A solid blue-dialed diver with a trademark alarm striking function.
All diver’s watches look more or less similar, right? Well, not this one. And it’s not one of those desperate attempts to ignore the mainstream watchmaking legacy just for the sake of being original. In fact, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris has quite a legacy of its own, rooted in 1950s. However, we don’t really need to know its past in order to love the exteriors. The 42-mm steel round case stands from the crowd with not one but three crowns, while the classical sector dial immediately invites to examine all its differently angled surfaces.
Let’s start with the crowns to get all possible confusion out of the way. The top one sets the alarm, displayed right in the center of the dial by a tiny triangle. The lowest one is for traditional time setting, and the central crown controls an elegant analog to standard diver’s bezel functionality, displayed here via the outer ring. After all, the piece is a proper diver water resistant up to 300 meters, and not making a movable scale for timing the oxigen would be a silly misfire. Yes, we know that no one actually dives with a luxury watch like this, it’s more a matter of tradition.
The marine-themed blue dial of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox has a nice modern gradient to it, visually enhancing the pleasing texture collisions of its concentric circular parts. Three large arabic numerals 6,9 and 12 are counterbalanced by a date window at 3. The hands and inlayed hour markers are covered by lots of lume for solid underwater legibility. The hour and minute hands even have different colors for additional underwater confidence: again, the overall spiritual respect for tool-watch traditions here is enormous. The only important exception is a transparent caseback featured for the first time since re-launching the Polaris collection a couple of years ago. The reason for such welcome departure is the ability to behold the movement and its striking mechanism in action.
The Polaris Mariner Memovox is powered by the in-house self-winding 956 calibre, providing 45 hours of power reserve. The rotor is of course open-worked and not blocking the view of hammer-and-gong action, as well as all the nice Jaeger-LeCoultre finishings. The alarm sound is characterized by the brand as the classic ‘school bell’. The watch is complemented by a steel bracelet mixing brushed and polished links, just like the case itself. The price is $17,600.
Nov. 06, 2020