WatchTime New York, America’s largest luxury watch show, returns to the Big Apple in October. As we count down to the big event, taking place at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 26-27, we’ continue to spotlight some of the headliners among the many new watches that guests will discover there. Today we showcase the Polaris Memovox, a standout piece from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s sporty, vintage-inspired Polaris collection, introduced at SIHH 2018.
The new range derives its name and inspiration from an iconic 1968 timepiece that introduced a mechanical alarm complication to a divers’ watch. The Polaris Memovox, the only new model to incorporate the alarm function, is the one that most closely channels the look and feel of the 1968 original. The collection (which also includes a three-hand, a chronograph, a chronograph with a world-time function, and a retro-look three-hand with date) is unified by several elements that call back to that ’68 vibrating diver. Each dial consists of three concentric circles with contrasting finishes: sunray in the center, graining on the outer circle with its vintage-inspired Arabic numerals, and opaline for the rotating inner rotating bezel flange. That rotating flange, and the crown that operates it, is the other major feature from the historical model that unites the new family, which is in a sense an extension of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s limited-edition “Tribute to Polaris” model from a few years ago. The hands are large and luminous-coated, and the indices have a trapezoidal shape that echoes those on the original Polaris.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox — at 1,000 total pieces, the only limited edition in the collection other than the recently released Geographic World Timer — channels most directly the spirit of the original timepiece, containing a triple-crown-operated mechanical alarm function driven by the modern Caliber 956, a direct descendant of the very first self-winding alarm movement, created by Jaeger-LeCoultre, in the 1950s. The watch’s three crowns control the alarm function and time setting thusly: The first crown winds the alarm function and then set the alarm and date when it’s pulled out. The middle crown, which doesn’t pull out, allows adjustment of the bidirectional inner rotating bezel. The lower crown is the one that pulls out to adjust the time on the central hour and minute hands.
The self-winding movement, which packs a 44-hour power reserve, ticks inside a 42-mm stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 200 meters. It powers the alarm’s gong striking mechanism along with the hours and minutes and “quick-change” date indicator. Like the Polaris Date, the other “retro-look” piece in the series, the Memovox’s dial sports the vanilla-colored, “aged patina” luminous indices — meant to evoke the faded look of the tritium-treated indices on those early Polaris watches— a solid caseback with an engraved image of a divers’ helmet, and is available on either a patterned rubber strap with a clous de Paris pattern or a three-link steel bracelet newly designed for the Polaris collection; both versions are priced at $12,600.
Interested in seeing and trying on the Polaris Memovox Limited Edition in person? You can do so at WatchTime New York this October at Gotham Hall in New York City. Get your tickets here. For a hands-on review of the watch, click here.