Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox: Malaysia Price and Review

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Jaeger-LeCoultre goes back 50 years to move forward.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
Vintage watches (or at least vintage-inspired ones) always have a special place in the hearts of watch enthusiasts. Whenever a manufacture takes a look back into its archives for a new watch or collection, exciting things are always to be expected.

This probably explains why Jaeger-LeCoultre’s modern take on the iconic 1968 Polaris was the talk of the town when it made its debut earlier at this year’s SIHH. While the brand is known more for dressier pieces like the Reverso or Master Ultra-Thin, the Polaris has remained under the radar for a while and is known mostly only to those in the know. Despite that, for its 50th anniversary, the Swiss watchmaker is poised to make this sporty collection stand out louder than ever, with pure class and elegance of course.

For its SIHH 2018 debut, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled a full range of timepieces, including a three-hand automatic, a chronograph and a chronograph world-time, as well as two models with stronger vintage feels, the Polaris Date and the Polaris Memovox. Here, we take a deeper look at the Memovox and how it fares up as a modern vintage frontrunner of the collection.

The watch features a 42mm stainless steel case that’s 15.9mm thick and retains its iconic three-crown design with the top crown for alarm setting, the middle for the inner rotating bezel and the bottom for time setting.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
On the dial, the watch mixes it up with three types of finishing - a centre dial with sunray finishing, graining on the outer circle which has the hour and minute markers, while the rotating inner bezel features an opaline finishing. This is a nod to the original 1968 piece and the vanilla Super-LumiNova markers gives it a somewhat faux aged treatment that adds to the vintage feel of the watch.

The hour markers feature a mix of trapezoidal indexes and three Arabic numbers (six, nine and 12) while a triangle in the centre dial acts as the alarm indicator, with the date window at three o’clock. The contrasting black dial with off-white coloured markers offers good legibility in both high and low light conditions. Overall, the dial is clean and sleek with a nice old-school feel.

Inside the watch is the in-house Calibre 956 movement with 44-hours of power reserve. Featuring 23 jewels, the most distinctive feature of this movement is the special alarm function made famous by the original 1968 model.

The alarm complication uses a striking mechanism with a gong and, as mentioned above, is controlled by the alarm crown at the top, while the triangle marker on the centre disc turns to line up with the desired alarm time. One thing to note is that the alarm is separately wound and independent of the timekeeping power train. It offers a pleasant ring that has a warmer, fuller sound than that of your typical alarm clock, kinda like listening to your favourite song on vinyl rather than through Spotify.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox

While the 42mm offers a great wear, the watch sits a little higher on the wrist due to the closed caseback extension that’s meant to amplify the alarm. This might make it hard to pull off as a dress piece but is a perfect casual watch.

The rubber strap is really comfortable and features a Clous de Paris pattern with a steel-folding buckle. Flipping it over, you’ll see a nifty anniversary seal at the centre of the caseback commemorating 50 years since the original Memovox Polaris, along with a vintage dive helmet to indicate its aquatic heritage.
Finally, this is a limited 1,000 piece release, hence the steep price tag. All in all, the 2018 Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox is a great case to be made when considering a modern watch with classical bearings. Its stunning dial, vintage aesthetics and unique finishing keep it fresh and timeless.

Case

42mm stainless steel

Dial

Black sunray with grained and opaline finishing

Movement

Automatic Calibre 956

Strap

Rubber strap with a new folding buckle

Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, alarm, date

Power Reserve

44 hours

Price

RM49,500

Sim Wie Boon

Sim Wie Boon loves classy dress watches from timeless Swiss and Japanese marques. Wrist affections aside, he finds comfort in quiet rainy evenings with a hot cup of coffee and a stable internet connection.



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