Back at the SIHH 2018, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a brand new collection with a combination of vintage and sporty inspiration – something that was clearly missing in the range. Based on the famed “Polaris Memovox” from 1968, the brand developed an entire line-up comprising a chrono, a WT-chrono, a time-only, a Worldtime and of course, an alarm “Memovox” version. Last but not least (and a personal favourite), was the vintage-inspired time-and-date diver, which is the base for today’s novelty, with new “Blue Double Gradient” dial. Meet the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Limited Edition.
There’s no hiding the fact that the new Polaris collection hasn’t come out of the blue. It was modelled on one of the most iconic sports watches ever created by JLC, the famed, highly collectable and handsome Polaris Memovox – and looking at this watch, you understand that Jeager-LeCoultre was right in taking this piece as an inspiration.
The new collection is a sporty, slightly modernized take on the Polaris concept. Not per se dive watches, not per se rugged sports pieces, it combines a casual, toolish look with the elegance you expect from JLC. All in all, the new Polaris collection was well-received by the general public and is now expanding. Still, the 1960s were not the only era of the old Polaris. The watch also made it to the next decade.
Vintage is trendy… But after intense scrutiny of 1960s watches, brands are moving forward and now take the 1970s and the funky styles a bit more seriously. The Polaris Memovox evolved over the years to become the Polaris II, with a new case and more colourful schemes.
The watch we’re looking at today is inspired by one particular model, the Memovox Polaris II ref. 870, a watch that kept the alarm function but not the inner rotating bezel. But that’s not the topic of the day… What drew JLC’s design team attention was the cool, double gradient colour scheme of the dial. Obviously, quite cool! So there you go, you have the raison d’être of the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Limited Edition.
The “Blue Double Gradient” Polaris Date Limited Edition
The new model is based on the “vintagey” version of the 2018 Polaris, which features an inner rotating bezel and, unsurprisingly, a date function (the vintage versions did feature such a complication). Compared to the black version we reviewed back in 2018, no dramatic changes regarding the proportions, the mechanics, the specifications of the materials. Same-same on most parts, but note the addition of a brand new, rather bold dial.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Limited Edition sticks to the 3-part dial that gave the model all its appeal – which is clearly inspired by the vintage Memovox, with its central disc for the alarm function, its hour flange and internal bezel. The central disc of this new version features sunray with a gradient blue effect – lighter in the centre. Then comes the hours’ sector, which is grained with a gradient effect – ranging from deep turquoise to a deep shade of royal blue. Last but not least, the inner rotating bezel, with 60-minute scale, has an opaline finish and is treated in deep blue. The entire dial is hand- lacquered.
The rest of the dial remains faithful to the collection, with elongated and stylized applied Arabic numerals and trapezoidal hour markers – all filled with beige luminous paint. The date window is located at 3 o’clock and reads on a white disc – this is bound to generate debate…
The 200m water-resistant case measures 42mm in diameter and retains its superb finishing – as we explained in our introducing review of the collection, the cases of the Polaris watches are hand-decorated with great care, including hand-applied brushing (something rare in this price range). The signature double crown – one for the movement, one for the bezel – are still present. The movement, hidden under a solid steel back, is the in-house Calibre 899A/1 with 4Hz frequency and 38h power reserve. The watches have undergone 1,000 hours of testing before leaving the Manufacture.
Combined to this new “Blue Double Gradient” scheme is a blue rubber strap, with “Clous de Paris” pattern and mounted on a deployant buckle.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Limited Edition ref. Q9068681 will be limited to 800 pieces and priced at USD 8,250 (excl. taxes). More details at www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.