Jaeger-LeCoultre presented a new sporty collection built around the Polaris brand. Inspired by the 50-year-old Memovox Polaris, the initial five models (especially the non-chrono options) are among the hottest timepieces presented at SIHH 2018.
The Memovox alarm watch fascinates me for two reasons. First, the shape, the inner rotating dial and its proportions to the external sector make it extremely handsome – especially the older models. Additionally, being born in the digital age, the mechanical alarm as a wristwatch function is something charming. What’s more, I cannot recall any functions that mechanical wristwatches would borrow from mobile technology, other than the vibration alarm (marketed first by Motorola in 1996) that Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced in Cal. 909 in the Master Grand Memovox (2007) – although that model doesn’t bear any of the handsomeness of the family members.
Memovox Polaris brought the alarm function underwater in 1965 with a special compressor case. When creating this year’s collection, it was the 1968 version that served as a muse for Jaeger-LeCoultre. The main characteristics are maintained throughout the line, yet the closer the functions of the model are to those of the original, the more reminiscent the pieces are. Because JLC is building up a new product line for sporty urban men with the Polaris, they opted for a range of models and even added a new vibrant dial colour.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
The collection is lead by the Polaris Memovox 1000 pcs limited edition, of course. The dial sections are treated differently: the centre black alarm disc is sun-rayed, the indexes are on a grained surface and the inner bezel has an opaline finish. In the original model the trapezoid indexes were tritium filled, therefore they had a warmer colour, which is reproduced by the “vanilla Super-LumiNova” this time.
Inside is JLC’s Calibre 956. The alarm function is set and wound by the crown at 2 o’clock. The bezel is rotated with the one in the middle and the third sets the time and the date.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic
The base model is a three-hand automatic watch operated by the JLC 898/1 calibre, the same that works in the 2014 Geophysic limited editions. Tracking elapsed time is done by setting the marker on the inner bezel with the crown at 2 o’clock. It is kept simple, omitting anything unnecessary, hence the reason why I like it.
The piece is available with black or this ocean blue dial.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date
Just like the Memovox, this piece is intended to serve scuba divers. This is clearly communicated by the engraving on the back and the rubber strap. The face and case follow the Memovox, but as the Calibre 899/1 does not provide the alarm function, there are just 2 crowns: the top for the inner rotating bezel, the bottom for the time and date setting.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph and Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph WT
Chronographs are among the most sought-after complications, therefore how could a new collection be complete without them? The company interpreted the Polaris design around two of its movements, the calibre 751 for the chronograph and calibre 752 for the chronograph world timer.
While all the aforementioned timepieces in the new Polaris collection are made of steel, the Polaris Chronograph is the only model that is offered in rose gold, too. On the other hand, the Polaris Chronograph WT is only available in titanium.
The pieces will hit the stores in the following weeks. Interestingly, on the first morning of the SIHH the brand announced that the initial 60 Polaris Memovox units would be made available through the online store from that moment on and another 8 in the Geneva boutique.
Photo credits: Jaeger-LeCoultre, Loupiosity.com.
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