VCXO Ox One “Magic Button” Mechanical Watch With GPS Time Synchronization

VCXO Ox One “Magic Button” Mechanical Watch With GPS Time Synchronization

VCXO Ox One Magic Button Mechanical Watch With GPS Time Synchronization   watch releases

The VCXO Ox One is a bold new concept from a young Geneva-based brand which offers a rather unique bond between GPS technology and mechanical movements. While the accuracy of GPS-set quartz watches is universally acknowledged, most watch enthusiasts will agree mechanical watches tend to have more soul, thanks to their "beating heart," when the same can scarcely be said about electronic watches. With the Ox One, VCXO tries to achieve the best of both worlds by offering a watch with an automatic mechanical movement equipped with a GPS module on top, allowing for the synchronization of the time with data received through GPS technology. That sounds like some proper space-age technology, so let's discover how it works exactly.

VCXO Ox One Magic Button Mechanical Watch With GPS Time Synchronization   watch releases

Serving as the foundation of the watch is a TT-738 automatic movement from Swiss Technotime SA, an independent supplier that produces complete movements, movement modules and even balance springs. The movement runs at 4 Hertz (28,800 beats per hour) and packs a full 5-day power reserve thanks to its twin-barrel construction. It couples these impressive feats with COSC certified chronometer accuracy, as well as an instantaneously changing date. Sounds very promising, but how does GPS synchronization come into play?

The key to that is set into the side of the case at the 9 o'clock position and is quite straight-forwardly called the "Magic Button." I just love how it could have said something like "Adjust time," "GPS Sync" or anything else relatively closely linked to its actual function; but no, it is the "Magic Button." I guess that indicates how much effort goes into these inventions and just how fond the inventor grows of his work in the process. At times there is good reason for that, and the concept behind the Ox One is no exception.

In practice, by pressing this button, the wearer activates an integrated GPS-chip that is responsible for receiving data from satellites, comprising the exact time that corresponds with the watch's momentary position. Once that data has been compiled, a small motor linked to this chip will set the hour and minute hands to the accurate time. To make things even more complicated—and perhaps more simple from the user's perspective—the Ox One does away with the ordinary winding crown as we know it.

VCXO Ox One Magic Button Mechanical Watch With GPS Time Synchronization   watch releases

The image above gives us a look at the other side of the watch. Immediately noticeable is the presence of a button, residing exactly where the crown is usually located. This button serves no other purpose then winding the automatic movement, and as such, it cannot be used to set the time. Our first thought upon seeing this rather unusual feature concerned the setting of the time when GPS reception is not available—like at a time when the watch is used indoors, at a location where there is no reception, or in an unlikely post-apocalyptic scenario.

In our conversation with the brand's founder, Adrian Pedrozo, his response to our concerns was that the GPS chip is designed to keep track of the time even if the automatic movement runs out of its 120 hours of power reserve. Therefore, once its owner breathes new life into the mechanical movement, upon pressing the "Magic Button" the time will be set to the exact time that is in accordance with the last known location's setting, even if there is no GPS-data received. He also told us that the motors setting the hands are powered by a battery which in turn is charged by one of the two barrels of the movement. How exactly that works is something the brand is not ready to share with the public before the actual launch of the watch.

VCXO Ox One Magic Button Mechanical Watch With GPS Time Synchronization   watch releases

Now that we are familiar with the basics of how the mechanical movement and the GPS chip function together, the key question is how successfully can all this technology be packed into a watch case that remains actually wearable? Well, the VCXO Ox One will come in a 46 millimeters wide and just 9 millimeters thick case, keeping the watch at the wearable side of things, especially once its complicated movement and the lack of a protruding crown is taken into consideration. It is said to be water resistant to 3 atmospheres, the equivalent of 30 meters, which is acceptable for a watch with such technological advancements and more elegant than sporty looks.

In conclusion, the VCXO Ox One promises to be a genuinely interesting concept that strives to successfully merge the two opposing worlds of mechanical and electronic watches. Unfortunately, it will be at least 6 months from now before we see the first batch of watches delivered, forcing us to wait a little longer before we get to press that "Magic Button" for the first time. The VCXO Ox One will be available in non-limited editions executed in stainless steel and black ceramic, as well as a numbered run of 25 pieces in pink gold with pre-order prices coming in at $9,150, $11,200 and $41,150 respectively. vcxo-watches.com

16 comments
thornwood36
thornwood36

Wow......................enough said 

spiceballs
spiceballs

Interesting concept and attractive watch if a little on large size, and lume? Better water-resistance (50 to 100m?) might help? I look forward to Ablogtowatch hands-on review.

CrashTestAddict
CrashTestAddict

That black version is just stunning, and the gold one. I'm in awe of this piece.

TheBalanceWhl
TheBalanceWhl

I'm all over the ceramic with carbon seconds. Really excited about this watch. 

Feller87
Feller87

Wow, intensely cool watch.


I love how unlike other smart-mechanical watches, this one has the mechanism in the watch charge the GPS chip. Which means technically that the real power source in the watch is from the "old school" mechanical movement.


Maybe it will help purists see this watch in a different light then other examples in this new category.


I am waiting for them to come out with a world timer that uses this capability in some fashion to magically change between 2 or 3 time zones having a Home time function.


Maybe a small subdial or something to that effect.

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

I must have this watch.

Based on the video, only this watch will give my life meaning.

 If it means selling the ranch. I'm asking  $41,150+sales tax (cow included.)

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

It's not bad looking and a genuinely interesting proposal, if it works.  I'd love to see how they can cram all that stuff into a watch so thin.  Lately i've been mulling over an idea for a watch that is completely mechanical but with a totally smooth sweep like a Spring Drive, only without any electronics of course.  You'd be able to adjust it just like any other mechanical watch but it wouldn't tick.  Anyway, innovation such as this is a good thing and I welcome it.

Patrick Kansa
Patrick Kansa

Ok, now this is some pretty cool innovation, provided it all works as advertised.  I'll think of it as the next-gen iteration of the mecha-quartz movement.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Pretty cool! And not bad looking either- i'd wear it. Reminds me of a girl I dated in my younger years. She too had a magic button that activated her extremities. Not just the hands, either. 


But I digress - I would be very interested in a follow up on this one after a year of use or so, just to see how well it worked without the crown or traditional way to set it. 


Also, I would have to imagine that servicing this thing would be by the brand only - the watchmaker I use for service really knows a lot about all kinds of movements, but I doubt he would go anywhere near something like this. I don;t see that as something to put a lot of weight against when making a buying decision, and it's not a knock, but it did pop into my head. 

Frauss
Frauss

It all kind of sounds weird to me. Like putting a Google self driving navigator on a horse and carriage. And Magic Buttons!? "Just take these cute little pills and you will feel all better". Come on fellas!

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

I like the idea of it. Perhaps the future will bring more hybird watches. Like having a discreet solar cell that just powers a light (lume fades and tritium is only so bright). Or having the winding rotor also power a capacitor instead of a solar cell for the light. The time sync on this watch is a good mixed marriage idea also. Once you have electrical control of the hands, you can have a mechanical watch what uses quartz technology for chronograph operation with greater precision than all but the most exotic mechanical chronographs (and display the hundreds or thousandths of a second on a sub-dial when the stop pusher is pressed). And then resume mechanically driven time display when leaving chronograph mode. Or how about having just a stepper motor control the date so you get an affordable perpetual calendar watch the is 98% mechanical. Lots of possibilities...

gadgety
gadgety

Or I could manually set it with my phone as a reference. I like novelty, and Pedrozo is at least trying to find a new niche. 

"GPS chip is designed to keep track of the time even if the automatic movement runs out of its 120 hours of power reserve."

So how is the battery for the GPS chip, and for the motor that sets the time, charged? 

How long does it last/hold a charge?

What about water resistance? Some electronics fail due to moisture, even air borne.

Non graduated seconds removes the visible accuracy I would have liked to see on a GPS synched watch.

I would have preferred if Pedrozo had kept the winding and setting crown so that it could be done manually. The name OCXO Ox One is hilarious. Named after a quartz technology.

David  Bredan
David Bredan

@gadgety Thanks for your comment! Actually, we had those exact same questions and it took a bit of extra time to receive a proper reply from the brand – much of the information you see above is coming from a detailed conversation with Adrian. I have updated the article but I will also note everything here for you: water resistance will be 3 atmospheres/30 meters. The battery for the GPS chip and the motor setting the hands is said to be powered by one of the two barrels of the movement, but more exact information on how that functions is not public at this point. We feel it is a very interesting concept and I for one cannot wait to see how this thing performs on the wrist!

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