Capturing the brand’s rich dive watch heritage, Jaeger-LeCoultre adds two striking new models to its sporty-elegant Polaris collection.
Back in the fifties, scuba diving was a risky and challenging military activity. The only tool available for diving was the watch, which created a strong demand for professional diving timepieces. In 1959, Jaeger-LeCoultre responded with a unique solution, a self-winding Memovox movement, which provided an aural warning that it was time to return to the surface. This was followed in 1968 by the Memovox Polaris, with an internal rotating bezel as well as the alarm, and a triple-layer case-back for better sound transmission.
Thanks to the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in striking movements, the Memovox has become the reference in wristwatch alarm calibres since it was introduced 70 years ago – employed in watches designed for both urban lifestyles and underwater sports.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner draws on this diving watch heritage, presenting two new models – the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Date -that unite fully ISO 6425-compliant specifications with the sporty aesthetic of the contemporary Polaris collection.
The 42mm cases of the new models feature the key design codes of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris timepieces with their taut lines, glass-box crystals, and dynamic mix of brushed and polished surfaces. In keeping with their purpose as a high-performance diving watches, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner cases are water-resistant to 300 metres, while the crown used to set the notched inner-bezel is screwed-down to avoid any unintentional movement, which in turn is identified by an orange security band.
Distinguished by their rich gradient-blue colour, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner dials also remain true to the contemporary Polaris aesthetic, comprising three concentric circles finished in different textures and featuring bold trapezoid-shaped indexes and three Arabic numerals. The central disc of the dials is sunray-brushed, complementing the subtle graining of the middle ring and the opaline finish of the outer ring, which serves as the unidirectional rotating bezel.
The hands, indexes, and numerals are filled with SuperLumiNova to ensure excellent legibility in low light, as required of all diving watches, while different colours have been used to distinguish the hour and minute hands. The running seconds hand is tipped in orange for daylight visibility, with a central luminescent section to avoid any possibility of confusion with the other hands.
The new models’ self-winding movement, Calibre 956, is also a direct descendant of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first automatic alarm watch calibres. Introduced in 2008, it has been comprehensively revised by the Manufacture’s engineers for this latest generation of alarm watches, which now include a transparent sapphire case-back, allowing the wearer to watch the hammer in action as it chimes the iconic ‘school bell’ chime.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox retains the signature three-crown configuration of the earliest Memovox diving watches, with the top crown controlling the alarm, turning the central disc of the dial so that the triangular pointer lines up with the desired alarm time; the central crown operating the inner dive bezel; and the lowest crown setting the time.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Date offers the classic diving-watch functions of hours and minutes, with a running time indicator (seconds hand) and unidirectional inner bezel, and the addition of an instantly-jumping date display. The dual-crown configuration is typical of super compressor-type diving watch cases, with the upper crown for operating the inner bezel and the lower one for setting the time and date.
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