Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced its sport-luxury collection, the Polaris, at SIHH 2018 and has continued to expand the series — inspired by a legendary 1968 divers’ watch with one of the earliest mechanical alarm functions – since then. The newest member of the family is an 800-piece limited edition, sold exclusively in North America, that adds lush blue livery to one of the most period-accurate models, the Polaris Date.
Like its predecessors, the watch’s aesthetic ancestry is evident in its distinctive dial structure, built upon three concentric circles with contrasting finishes: sunray in the center, graining on the outer circle with its vintage-inspired applied Arabic numerals, and opaline for the rotating bezel flange. The flange and the second crown that operates it — which in the original model were used to set alarm times — together represent the other major feature that unites the Polaris family.
Whereas the Polaris Date from 2018 featured the same black dial as the 1968 original, the dial of this North America-exclusive iteration takes its color cues from 1970’s Polaris II reference, with shimmering shades of hand-lacquered royal blue and turquoise that are echoed on the new rubber Clous de Paris patterned strap.
The hands are large and luminous-coated, and the indices have a trapezoidal shape that echoes those on the original Polaris. As on the black-dialed model, these indices, along with the hands, are treated with a vanilla-colored Super-LumiNova meant to evoke the aged look that the tritium-treated indices of those early Polaris watches now sport. The case is stainless steel, 42 mm in diameter with alternating brushed and polished finishes, and has a box-shaped crystal over the dial like the historical model.
The date display that lends the model its name appears in place of a “3” numeral at 3 o’clock. The caseback is solid and boasts four special engravings, including a SCUBA diving insignia; the Jaeger-LeCoultre crest; the phrase “1000 HOURS CONTROL”, a reference to the 1,000 hours of testing that each assembled Jaeger-LeCoultre watch undergoes before leaving the factory; and the watch’s limited edition number.
Behind that engraved caseback beats Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Caliber 899/1, with a 38-hour power reserve. The Polaris Date does not include the mechanical alarm function that made the 1968 original so legendary among collectors (for that, you can snap up the Polaris Memovox model that debuted alongside the original Polaris Date in 2018), but it does offer the main attribute of a serious dive watch, namely a water resistance of 200 meters. The Polaris Date Limited Edition (price: $8,250) will be offered online to North American consumers via JLC’s website starting on August 22; it will begin hitting North American boutiques on September 1.