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by George Skentzos

The Aston Martin brand personifies sophistication, and with the new DBS about to star in the latest James Bond epic, this latest accessory could easily convince someone they had a license to kill.

In conjunction with its watch partner Jaeger LeCoultre, Aston Martin has created the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder – a must for any 007 wannabe.

This isn’t just a pretty watch; the highly detailed timepiece integrates a discrete remote which communicates with the owner’s specific DBS.

Aston Martin DBS secret agent watch

In short, it can tell the time as well as lock and unlock the DBS – secret agent style.

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.”

As the driver approaches the car, they tap the watch face between 8 and 9 o’clock to unlock the door, or tap between 3 and 4 o’clock to lock it.

From a technical perspective, this has been quite an achievement, with engineers focussing on miniaturising each part of the transponder in order to reduce it to a size that could fit inside a watch case.

Aston Martin DBS secret agent watch

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.

For the techno-geeks out there, here are some of the technical details from the press release outlining the design process of the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder:

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 resembles 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.




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