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Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox and the Polaris Mariner Date are two new models for 2020. The esteemed Manufacture has looked to the Memovox Deep Sea of 1959, the first automatic divers’ watch equipped with a mechanical alarm, as a source of inspiration for these new models. However, these latest creations are more in tune with the needs of today’s customers who invariably dwell on dry land.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner

In 1959, the esteemed Maison, Jaeger-LeCoultre, unveiled the Memovox Deep Sea. It was the first automatic divers’ watch equipped with a mechanical alarm. At the time of its launch, this genre of watch was primarily used by military or professional divers. The rationale for the alarm was simple. As the maximum dive time approached, the alarm would sound informing the diver they needed to return to the surface. This was eminently sensible as sometimes poor visibility would impair the readability of the display. A triple-layer caseback amplified the sound of the alarm.

These days, an increasing number of divers use a wristworn dive computer and the traditional divers’ watch is now increasingly worn on terra firma. The appeal of these modern-day divers’ watches is that they are robust, highly legible and they don’t mind dipping their toes in a swimming pool, however, they are seldom used in anger.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has just unveiled two new models which give a deferential nod to the 1959 model but are designed to meet the needs of present-day customers. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox is equipped with an alarm function whereas the Polaris Mariner Date eschews the alarm. Both watches share a very similar appearance.

Both watches are equipped with exhibition casebacks allowing the wearer to see the self-winding movements housed within. This is something that is likely to appeal to horophiles who appreciate the sight of a beautifully finished movement, a characteristic common to all watches made in the brand’s Le Sentier Manufacture.

The brand’s press release

Paying homage to its distinguished diving watch legacy and drawing upon more than a century of expertise in chiming watches, the Grande Maison introduces Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner – adding two new high-performance timepieces to the sporty-elegant Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner

Thanks to the Manufacture’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.

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.

A new generation with a transparent sapphire case-back

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner draws on this diving watch heritage, presenting two new models that unite fully ISO 6425-compliant specifications with the sporty aesthetic of the contemporary Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Date.

The 42mm cases feature the key design codes of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris cases 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 (30 bar). Furthermore, the crown used to set the notched inner-bezel is screwed-down to avoid any unintentional movement, with the addition of an orange security band to warn divers when it is not fully screwed down.

Distinguished by their rich gradient-blue colour, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner dials also remain true to the contemporary Jaeger-LeCoultre 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. However, Jaeger-LeCoultre has gone a step further, maximising divers’ safety by using different colours 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.

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox

Celebrating THE SOUND MAKER™, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox pays direct homage to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first diving watches, with their robust capabilities and distinctive aesthetic. The 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. Previously, Memovox watches had a closed case-back, to which the gong was attached; however, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox has a transparent sapphire case-back, allowing the wearer to watch the hammer in action. This demanded a complete redesign of the striking mechanism, with the gong now attached to the case side. The open-worked heavy metal rotor ensures an unobstructed view of the strike-works, its Côtes de Genève decoration matching the fine finishing on the movement plates. One important element remains unchanged, however: the signature “school bell” sound of the alarm, which lends such charm to the Memovox.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox retains the signature three-crown configuration of the earliest Memovox diving watches. The top crown controls the alarm, turning the central disc of the dial so that the triangular pointer lines up with the desired alarm time; the central crown operates the inner dive bezel and the lowest crown sets the time.

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Date

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.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner

Since Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Calibre 899, its engineers have constantly updated it to incorporate the latest performance-enhancing technology. The new-generation version powering the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Date is fitted with some technical improvements to guarantee a power reserve of 70 hours.

True to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s guiding philosophy of uniting innovation and tradition, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner timepieces pay homage to the Maison’s past, while adding two entirely new high-performance diving watches to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner

Further reading

https://www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/

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