If you didn’t know yet (indeed, presently you’ll know), I have a weakness for vintage-looking jump watches … I know, I’m frail – and I never plunge – however when they are done well, I can’t help myself. I previously felt weak at the knees over the Polaris Date , when JLC introduced it at the SIHH 2018. All the more as of late, the Grande Maison dispatched a limited edition with a fairly out of control, 1970s-propelled blue dial (and think about what, I loved it). What’s more, as I’ve currently got an opportunity to see it in the metal, let’s give this Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date “Blue Double Gradient” a nearer look.
If you’re into watches, the name Polaris ought to appear to be recognizable. It is one of those names that vintage devotees esteem. This watch wasn’t JLC’s first endeavor of a jump watch; in 1959 the brand previously had the Memovox Deep Sea, one of its most notorious instrument watches. The Memovox highlighted a combination of plunging limits and an alert capacity – which may strike you as an astonishing component for a jump watch. Not truly. Above all else, JLC dominated this complication for quite a while. At that point, recollect that, harking back to the 1950s, watches had a genuine reason. The alert was utilized as an extra sign to the check up bezel – for jumping times or decompression stages.
In 1968, Jeager-LeCoultre redesigned the plunging/caution watch and present thed Polaris Memovox – which could well be the brand’s generally notorious, generally pursued games watch. This watch combined a compressor-style case – interior pivoting bezel – with the alert capacity, which means three crowns on the correct side of the case… Visually intense without a doubt, yet that gave this Polaris its actual character. Indeed, there was no compelling reason to take a gander at the watch to monitor passed times. There was a caution there for that purpose… truth be told, very functional indeed.
Still, the original Polaris Memovox had a short life and was ceased in 1969, with around 2,000 pieces manufactured.It was subsequently supplanted by the Polaris Memovox II, a watch really dans l’air du temps, with a certain 1970s energy: an ovoid case with incorporated carries, an outer brilliant blue bezel and double gradient dial (you can see where this is going) yet an alert function.
In 2008, to stamp the 40th commemoration of the first gen Polaris Memovox, Jeager-LeCoultre dispatched a devoted re-edition, with 768 pieces in steel and 165 pieces dressed in platinum. By and by, not something for the since a long time ago run or for the masses.
Ten years after the fact, in 2018, and to check the 50th commemoration of this watch, the brand chose to give it another look… But this time, not, at this point a 1-to-1 re-edition, not, at this point a limited edition yet a modernized form with a full, lively rich assortment of watches with a few complications accessible – time-just , jumper, chronograph , chrono-WT , worldtime , and obviously, a Memovox. As JLC dropped every one of its games arranged assortments, this new Polaris line-up turned out to be fairly essential for a brand just focussed on dress watches or high-complications.
Among the around 15 watches that are in this new Polaris assortment, the Memovox was surely the legend however another grabbed my eye, the Polaris date, a vintage-propelled model, outwardly indistinguishable from the Memovox, without the caution work, yet with a slimmer case and a marginally more feasible cost. This watch, which was reviewed here , was subsequently dispatched in a limited edition named “Blue Double Gradient” , which will be today’s topic.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date “Blue Double Gradient”
The inceptions of this new Double Gradient watch is, as we said effectively, the Polaris Date. This watch has, along with the Memovox, a somewhat exceptional spot in the new assortment, as it is outwardly more “vintagey” than the remainder of the more contemporary pieces and, it is the sportiest of the parcel, with a 200m water-obstruction – possibly not a genuine jumping instrument, but rather not far off.
In option to the dark dial model, Jaeger-LeCoultre has added a 1970s adaptation, some way or another honoring the Polaris Memovox II and its brilliant (no doubt) dial. Fortunately, JLC just held the cool side of this watch – the tones – and consigned the rest to history. At times, vintage can be somewhat difficult…
The Double Gradient Dial
One of the specificities of the current Polaris assortment is the serious work attempted by the brand on the dials. Effectively wonderful on the dark form, the three distinct surfaces are currently even supported on this blue model, which plays on reflections and surfaces to make profundity and a marginally more lively landscape of expression.
The dial of the Polaris has three surfaces, relating to the three territories of the dial. The middle has a polished, sunray brushed enamel complete the process of reflecting heaps of the encompassing light. This region likewise shows the principal gradient design, hazier on its edges. Pushing ahead, we have the hours part ring, which includes the applied trapezoidal markers, this time with a matte completion and a grained surface. Here once more, a gradient blue tone is applied by hand, with finish. At last, the interior pivoting bezel is opaline completed, with a gently grained surface – however a uniform dim blue colour.
Time is routinely demonstrated by focal hands – hours, minutes, seconds. All the significant components are loaded up with light cream Super-LumiNova, guaranteeing good clarity in obscurity, and a cool, somewhat vintage contact the remainder of the time. Besides, it functions admirably with the blue dial.
Now, there’s a date… Something that has just incited discusses, and will make some more. Individual take – I don’t mind it since the first 1968 and 1970s models previously highlighted one. However, there’s something more problematic; the moment track in the dial. While it seemed well and good on the Memovox form and was utilized to set the alert, I don’t see its utility in this non-caution model. Outwardly, I don’t mind it yet regarding reason, I’m marginally doubtful.
Apart from these two focuses, the dial is loaded with subtleties, it is delightfully executed and its new blue tone truly adds to the watch. It surely isn’t to everyone’s taste, except since this model is a limited edition, I think it’s shrewd that JLC chose to have been a piece bolder.
A perfectly completed case
When it comes to sub-10k watches, most cases are done with negligible human intercession. For the most part, the hand completes concern the last pieces of cleaning. This isn’t risky in essence, however since a watch is a genuinely determined item – at any rate, in today’s market, since it has no genuine reason other than delight – some handcrafted parts add to the magnificence of this object.
For the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date, much the same as the remainder of the assortment, the brand has accomplished something uncommon, and all the surfaces of the case have been done by hand, regardless of whether for the cleaned or the brushed surfaces. Also, when dealing with one of these advanced Polaris, you can feel it. It’s perfect, it’s sharp, the brushing is intentionally deep and definitely more present than your typical device watch.
The instance of the Polaris Date estimates 42mm in width, implying that it’s on the enormous side for a JLC, with a 13mm thickness. Obviously, it has some presence and feels more present day and sportier than the cream files would allow you to think. However, the elastic lash is flexible and the carries very much bended, taking into consideration a watch that is both proportional and adjusted on the wrist. The case is water-impervious to 200m, has a plain steel back with a jumping theme and the mark double-crown for the bezel and the movement.
Inside the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date “Blue Double Gradient” is simply the in-house Caliber 899A/1, a self-twisting development with a 4Hz recurrence and 38h force hold – an exemplary time-and-date development for the brand. Pleasantly improved, despite the fact that covered up, it has gone through the 1000-hour test control. Altogether decency, a more drawn out force hold would be welcome, despite the fact that the watch is automatic.
Thoughts on the Polaris Date “Blue Double Gradient”
Well, you’ve presumably got the message that other than certain complaints, I actually like this watch – a great deal. The dial, its tone, the excellence of the case, the combination of different outdated components without falling into the snare of the re-edition, makes this Polaris Date an exceptionally wonderful piece. Would I go for this “Blue Double Gradient” edition or the exemplary dark dial…? That’s the large question.
Price and availability
Launched first as a US-elite edition, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date “Blue Double Gradient” is presently accessible around the world, in shops and online at JLC’s site. It is limited to 800 pieces and is estimated at USD 8,250 (excl. taxes), EUR 8,300 (incl. taxes), CHF 8,200 (incl. charges) or GBP 7,150 (incl. charges). More subtleties at www.jaeger-lecoultre.com .