Jaeger Lecoultre Amvox II: Some thoughts on a pure product of design and technicality.
Let's see how the idea was born, and what are the key details of this watch.
The idea come from the Creation - Design Department of the manufacture, and more precisely from the collaboration of two talents, Magali Metrailler for the dial, and Francis Cretin for all the other parts of the watch ( case design and conception, hands, glass, the shape of the crown, well everything else ). The Creation-Design Department submitted the first sketch in December 2004, which was accepted, and the watch was unveiled one year after, in December 2005, before its official launch at the SIHH in April 2006.
The original sketch from December 2004:
As you can see, we are still a bit far from the definitive watch, as the chrono sub dials are conventional, as well the chrono lever which don't appear, on this sketch.
Description of the Patent:
" The watch has a case (9) with a fixed part (10) and a mobile part (11) comprising a middle (21) and a movement (23) that are pivotally mounted on the part (10) along a swivel axis (32) by a pivot (31) for performing a tilting movement of the part (11) along two opposite directions. The movement activates start/stop and zero reset chronograph functions and has control units controlling the functions of the movement, where the units are accessible from the exterior of the movement. Actuating mechanisms (44, 45) mounted in the middle transform the tilting movement into an action on the units."
The technical drawings:
Now, some pictures showing Francis Cretin and Magali Metrailler with the Amvox II Black Concept.
That being said, let's see the main details of this watch, and more specifically, the influence of automotive.
- The case:
The 44 mm big and 15, 35 high pivoting case makes me think of a sequential gear box. Indeed, as you know, this is the only chronograph to be activated by the glass, replacing the traditional pusher(s).
You want to start? Press the glass at 12 o clock. To stop the Chronograph, press once again at 12 o clock. Do you want to reset it to zero, press at 6 clock.
Like on a sequential gear box. You want to change up, you press the knob in one direction, and to change up, you activate the knob in the opposite direction. Simple, intuitive.
- The Crown:
Here, no hesitation, the crown is shaped like a fuel tank cap. Not an ordinary crown, for sure, but a very sensuous one. I have been told that the Creation - Design Department got their inspiration from a Vanquish. There is worse, as a source of inspiration.
- The Dial:
There are many things to say here.
- The most spectacular detail certainly is this aperture between 4 and 7 o' clock, showing the chronograph levers, in red, an evocation of the racing brake calipers.
- The red and yellow touches are typical from the sports car universe. Here, they are not too intrusive, as you can see.
- The applied hour markers make me think of a rev meter while the minutes ring can be seen as an allusion to a speedometer.
- The chronograph counters, ear shaped, remind me of the oil and water temperature indicators.
- Last detail, which can be noticed under a certain angle and light, the AM logo just under the axis of the hands.
To me, this watch is not far from perfection.
I would have changed two things on it, though: The date, of course, which ruins the dial a bit, and this curious, very curious alarm ring which doesn't have its place on a " Chronograph Only ". I would change it for a tachymeter, which would be much more appropriate for a racing chronograph.
To date, one of the most original modern chronographs, in my opinion. And one of my favorites, too.
Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts.
PD: I would like to thank Francis Cretin for the long discussions and the informations on the Amvox II. We both share Passion for this watch.