Tuesday, March 20

Jaeger-LeCoultre - Series Watch

Jaeger-LeCoultre Amvox3 Tourbillon GMT - $85,000

Limited edition of 300 pieces

New Amvox for 2008.

Its round ceramic case is the first ever made in this material by Jaeger-LeCoultre. It houses the automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 988 tourbillon movement, driving two time-zone displays and a date making a larger jump between the 31st day and the 1st day of each month so as not to obstruct the full view of the tourbillon mechanism. The extraordinary open-worked dial enables one to admire the ruthenium-coated bridges and baseplate, as well as the blackened central bridge of the AP/PM indicator.

As befits such supreme exclusivity, the AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT will be produced in a limited edition reflecting that of Aston Martin cars, also issued in small series so as to remain a luxury reserved for a privileged few.

A mixture of zirconium and yttrium oxides is heated at high pressure to a temperature of over 2000 degrees so as to combine the two components into strongly cohesive blocks. To avoid any risk of porosity, the homogeneity of the material is also subjected to radioscopic scrutiny. This material is then ground in order to shape the case. This stage is performed with five-axle CNC equipment in order to specifically work on each facet and each contour of the complex AMVOX case. This final stage calls for the use of special tools coated in diamond crystals as well as diamond powders for polishing. The type of ceramics used by Jaeger-LeCoultre features peerless resistance and stability, for a material that is barely harder than titanium, as well as far lighter and twice as hard as steel.

The AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT houses a high-performance movement that enjoys the privilege of incorporating the patented oscillating weight of Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 988C, the movement powering the Master Compressor Extreme LAB. This 21st century automatic movement is distinguished by the presence of a new oscillating weight featuring redesigned geometrical shape and affording a considerable improvement in winding performances. Its weight is 28% lower than classic rotors, since it is made from an alloy of platinum and iridium, the densest non-toxic physical body currently machinable. The use of avant-garde materials also serves to slim down the construction and achieve a far thinner result. Its arms are made from carbon fibers so as to make them lighter and more rigid. Friction is further reduced by mounting the oscillating weight on tiny ceramic ball-bearings. The design of the parts and the nature of the materials used in making them further enhance their shock-resistance and their durability.

The black hue of the case, the numerals and the dial echoing the characteristic structure of car radiator grids, makes a striking contrast with the 18-carat pink gold of the polished crown, the back bezel and the double folding clasp, as well as with the gilded accents of the luminescent broad pointers including a delicately open-worked minute hand.

Since the AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT is intended for devotees of mechanical engineering, whether dedicated to automobiles or to precision timekeeping, it naturally sought to provide an ample view of the exceptional capacities of its revolutionary mechanism - starting at 6 o'clock, with a clear vision of the fascinating motion of the tourbillon. Its grade 5 titanium carriage features ruthenium-coated bevelled, drawn and polished edges and weighs no less than 280 mg. The 4N gold-plated upper bridge features a splendid open-worked design vividly evoking of the finest hours of automobile sports. The tourbillon is equipped with a variable-inertia balance oscillating at a cadence of 28,800 vibrations per hour.

The indispensable dual time-zone display is indicated by an additional hour hand and complemented by the ever useful AM/PM indication at 12 o'clock.

The main hour hand is adjustable in one-hour backward or forward increments by rotating the crown. The slender date hand pointing to the monthly calendar inscribed around the inner dial ring, performs a jump between the 31st day and the 1st day: an exceptional accomplishment for which a patent has been registered.

Further revealing the feats achieved by Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 988, the central dial opening affords fascinating glimpses of the ruthenium-coated bridges and baseplate, as well as of the central AM/PM indicator blackened with a PVD coating.

Jaeger-LeCoultre's designers have fitted the case of the AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT with a sapphire crystal case-back.

Its appearance echoes that of the Aston Martin world through its avant-garde movement, its generous black ceramic case measuring 44 mm in diameter - a cutting-edge achievement in its own right - and aesthetic reminders relating to the signature codes of prestige automobiles, such as the driver's strap in perforated black calfskin with white overstitching and the winged Aston Martin logo appearing at 6 o'clock on the dial and admirably matching the brand's emblematic J and L capital letters at 12 o'clock.

Issued in a limited, numbered series of 300, the AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT combines admirable strength and elegance, entirely dedicated to the masters of speed and of time.

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