars for the enthusiast, never losing sight of its sporting roots and craft heritage, all the while constantly innovating and improving production techniques, design technology, and product quality. Today, high technology processes are used in tandem with craftsmanship and hand-finished materials, ensuring each and every car is an individual statement as well as a class-leading performer. In 96 years, Aston Martin has produced just over 50,000 cars. This heritage is preserved by the company's famous Works Service, operating out of Aston Martin's historic premises in Newport Pagnell, Berkshire, and providing owners from 29 countries around the world with an unsurpassed level of customer care, as well as enhancement and restoration services.