Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX2 DBS Transponder
August 19, 2008
The AMVOX2 DBS Transponder watch has been designed as a technological partner for the V12-engined DBS. It is the first mechanical timepiece to be created with the ability to control access to a luxury sports car. The Aston Martin DBS car is a true thoroughbred - the finest manifestation of Aston Martin's brand values of power, beauty and soul. Now Aston Martin is proud to announce this breakthrough timepiece handcrafted by the legendary Swiss watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre. [ Full Press Release ]
[ Jaeger-LeCoultre ]
[ Microsite: AMVOX2 DBS Transponder ]
Price/Availability: $40,750/Dec 2008
PRESS RELEASE: Courtesy of Marc Menant JLC
The AMVOX2 DBS Transponder is a fusion of traditional watchmaking expertise and high-tech engineering. Crafted exclusively for owners of the Aston Martin DBS, the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder is a collaboration that demonstrates the design and engineering affinity between these two long-established companies, both leaders in their respective fields and partners since 2004.
By integrating the transponder circuit into the body of the watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a timepiece that is entirely functional yet discrete, a masterpiece of miniaturisation and engineering that not only functions as a chronograph but as a key, making it the ultimate accessory for the ultimate sports car. Only Aston Martin dealers will be able to authorise the timepiece to 'read' and communicate with the owner's specific DBS car, ensuring that security and privacy are maintained at all times.
A powerful design inspired by cutting-edge engineering. The case and dial of the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder are highly detailed, featuring a suspended metallic grey DBS symbol, a discrete Aston Martin emblem on the movement operating indicator and ruthenium grey bridges, satin finish and a black dial that all evoke the DBS's instrument panel. The outer dial ring also has an opening that reveals the internal mechanisms of the chronograph and transponder functions, an allusion to the exposed brake callipers visible behind the sporting wheel rims of the DBS car.
The AMVOX2 DBS Transponder watch is a landmark in chronograph design, a timepiece that works in true synergy with the most spectacular and elegant luxury sports car on the market. A true collaboration between engineers from two distinguished brands with a collective history of innovation and elegance, the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder is a modern timepiece that truly demonstrates Aston Martin's core values and Jaeger-LeCoultre's mastery of high watchmaking. Dr Ulrich Bez, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin said: "This is the definitive expression of the partnership between Aston Martin and Jaeger-LeCoultre, I'm delighted that we have been able to premiere this technology in such an elegant solution. It is the first time horology and automotive engineering have been combined in this way."
Jerome Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of Jaeger-LeCoultre said: "This is one of the most exciting projects our team has developed in the area of functional innovation in watchmaking. The collaboration with all levels of the Aston Martin organisation has been deep and exhilarating, and no doubt this transpires in the breakthrough nature and design of the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder itself."
The AMVOX2 DBS Transponder incorporates a miniature transmitter system serving to lock and unlock Aston Martin DBS sports car, while maintaining the functions of the now famous vertical-trigger mechanism - the pushpiece-free chronograph. As the driver nears the car, all he need do is press the OPEN position on the watch glass (between 8 and 9 o'clock) in order to activate the door opening system, whereas doing the same thing on the CLOSE position between 3 and 4 o'clock will close the vehicle. The miniaturisation of the transponder module, housed on the base, its wiring and its transmitter antenna have been completely redesigned from a watchmaking perspective, combining technical inventiveness with a subtle and elegant integration within the overall design. The research and development required over 18 months of dedicated work by Jaeger-LeCoultre's engineers with intense collaboration from Aston Martin. While it is relatively easy to understand how to operate the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder, actually making it represents a daunting challenge in both technical and design terms. In a first phase, the engineers focused miniaturising each part of the transponder in order to reduce it to a size that could fit inside a watch case featuring a thickness and diameter ensuring optimal user-friendliness and comfort - while also meeting the technical and security specifications inherent to the car itself. The end result is a module weighing just a few grams and less than half the size of the same system inside the DBS key. Nonetheless, miniaturisation was just one of the stages in a global process that led researchers to entirely rethink the geometry and the wiring from a watchmaker's perspective - a high-tech feat that called for 18 months of meticulous engineering work.
Developers also had to take account of a major technical constraint. A mechanical watch acts like a Faraday's cage that protects the movements from the influences of electrical fields that may adversely affect the rating precision. Therefore, in order to endow the timepiece with the proverbial reliability of Jaeger-LeCoultre movements and to enable the transponder to operate despite the neighbouring metal oscillating weight, an innovative antenna had to be created. The solution lay in placing the antenna as far as possible from the watch mechanism and the case, and lengthy research resulted in using the sapphire crystal as a medium. Measuring exactly 128 mm in length so as to guarantee an optimal range, the antenna is metallised on the inside of the sapphire crystal in a shape following the curve of the inner bezel ring and the hour-markers between 4 and 6 o'clock, and is connected at these strategic points to the locking control contact rectangles (OPEN and CLOSE).
The AMVOX 2 DBS Transponder builds on the AMVOX2 Chronograph, first introduced in 2006. The Chronograph was a revolution in watchmaking, with a start, stop and reset mechanism operated by pushing on the sapphire crystal face of the watch; there are no push-buttons. The mechanism within the AMVOX2 is extraordinarily sophisticated, using 0.1mm diameter bearings to give mechanical feedback to the stop-start action using the dial. With a 65-hour power reserve to ensure optimum accuracy, the chronograph is engineered to remain stable in all conditions.
Contrary to the chronograph vertical-trigger mechanism based on pivoting the entire case and bezel, activating and deactivating the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder locking system does not involve any displacement of any part of the watch, occurring instead merely by making contact with the OPEN and CLOSE zones. This connection is facilitated by capacitive technology, which has the property of reacting to touches on a given surface.
The AMVOX2 DBS Transponder features design characteristics that are shared with fine Aston Martin cars. From the distinctive 270 degree sweep of the black dial that resemble dashboard counters, to the luminescent numerals and white dials that evoke the DBS interior at night. The outer dial ring, with its circular satin finish, is interrupted between 4 and 8'o'clock to provide a glimpse of the lever mechanism that underpins the chronograph.