The Polaris collection was made up of five distinct models: a three-hand automatic, a chronograph, a chronograph with world-time functionality, and two models that most closely channel the look and feel of the original 1968 progenitor piece, the Polaris Date and the Polaris Memovox. The new Geographic WT isn’t breaking into any new territory here, but what it does do successfully is simplify the Polaris Chronograph WT while still maintaining a bit of the model’s practicality with a second time zone indicator, a date calendar, and a power reserve.
Just by glancing at the new model you can immediately tell that it’s an attractive introduction that channels the same old-school vibe the Polaris models have been appreciated for so far. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s choice to stick with the rich dark-and-smoky blue — almost denim-like — dial was a smart one as it offers an effectively timeless color palette. However, while the watch’s hue may toe the line between vintage and contemporary, the three subdials are distinctly modern.
Between 1 and 3 o’clock, we have a subdial with a date calendar; between 5 and 7 o’clock, there’s a small seconds subdial that also features a crosshair and a second time-zone hand; and between 8 and 11 o’clock, we have a 40-hour power reserve aperture that displays the countdown in fourths (0, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1) rather than in specific hours. All three subdials feature a sunray finish to contrast with the opaline base of the city disk. The choice to utilize a second time zone hand at 6 o’clock inside the small seconds dial and the quarter-like layout of the power reserve are both interesting design details that stand out.
I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a power reserve indicator labeled in quarters. An hour countdown? Sure. Unlabeled and resembling the fuel indicator on a car’s dashboard? Absolutely. But labeling the countdown in fourths is a unique, albeit ultimately unnecessary, approach. Each quarter here would represent 10 hours of power and while in theory, it’s a great idea to demonstrate the exact fraction of time left, in practice it seems a tad excessive.
The second time zone indicator hidden in the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock is more common and is one of my favorite discreet complications. It’s easy to use, highly legible, and doesn’t take up any extra space. Another great example of this can be found on the Tutima Patria Dual Time.
The day/night disk, located in between the city disk and the dial, is divided into black and white sections that indicate the time of day in the local city and second time zone. Another unobtrusive detail is the small sun displaying daytime hours with black numerals on a white background and, opposite, the small crescent moon for the night hours with white numerals on a black background. For cities switching between standard and daylight saving time according to seasons, a white asterisk indicates the time with this one-hour difference.
Inside the 42 mm case is the Caliber 936A/1, a mechanical self-winding Jaeger-LeCoultre movement that is new to the Polaris collection and water resistant to 100 m. It’s limited to 250 pieces and will be officially released this summer exclusively at Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques across the globe. The price is not yet confirmed but we’ll be sure to update this article once it is.
You can read our interview with Lionel Favre, the Product Design Director of Jaeger-LeCoultre here.