Jaeger-LeCoultre is mostly famous for its elegant, discreetly luxurious watches. The Reverso and Master Control collections are gathering some of the most distinctive watches done by the Grande Maison. Still, sports models have also been a topic of interest for JLC, whether in the past or in recent years. If you’re into dive watches, the name Polaris should be familiar, specifically when the 1968 Memovox Polaris enters the conversation. This specific and sought-after watch has been the inspiration for an entire collection released in 2018, the modern Polaris. Following recent evolutions with Double Gradient dial or Mariner models, the brand now releases a new, colourful edition that anchors its spirit of adventure. Here’s the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Green Gradient.
The entire modern Polaris collection was modelled after an important, yet somehow elusive watch, the 1968 Memovox Polaris, a beefed-up version of the Memovox Deep Sea with a larger 42mm case size, three crowns, a triple layer caseback to improve the diffusion of sound underwater (since it has an alarm function), a sharp, highly contrasted dial, increased water-resistance of 200m, an internal rotating bezel and date. Produced in very low quantities and taken out of production in 1969, the Memovox Polaris is a highly coveted collector’s piece. It was first re-issued in 2008 with a faithful yet limited version of the original (Memovox Tribute to Polaris). In 2018, after fifty years of practically uninterrupted slumber, a contemporary and very well-represented Polaris collection was launched (automatic, date, chronograph, world timer and Memovox). Characterised by modern-size cases, in-house movements, powerful dials with bold markings and contrasting surface textures, the Polaris collection was JLC’s proposal of an elegant/sporty men’s watch.
In addition to the highly desirable Memovox model with alarm function, the brand released a second vintage-inspired watch, the Polaris Date. First seen with a grainy black dial, it will be followed in 2019 by a Double Gradient blue edition, and in late-2020, it will be part of a new sub-collection named Polaris Mariner, with a deep blue dial, revised textures and beefed-up movement. Compared to the more complex Memovox model, the Polaris Date is slightly simpler mechanically but shares the same overall design and proportions. And it gets rid of the alarm function, being a classic time-and-date model.
This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre launches a new, colourful (and rather desirable) edition of the Polaris Date with a green colour scheme – not surprising, since green is one of the hottest colours currently, only surpassed by overhyped turquoise/aquamarine dials. What we’re looking at today is basically a cosmetic transformation of the Mariner model of 2020.
The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Green is housed in the same case as other models from the collection, and thus retains its fairly large proportions, with a 42mm diameter and 13.92mm height. The case, made of stainless steel, is characterized by its sharpness, short lugs and dual crown to evoke compressor watches of the past (but it’s not a true compressor watch, as it features a classic 3-part architecture with a standard screwed caseback). The case is impressively well finished, as always with this collection, combining hand-brushed surfaces with polished accents. The bezel is almost absent and the box-shaped sapphire crystal opens up on a large dial.
Despite its overall refinement, the Polaris Date Green remains a fairly capable dive watch, with its screw-down crown and 200m water-resistance. On this edition, and just like the Mariner model, the caseback features a sapphire display, while early models were equipped with a solid back. This new version of the Polaris Date is, however, worn on a textured rubber strap – matching the colour of the dial – with a steel pin buckle and an interchangeability system. This opens up the possibility to wear it on the steel bracelet of the Mariner model.
The main update this year concerns the dial and its new deep green colour. Warm and original, this green colour is paired with cream-toned luminous material on the hands and markers, and the internal rotating bezel has an orange triangle. Like most models of the collection, the construction and finishing of the dial are rather impressive. First, the colour is a so-called double gradient, since the dégradé effect is applied on both the central part and the hour chapter ring, creating depth and making it lively under natural light. The colour ranges from a light olive green in the centre to rainforest on the periphery. The dial also features no fewer than three different textures; sunray-brushed in the centre, grained for the hour chapter ring, and opaline for the inner bezel. All elements are largely filled with luminous material and the date, classically positioned at 3 o’clock, remains white.
Under the sapphire caseback is the in-house calibre 899AB. This automatic movement is a recent update of the long-lasting 899 base calibre, with an elongated power reserve of 70 hours on a single barrel (the power reserve used to be 38 hours only on the first Polaris Date models). The movement is nicely decorated with polished chamfers and Geneva stripes, as well as a dark rhodium-coloured opened rotor.
Availability & Price
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Green Gradient (reference Q906863J) is released as a special, non-limited edition that will be exclusively available from the brand’s official boutiques. But before it hits stores, the 100 first pieces will be reserved for Jaeger-LeCoultre’s e-commerce platform. It is priced at EUR 8,700 excluding taxes.
For more details and online orders, please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.