Monday, November 01, 2004

Impressions of Jaeger LeCoultre AMVOX1.

Having been super privileged to really see, hold and wear the prototype s/s and Ti versions, I can hopefully give a few more impressions that don’t come across in even PR photos.

For me the most striking thing was that the case lugs are so cleverly profiled that the size of the watch disappears as it goes on your wrist. Remember AMVOX1 is officially 42mm dia. I look silly trying to wear a Compressor Memovox, yet AMVOX1 fits a treat. (My wrist is 7+” in circumference, or ~180 mm). I also particularly like the shape of the crystal, sitting high off the watch, which really evokes the original Memovox Dive Alarm (Polaris).

The middle crown controls the inner bezel – just like Polaris. It is 2 way and (without breaking confidences I think I can say that) for those concerned about the legibility of it, there are subtle improvements to the numeral size and ‘0’ register of the bezel in the pipeline compared to the watches that are shown in the PR photos. However, it’s done in a way so as not to lose the ‘car instrument’ theme – so it will not be as strongly visible as, say, the bezel on Compressor Memovox or Dualmatic.

Not surprisingly the Ti version is lighter, but interestingly it has a ‘brighter’ alarm timbre. The Ti version presents less direct dial contrast to the user, but I liked the circumferential brushing of the dial, something not present on the black dial. The black dial is very slightly glossy, although as a prototype, one cannot be precisely sure if that is quite production finish…. Either way, I personally prefer the black dial – shame it won’t be available in a Ti case!

Here's the press pack spec:
* hour, minute, centre seconds
* date
* alarm

* Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 918.
* mechanical automatic movement, crafted, assembled and decorated by hand
* 260 parts
* 28,800 vibrations per hour
* power-reserve of approximately 45 hours
* metal oscillating weight segment

* layout similar to that of vintage dashboard counters
* black for the special edition in steel
* ruthenium grey for the special edition in titanium
* circular satin-brushed
* white transferred luminescent numerals, charcoal-grey powdered hour-markers, white transferred luminescent alarm indication
* calypso hands, luminescent

* diameter 42 mm
* hollowed concave sapphire crystal, hardness N° 9
* Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin engraving on the case-back
* watch tested for 1000 hours
* water resistant to 50 metres

Case materials:
* limited series of 750 in titanium
* special edition in steel

* available in grained calfskin in black or chocolate brown
* Bridge of Weir leather, as used in the interiors of Aston Martin’s Vanquish and DB9 cars available as an option

* titanium model 190 T4 40
* stainless Steel model 190 84 70

Finally, I heard differing stories on whether there would be a bracelet option. For me, I would have to say, yes please! Perhaps someone from the Manufacture can enlighten us.