Jaeger-LeCoultre Adds Three New Novelties to Its Polaris Collection

Jaeger-Lecoultre's iconic complexities are now available on board the sporty Polaris collection
Jaeger-LeCoultre Adds Three New Novelties to Its Polaris Collection
May 22, 2024
Jaeger-LeCoultre Adds Three New Novelties to Its Polaris Collection

Complications in luxury timepieces refer to any feature beyond the simple display of hours and minutes. They showcase the watchmaker's expertise and ingenuity. Jaeger-LeCoultre is best known for its exquisite, subtly luxurious watches, such as the Reverso. However, JLC may not be the first brand that comes to mind when thinking of sports watches. Now, the Maison has expanded its Polaris series. Debuted in the 1960s, the series was revived in 2018 with five new watches. While the Polaris Geographic (Ref. Q9078640) features Jaeger-LeCoultre's unique travel time complexity, the Polaris Date (Ref. Q9068650) and Polaris Perpetual Calendar (Ref. Q908263J) came with fresh dial colours. These intricate features highlight the technical prowess and tradition of precision in haute horology.

At SIHH 2018, Jaeger-LeCoultre reintroduced the new Polaris collection. There were five new watches in total, all inspired by the original 1968 Diver's alarm Polaris—a timeless classic. However, there were numerous new functionality and design components. The line was inspired by the highly desirable 1968 Memovox Polaris dive watch. Although it is newer than the brand's other collections, it quickly became popular for its athletic timepieces, which brought together utilitarian features, vintage design conventions, and modern chronometric performance standards.

Polaris Geographic

The Polaris Geographic comes in a contemporary ocean grey colour scheme with orange accents. It also features the collection's signature dial textures, has a dual time function, a day/night indicator, and a 24-city ring. The new Polaris Geographic is less crowded, sportier, and easier to navigate. The 42mm stainless steel case has vintage elements such as taut lines, curving lugs, a narrow bezel, and two big crowns at 3 o'clock, and 10 o'clock. This allows the wearers to adjust the second time based on the location (by twisting the crown at 10 o'clock), and a glass-box crystal that protects the dial. The architecture is highlighted by alternating finishes, including a polished bezel and crowns, a vertically brushed case centre, and polished bevels on the lugs.

The dial includes a new ocean grey shade, following the trend of gradient dials with granular matte finishes. The colour is graduated from light to dark by hand-applying 35 layers of lacquer. Another noticeable element is the use of three distinct textures to emphasise various functions. The peripheral minutes/seconds track is in black, with an inverted and bright orange triangle at 12 o’clock. The broader chapter ring, highlighted in the new ocean grey colour, is textured and graduated with prominent trapezoidal indexes and Arabic numerals treated with blue-emission SuperLumiNova. The middle part of the dial is decorated with a sunray-brushed finish and includes a power reserve indicator with an orange hand, a 12-hour second time zone at 6 o'clock, and a smaller day/night indicator with an orange-tipped hand.

This model has an aperture on the peripheral track to showcase the names of 24 cities representing the 24 time zones. Jaeger-LeCoultre's in-house calibre 939, visible through the sapphire caseback powers the Geographic which has a 70-hour power reserve. The new Polaris Geographic is presented with an interchangeable folding buckle and a pair of interchangeable straps – textured black rubber and blue-grey canvas.

Polaris Date

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date is contained in the same case as earlier models in the line, and therefore keeps its relatively big proportions of 42mm diameter. The stainless steel case is distinguished by its sharpness, short lugs, and dual crown at 2 o’clock, and 4 o’clock), where one crown is used for adjusting the time, and the other for rotating the inner bezel. The watch evokes the look of vintage compressor watches. The case is impeccably made, as is typical of this line, with hand-brushed surfaces and polished embellishments. The bezel is nearly missing, and the box-shaped sapphire crystal opens to reveal a huge dial.

This year's key upgrade is the dial's new gradient ocean-grey lacquer tint. This unique shade is coupled with an orange triangle at 12 o’clock. The dial, like the majority of the collection's models, has exceptional construction and quality. The hue is a ‘double gradient,’ which means that the dégradé effect is applied to both the core section and the hour chapter ring, creating depth and vibrancy under natural light.

The date window at 3 o’clock has a white background with black numerals. Powering the watch is Calibre 899 with a 70-hour power reserve. The Polaris Date is presented on a textured black rubber strap that is easily interchangeable with a metal bracelet of other straps from the Polaris range.

Polaris Perpetual Calendar

The 2024 version is set against a gradient green lacquered dial, the calendar indications appear in three sub-dials: the month and year at 12 o’clock, the days of the week at 3 o’clock and the date at 9 o’clock. The fourth sub-dial at 6 o’clock corresponds to the phases of the Moon in both hemispheres. Adding to the complexity, the Moon in the Southern Hemisphere uses a retrograde display while the Northern Hemisphere cycles are represented with a silver Moon and stars displayed on a rotating disc along with the numerical age of the Moon. 

The trapezoid-shaped hour markers with truncated tips and the large number 12 o’clock are key traits of the Polaris family and, in keeping with the sporty nature of the watch, filled with luminescent material. The rotating inner bezel, which can be used to measure elapsed times, also has an inverted luminescent triangle at 12 o’clock, and orange markings to match the tip of the central seconds hand. The skeletonised hour and minute hands also have lumed tips. Beneath the axis of the central hour and minute hands is the safety adjustment security indicator.

This 42mm pink gold watch has two crowns, the crown at 2 o’clock rotates the inner bezel; the 4 o’clock crown sets the time and winds the watch. The Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 868 developed for the Polaris Perpetual Calendar delivers an increased power reserve of 70 hours on a single barrel. The watch is finished on an interchangeable strap system enabling rapid changes between the two straps presented with the Polaris Perpetual Calendar – black alligator for a more dressy mood and textured dark green rubber for a more sporty style. 

Image Credits: Jaeger-LeCoultre