Originally released in 2012, the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 is part of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s on going relationship in making timepieces in partnership with automobile maker Aston Martin. In my opinion, this is one of the few car/watch relationships that has been successful but, in this case, remains extremely niche. What I love about Jaeger-LeCoultre is the incredibly diversity of the brand in terms of not only their designs and product lines, but also in the movements they offer. Jaeger-LeCoultre produces their cases and movements in-house, so you see a wonderful integration between the two that you very rarely see in other brands.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 is a wonderful example of this concept at work, as the unique mechanical movement plays with the case in ways you will simply not see elsewhere. What do I mean? Well, the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 contains a chronograph, but one that is not activated via traditional pushers on the sides of the case. How do you operate the chronograph? By pressing on the top or bottom of the crystal over the dial. That’s right, this feature, which was originally debuted on an earlier Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX model, allows you to operate the chronograph by literally pressing on the case. The action is fluid and works surprisingly well, given that you are using a sapphire crystal as the way to start, stop, or reset the chronograph complication.
On the left side of the case is a switch that allows you to lock the crystal so as not to accidentally activate the chronograph – a useful feature that I appreciate was designed into the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 ref. 194T470. I will actually take this opportunity to point you to our original article debuting the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 watch here, back in 2012, where you can learn more about the background of the watch. Visually the watch is interesting, but when you wear it, the full experience allows for an entirely different type of appreciation.
I continue to mention that Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the best sports watch makers that doesn’t like to talk about their sports watches. For 2015, we saw the brand release the first non-limited edition version of the Master Compressor Extreme Lab 2 – which is one of my favorite luxury sport watches of all time. It almost feels like the high-end sports watches Jaeger-LeCoultre produces come out of some quiet skunkworks arm of the company while the rest of them are busy thinking about new Reverso and other dress watches.
In fact, it is unclear what Jaeger-LeCoultre’s future is going to be in terms of new product development, but I really want to see them producing as many modern sports watches as possible in addition to their dressier watches and more vintage inspired sports watches. Anyhow, back to the ultra-modern Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 which, by design, is trying to be as futuristic as possible. Little is held back in attempting to create a sense of visual “wow” in the 44mm-wide titanium case (a gold version is also available).
Detailing is really ramped on the dial which is perhaps best described as “anti-minimalist.” This is certainly a watch with a design inspired by the technology generation. It is true that legibility does suffer a bit thanks to the barrage of lines, levels, and textures on the dial, but the large hour and minute hands as well as luminant do ensure that the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 is not a difficult watch to read.
Those concerned about dual-branded timepieces thanks to the Aston Martin relationship quite literally have nothing to worry about. The branding integration with Aston Marin is minimal at most. Can you even see the Aston Martin logo on the dial? I’ll give you a hint; it is located between the 2 and 3 o’clock hour markers on the outside of the dial. There are probably people who’ve worn this watch for weeks without noticing that small element. There is more significant Aston Martin branding on the rear of the case.
I really like the semi-skeletonized dial that doesn’t create an obvious mechanical peep show for in-house made movement, but offers a little bit of a view through parts of the face. Unfortunately this particular watch does not have an exhibition caseback with a view of the movement. I think that would have been extremely appropriate for this watch and would have better occupied the inner space of the caseback.
The case has its own quick-release system for the straps which takes the form of small levers on each point of the case on its rear. There are various types of quick release systems out there allowing people to switch out straps without tools. One issue with systems like this is that you are limited to straps provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 strap is wonderfully complicated but it is also entirely custom, so you can only get replacements or alternatives directly from the brand.
At 44mm wide, this watch sits a bit larger on the wrist, given its bold design and thickness, but at the end of the day, it is a rather comfortable watch. While the design is a matter of taste, I think that most people will be able to appreciate the significant level of detail Jaeger-LeCoultre has applied to the case as well as the dial. The Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 only has 50 meters of water resistance, though, and I would have loved for it to be 100 meters. Who doesn’t want to go swimming with a watch like this? Actually, that reminds me to tell Jaeger-LeCoultre to please produce a diving version of the AMVOX or Master Compressor Extreme collection.
After all, the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 is a driving-inspired watch, so water is not where you would be taking it. I suppose if you look closely, you might find some automobile-inspired elements, but I just sort of see it as a modern sports watch (I actually prefer that it does not appear to be linked to any specific activity).
So let’s talk about the movement, which is probably why most people are going to be interested in this complex little car-inspired wrist-worn creation. If you know Jaeger-LeCoultre, then you are familiar with their positive reputation for making some excellent as well as exotic movements. While simple Reverso watches might be their bread and butter, the more exotic models that the brand produces tend to hold my attention more.
Inside the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 is the caliber 756 automatic movement. It is produced from 335 pieces and operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph) with a nice power reserve of 65 hours. Did you notice the power reserve indicator on the dial? Two arching scales move red lines simultaneously to the 12 o’clock position on the dial as the power reserve indicator fills up. It is a beautiful and useful way of indicating the power reserve and shows some of the forward thinking that exists even in a conservative watch maker.
The two main subdials on the face are used to count the chronograph hours and minutes. A smaller dial is located over the 6 o’clock point on the dial and has a seconds hand. It is hard to read, so you can think of it more like “movement operation hand” that shows you the movement is functioning. You also have a date indicator window at 6 o’clock right under the running seconds hand. These features along with the unique chronograph operation system make for a very inspired, very original design that is nevertheless useful and ergonomic.
No doubt timepieces such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 will remain a niche favorite, but I think that is a good thing. The people who can afford and love these designs will be rewarded with a lot of exclusivity and detailed effort that come together to make timepieces you can really bond with. So while I am glad Jaeger-LeCoultre continues to produce watches like this, in a way, I appreciate that they aren’t the focus of the brand’s marketing arm, which might make them more commercial and less wonderfully unique. Current price for the reference 194T470 Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 7 watch in titanium is $27,000 (up from the original $26,000 price). jaeger-lecoultre.com
>Model: AMVOX 7
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Luxury watch lover with a focus on modern designs that wants something unique but appreciates that a well-established brand exists to service it.
>Best characteristic of watch: Cool design with interesting movement that speaks to the niche high-end sports watch lover keen on getting a product from an established, respected brand.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Proprietary lug system requires special straps. Legibility could be improved a bit. Would have benefited from display caseback.