Is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox the one watch that’s solely designed for collectors?

Is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox the one watch that’s solely designed for collectors?

We often hear of watch brands either re-issuing their classics (like Longines) or coming up with some excuse or other for a ‘limited edition’ watch (say Omega or TAG Heuer).

And while the trend has continued from 2018 to present day (2018 being the year the watch we are talking about was released), in my professional opinion this case is a bit different.

I am not saying the Speedmaster or Monaco didn’t deserve a 50th-anniversary watch. Though come to think of it a 1669 piece run for Omega and 5 different versions (169 each) for Monaco isn’t really what one could call a limited edition anymore, but that’s a topic for another time.

Let’s get back to the watch in hand, the 2018 Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox.

The basics

As the name suggests and like most of the watch collectors would know, this model features the special alarm function made famous by the original 1968 Memovox Polaris watch.

This 50th-anniversary timepiece (issued in 1000 pieces only) has an iconic three-crown design: one for setting the alarm (top), one for the inner rotating bezel (middle) and one for setting the time (bottom).

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox comes on a rubber strap with a folding buckle and is water resistant to 200 meters. When you look at this watch and its design, you get a better appreciation of how much of an icon the Polaris range is.

The watch is aimed at collectors, but even if it is out of the price range of many, it’s still worth appreciating for the successful attempt at bringing a vintage watch back to life without making it seem out of context in today’s world.

1968originaljaeger Lecoultrememovoxpolaris 2
1968 original Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Polaris
Copyright “©Jaeger-LeCoultre”. All rights reserved.

The alarm

To briefly explain how the alarm works, the small triangle in the dial centre serves as the alarm indicator.

When controlled by the alarm crown, the central disc turns to line up the triangle with the desired alarm time (in the picture below you can spot the triangle between 7 and 8 hour markers). Simple, easy, and effective, the alarm is loud enough even for the sleepiest of sleepy heads out there.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
Memovox Tribute to Polaris
Copyright “©Jaeger-LeCoultre”. All rights reserved.

The movement

There is something to be said in praise of the movement used in this particular Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox.

It is a direct descendant of the first automatic alarm watch movement created by Jaeger-LeCoultre in the 1950s and goes on to show how JLC has managed to keep a movement in production for more than 60 years after its creation.

This movement, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956 features the striking mechanism with a gong, along with the central seconds and instant-jump date-change system.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 956
Copyright “©Jaeger-LeCoultre”. All rights reserved.
The blued steel screws add a certain decorative charm to the movement.

Technical specifications

The 2018 Polaris Memovox Limited Edition has an automatic mechanical movement — Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 956 —that allows for a 44 hour power reserve (more than the Polaris Date which is the only other date watch option in the Polaris range).

It’s a daily wearable in stainless steel coming in at 42mm in diameter.

It includes the functions of hours/minutes/seconds, alarm and date.

It has got an increased water resistance of 200m compared to the entry level Polaris Automatic and the black dial with sunrayed, grained and opaline finishes is roughly the same as other Polaris watches.

It’s not the ideal first watch for anyone, not that I think it’s aimed at that. It’s designed for collectors, but even if you are a one watch guy, and love the history behind the Polaris range, this surely is a great watch to add to any collection.

To find out more about this and other Jaeger-LeCoultre watches, visit the Jaeger-LeCoultre website here.

On a fun note, if you like this watch, let’s see if you can ace our JLC Polaris test here?