In 2018, Jaeger-LeCoultre raided its archives to create a new collection based on the Memovox Polaris wristwatch, a 1968 cult classic that contained an underwater alarm function for divers as well as a signature three-ring concentric dial layout.
The resulting Polaris line, unveiled at Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, gave modern-day fans of the brand something that had been missing from its lineup: a steel sports watch that combined the brand’s reputation for elegance with a robust frame at an affordable entry price of $5,600.
“It’s not just a reinterpretation of a 1968 piece,” then-deputy CEO Geoffroy Lefebvre told journalists at SIHH. “We wanted to go further than that. We wanted to address the ‘man in motion.’ He wants more wearability and also a design that’s recognized. Fortunately, the Polaris Memovox, the 1968 piece, is one of the most iconic designs of Jaeger-LeCoultre. It was a big source of inspiration for us; very identifiable dial, unique style. We decided to make it more modern and bring a full range of watches which are ‘daily use’ watches.”
The new 42 mm stainless steel Polaris Date Limited Edition builds on that promise with vintage-inspired styling borrowed from the 1970 Polaris II, an “underwater watch,” as it was described in an early ad, with an ocean blue dial. The contemporary version features a hand-lacquered, blue double gradient dial with an optical effect that makes it look as if the color is changing from turquoise to royal blue. It comes on a blue rubber Clous de Paris strap, color-matched to the inner rotating bezel.
Additional elements that recall the 1970 original include elongated Arabic numerals, trapezoidal hour markers and baton-style hands, all treated with vanilla-tinted SuperLumiNova coating.
Water-resistant to 200 meters, the new automatic Polaris Date Limited Edition has four special engravings on its closed caseback: a SCUBA diving insignia, the Jaeger-LeCoultre crest, the words “1000 HOURS CONTROL” (a reference to the 1,000 hours of testing the watch endured at the brand’s manufacture in the Vallée de Joux) and the phrase “Limited edition – One of 800.”
Available online at jaeger-lecoultre.com until Sept. 1, when it arrives in stores, the model retails for $8,250 and is limited to 800 pieces. You can currently find it on display at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship’s watch and jewelry Mecca, The Vault, which opens today in New York City.