Jaeger-LeCoultre: The New Polaris

by Dr Kenny Pang

This is for the man who seeks to add a contemporary, elegant yet sporty watch to his collection.

Inspired by the iconic Memovox Polaris watch from 1968, Jaeger-LeCoultre presents the new Polaris collection comprising a three-hand Automatic, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox (a tribute limited edition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Memovox watch), a Chronograph and a Chronograph World Time.

To this day, each Jaeger-LeCoultre watch is designed, crafted, assembled from start to end under one roof. The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection channels the best of the Grande Maison’s watchmaking tradition, where the high manufacturing know-how and design aesthetic is evident in the robust and elegantly sporty pieces presented.

The New Polaris Collection Highlights (reference text from Jaeger-LeCoultre ):

The Polaris Automatic, images courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

The dial architecture in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection is distinctive, combining a mixture of finishings on three concentric circles: a Memovox Polaris-inspired center with a sunray finish, graining on the outer circle with th e hours and minutes, and an opaline finish on the rotating inner bezel.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre logo is applied, as are the classic Arabic numbers and the contemporary trapezoidal indexes.

The hands are large and filled with Super-LumiNova™ for excellent visibility in low light.

In two models, the Super-LumiNova™ is vintage vanilla-colored as an homage to the look of Tritium featured on the original Memovox Polaris.

Historically black, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris is offered in a black or ocean blue dial. (We appreciate this. A nice inclusion, in time to join in the blue dial trend that is seemingly here to stay.)

The cases for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection are brand new, with proportions designed for an elegant sports watch. They feature an eye-catching combination of brushed and hand-polished surfaces, with sharp, plunging lugs and thin, rounded bezels. The large crowns, emblematic of the 1968 model, have been redesigned for better grip.

The exhibition backs of three pieces in this new collection show off the high watchmaking manufacture movements, complete with an oscillating weight featuring the emblematic Jaeger-LeCoultre logo.

A newly designed three-link metal bracelet with polished and brushed finished surfaces is ergonomic and comfortable. The straps are interchangeable for both alligator leather and calfskin. The latter is offered in both light and dark brown version with an aged leather patina. A new graphic folding buckle featured on leather straps echoes the case design with a combination of polished and brushed surfaces.

The Polaris Date:

Vintage Polaris 1968, image courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre 

The Polaris Date reinforces the collection’s link to the original Polaris from 1968.  Like the original, this watch uses the same design codes:

  • Vanilla Super-LumiNova™,
  • the triangle along with trapezoidal indices mixed with four Arabic numbers
  • a railway track for the minutes, and
  • features a date at three o’clock.

The case for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date features a glass box where the crystal is raised from the case, evoking its vintage inspiration.

Additionally, the case back is closed and features an engraving of a SCUBA diver, similar to the engraving that was found on the inner case back of the 1968 model.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date uses the signature polished and brushed case and has the distinctive double crown: one for the time and one for the inner rotating bezel. It comes on a brand-new rubber strap with a Clous de Paris pattern and is also available on a new three-link bracelet.

A serious sports watch, this surprisingly elegant timepiece is water resistant to 200 meters.

  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date

The Polaris Memovox:

Issued in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, this model features the special alarm function made famous by the 1968 Memovox Polaris watch.

This 50th anniversary timepiece has an iconic three-crown design:

  • one for setting the alarm (top),
  • one for the inner rotating bezel (middle) and
  • one for setting the time (bottom).

The vintage cues on the dial call to mind the 1968 original:

  • vanilla Super-LumiNova™
  • trapezoidal indices mixed with four Arabic numbers, and
  • the triangle in the dial center serving as the alarm indicator. Controlled by the alarm crown, the central disc turns to line up the triangle with the desired alarm time.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956 features the striking mechanism with a gong, along with the central seconds and instant-jump date-change system. This caliber is a direct descendant of the first automatic alarm watch movement created by Jaeger-LeCoultre in the 1950s. Constantly improved, it still represents the ultimate in accuracy, robustness and reliability. This is a rare example of a movement that has been in production for more than 60 years after its creation, continuously updated and modernized.

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox comes in a brand-new rubber strap with a new folding buckle and is water resistant to 200 meters.

The Polaris Chronograph:

Jaeger-LeCoultre has long been associated with motorsports, as classic car lovers will attest to, in reference to the Jaeger dashboard instruments used in the most iconic classic cars and motorcycles.

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph is the sportiest of the collection, featuring a 42mm dial equipped with a tachymeter bezel, the scale of which allows you to determine your speed over a fixed distance, perfect for days at the track or to simply check your own speed on the highway.

The bezel is made thin, to enhance readability of the dial. Pushers are also redesigned for better grip. Dial design offers sharp contrast so the chronograph subdials can be read quickly, complete with oversized triangular indices.

The Chronograph is my personal favourite from the collection, the black dial on the brown strap.

This new Polaris Chronograph is also the only current model available in precious metal – rose gold – with an anthracite dial and an oscillating weight in rose gold.

The Polaris Chronograph World Time (WT)

The Polaris Chronograph WT is perfect for the world traveller, with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s in-house chronograph and useful world time complication.

In addition to the two chronograph pushers, the Polaris World Time has an additional crown at 10 o’clock to control the rotating city disc.

This allows for the wearer to set the city that he or she is in, and instantaneously see the time in 23 other cities around the world.

For better readability, this World Time is a 44mm, nicely complemented by a titanium case of thickness less than 13mm for that light, highly resistant function and wearability.

The Polaris collection is practical, masculine, sporty and confident. Certainly a strong addition to the brand’s existing pillars.


Related links:

Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2018

Jaeger-LeCoultre: The Manufacture of Makers


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