Richard S. Cunanan

A Magnetic North

The Persistence of Memovox

It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Polaris Memovox alarm wristwatch, and Jaeger-LeCoultre is bringing it back in a range that offers an impressive lineup of choices. And as it turns out, this is a good moment to be bringing the Polaris back into the Jaeger-LeCoultre lineup. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Collection looks to the past to guide their future. Just like we all do, at one time or another. It’s a return that is both welcome and well-timed.

The Polaris Memovox was an alarm dive watch, a beautiful and classically rendered timepiece with both a purpose and an innovation to offer. The watch was very well received in 1968, and Jaeger-LeCoultre has actually revisited it once before. However, this 50th Anniversary release covers a lot more ground, including a wide range of models and one direct tribute watch.

I like the recreation of the original Memovox a great deal, and that is no doubt looking to be the line’s highlight. But there is a lot on offer in the collection, and the range does a great job of capturing the look and the spirit of the Memovox, even without being a direct descendant. Indeed, the 1968 Memovox is serving here as the Polaris collection’s patriarch, but the modern children are looking solid all on their own.

Polaris Date

Perhaps the most evocative of the original is the Polaris Date. The look is a very similar one, and as far as I’m concerned the looks of the watch play a great part in this line’s charms. It doesn’t retain the features of the original Memovex, but there you are.

Polaris Automatic

However, I am particularly happy that even the simplest Polaris Automatic allows you to focus in on what I consider the entire collection’s main strength – the design. Untrammelled by any additional features, you get the strong, sharp looks of the watch face directly. I don’t particularly favor classic watches over complex ones, but I don’t mind them either. To me, the unvarnished Polaris Automatic makes a statement all by itself.

There are also Polaris Chronograph models, in stainless steel and in rose gold.

Polaris Chronograph (Rose Gold)
Polaris Chronograph (Stainless Steel)

“Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Collection looks to the past to guide their future. Just like we all do, at one time or another.”

Polaris World Time

Of course, the Polaris World Time model is a great piece that incorporates the largest addition of complexities to the new Polaris line, and the size reflects that. The case is sized at 44mm, the largest of the collection. You would expect a commensurate increase in weight, but the Chronograph World Time is encased in titanium, which helps offset any additional heaviness.

World Time watches are defined by their ring of cities around the bezel, and Jaeger-LeCoultre did a great job of keeping the dial readable. Both the World Time and Chronograph readouts are easy to take in, and that keeps the classic lines of the Polaris from being lost in the tall grass. I am sure you’ll be happy with it in the times to come, no matter what city you’re wearing it in.


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