Throughout the past few days, watch lovers may have been witnessing a host of postings on line about the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date watch, which also doubles as a diver watch thanks to its high water resistance and rotating bezel. We held off covering this piece until we could get a good close-up look at it and weigh in on if we like it or not — especially since the watch is exclusively for the United States.
The Polaris Collection Debut
You may recall that the the first re-editions of the Polaris collection made their debut at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva last year. The series is inspired by the Memovox Polaris that was made in the late 1960’s. Because of the vintage inspiration of the collection, it was quite a hit. In fact, fan favorites included the Polaris Geographic World Time watch, and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox watch. Now, the Polaris Date watch — created in a series of 800 pieces — makes its debut… with a few updates.
Why is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date So Liked?
Like its siblings, the new watch draws inspiration from the 1970’s. It features a new hand-lacquered blue dial with a double gradient and sunray finish in the center. The outer dial ring also offers grained and opaline finishes — giving it a complex and visually arresting overall appeal. There is even a rich blue rotating bezel. The date indication – at 3:00 on the dial — is easily readable thanks to the white background. Also making the dial pop are the elongated numerals and trapezoid-shaped markers — all treated in Super-LumiNova with a vintage vanilla-tan hue.
Crafted of stainless steel, the 42mm case boasts two prominent crowns—one to adjust the time, the other to control the rotating bezel. Because the watch is meant to be worn in all of life’s escapades, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date is water resistant to 200 meters.
Powering the Polaris Date is the in-house-made caliber 899A/1 self-winding movement with 38 hours of power reserve. The closed caseback features engravings such as a SCUBA diving insignia, and 1000 Hours Control– attesting to the fact that the watch has undergone stringent testing. Between the vintage looks and the top-notch movement, not to mention the stirring dial, this watch fast became another fan favorite. It retails for $8,250.
Impressions of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date
I may be a bit biased here because from the moment I got my first sneak-peek at the Polaris collection right before it made its debut on the market, I loved it. It has al the makings of an iconic watch — with vintage inspiration and colorations to the historical references that brought it back to life. Polaris after Polaris, I was hard-pressed to find one I didn’t like.
Then, the Polaris Date came along and I thought, “Okay, what’s so special about a date watch?” — this would be the one I wouldn’t like. Wrong. The simplistic functions — combined with the multi-finishings of the dial and the raised rotating bezel — made this watch both easy to read at a glance, and yet somehow strongly enticing. I didn’t want to take my eyes away. Even the textured rubber strap gives the watch personality.
Technical characteristics of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date
Dimensions: 42 mm
Calibre: automatic mechanical movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 899A/1
Functions: hours/minutes/seconds, date, rotating inner bezel
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: stainless steel
Dial: special blue double-gradient, hand-lacquered, sunrayed, grained and opaline finish
Water resistance: 20 bar
Reference: Q9068681, limited to 800 pieces