Jaeger Lecoultre Amvox II: Some thoughts on a pure product of design and technicality.

Jan 04, 2022,08:29 AM

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.

More posts: Amvox1 AlarmAmvox2Aston MartinJaeger LeCoultreVanquish

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Comments: view entire thread


Amazing watch and mechanism, Nico!

 By: MCG (Markus) : January 4th, 2022-12:34
I like it from a design and concept standpoint. Always liked it. However, I find the innovation a bit „searched for“ because the button operation has proved to be intuitive, incredibly reliable and operation-save. I am not sure here. And to be honest, I d... 

Thank you so much!

 By: kkochheiser : January 4th, 2022-13:17
Great insights and drawings. Now I need to get mine out of the safe and back on my wrist! Kent

Thanks for the excellent write-up!

 By: diegofox  : January 4th, 2022-14:45
Such an original watch… 👍

Yes, unique, indeed.

 By: amanico : January 4th, 2022-15:40

Fabulous review Nicolas!

 By: mhz vph : January 4th, 2022-15:02
Amazing to see the technical drawings for this marvel.

Very nice and comprehensive review of a fantastic watch! Thanks Nico!

 By: eklektik : January 4th, 2022-15:22
I've been very lucky to see it in real thanks to you! When one reads about it, ones finds the concept fantastic. But when one sees it, what a master piece! On my wish list, definitely! And near the top! One remark from your introduction: on the very first... 

Timeless masterpiece.

 By: InHavenPro : January 4th, 2022-15:36
Thank you for posting this story again here, I am sure I have read it a dozen times by now but it is perpetually impressive each time I re-visit these details. I love the original version as exemplified here, but I most adore the Paris boutique 'racing' v... 

The drawings....

 By: InHavenPro : January 4th, 2022-18:34
of the design and mechanisms truly 'nail home' the authentic artistry of these creations!


 By: amanico : January 4th, 2022-20:51

I cannot say I have enjoyed a post more than this one in a long while

 By: respo : January 4th, 2022-16:25
Thank you for this! It is so good to see the technical drawings. You remind me of all the details to love about the AMVOX chrono, particularly the original generation. Your couple of critiques about the dial also gave me something to think about. Well don... 

A great piece from JLC's period of renaissance.

 By: vitalsigns : January 4th, 2022-17:08
The Amvox chrono really features what is so good about JLC--true engineering skill (and what is often lacking in other makers, despite those other makers charging much higher prices). Great review, thanks! John

Thanks bro… a magical review so well illustrated and interesting.

 By: Alfihar : January 5th, 2022-05:52
I would have add more details on the particular functioning of the movement of this chronograph. You can fully understand how the trigger works by pressing on the glass, a little how the energy was transmitted under the glass by looking at the drawings of... 

Wow ! Thanks for sharing mon ami!

 By: Horology75 : January 5th, 2022-07:32
Surely more to appreciate in this watch

Wow !.. What a great review.. These drawings and the patent submission material is..

 By: hs111 : January 5th, 2022-13:24
.. simply amazing, even after 17 yrs (!). Next to my Duometre à Chronograph, which plays in another league, this superb Chrono is one of my fav Chronos (if not THE fav..). Here some greetings from my own Amvox-2, DBS type. For me, the date is not a deal b...  

Not that the patent hasn't expired by now...

 By: watchme : January 5th, 2022-18:58
but this development was very costly. I have been saying that JLC could/should relaunch this design in another line and even (dare I say it?) relaunch the DBS version, which could be coded to open or close your car (any car). But I'm only dreaming..... -D... 

Wearing mine today because of this article

 By: cfnissen : January 6th, 2022-16:31
Thank you, Amanico. What a great angle on the Amvox 2! I ended up wearing my steel/titanium version today - and appreciating the chrono mechanism even more. It is such a special watch; quite large but very light, a chrono but it has no pushers, it has a d...