One of the most important novelties of the SIHH 2018 exhibition that we left behind is undoubtedly the new Polaris Collection introduced by Jaeger-LeCoultre. The new collection, based on the legendary diver watch Polaris that dates back to 1968, received a full score from watch aficionados as well as authorities.
The model we have here form the new collection, which was highly acclaimed with its modern touches that match perfectly with the retro design details as well as its rich product range, is one of the collection’s entry-level models, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic Stainless Steel REF. 9008480.
I guess I would not be exaggerating to say that the Heritage trend, which is based on introducing new models inspired by old ones, maintains its first day's popularity. I believe every watch enthusiast has a favorite model or two designed in line with this trend. However, we should not put every Heritage watch in the same equation as some of those models are designed in full resemblance to their originals while some others are benefited from the contemporary standards of today’s watchmaking in terms of both visual and technological. In this context, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic Stainless Steel REF. For the 9008480 model we have here belongs to the second group.
The case of the model is visually quite similar with the original Polaris issued in 1968. Offering a bold and sporty presence with its thick and strong lugs, the case is now resized to 41mm in diameter, which fits better in to the modern standards. Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic, which is also the most compact model of the Polaris Collection with a -1mm difference, provides a comfortable wrist wear thanks to its total thickness of 11.2mm.
“The new collection, based on the legendary diver watch Polaris that dates back to 1968, received a full score from watch aficionados as well as authorities.”
The case is water resistant to 100 meters / 10 bars and is equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides. Thanks to the rotating diver’s bezel, an indispensable detail of diving watches, which is located under the crystal, the tool watch image of the model is also positively softened. There a pair of JLC signed winding crowns on the case located at 2 and 4 o’clock. The upper one rotates the inner diver’s bezel while the lower one is used to adjust the time and date functions.
The dial of the model we chose for review was designed in a very elegant blue tone with three different surface finishes. These dials, which are also known as sector dials, use a combination of different surface forms that provides a sporty and lively look. The same applies to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic Stainless Steel REF. 9008480 as well. The three gradients of deep blue on the dial of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic watch draw the eye to its meticulous finishes: an opaline rehaut, grained hour markers and sunray-brushed center that adds a stylish and sporty look to the model.
The indexes accompanied by Recto Baguette-style hands are designed in baton and Arabic numeral form. The dial, which is quite simple in terms of texting, offers a clear legibility in almost any environment thanks to the Super LumiNOVA phosphor material applied hands and hour markers.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic Stainless Steel REF. 9008480 ticks with the brands manufacture movement Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber: 898E / 1. The self-winding movement is composed of 195 parts (30 jewels). Beating at a frequency of 4Hz (28.800vph), the movement offers a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound.
As I mentioned earlier, the model we have here is an entry-level model. However, when the brand is Jaeger-LeCoultre, the entry-level part should also be re-defined as the movement is finished beautifully in line with the JLC standards. The movement, which is equipped with a JLC logo shaped skeletonized oscillating rotor, can be enjoyed through the sapphire crystal display case back.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic Stainless Steel REF. 9008480 comes on an aged brown calf leather strap adorned with contrast stitching. The strap is secured with a JLC signed folding clasp made of stainless steel. Let me add that there is also an alligator strap and a metal bracelet option in the collection.
I had the opportunity to see the new Polaris Collection at SIHH 2018 and liked almost every single model. Actually, I have to admit, I became weary of this Heritage trend. Moreover, I am sure that I am not alone in this regard. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of the article, they are not all the same. Especially when it comes to diver watches that do not offer a wide range of playground in terms of uniqueness, it is getting harder to design a new model. The Polaris Collection takes its place in our archives as one of the best examples of this class with its modern touches that have been successfully added to its original design.