The Polaris Memovox

Jaeger-LeCoultre Brings Back an Iconic Dive Watch with an Underrated Complication


January 15, 2018 Watches By
This week, the Palexpo facility in Geneva, Switzerland, will become the center of the watch world for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, a luxury watch show rivaled only by BaselWorld in relevance and prestige. We’ve got a team on the ground, there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.

Upshot: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox is a reissue of a dive watch with a mechanical alarm complication that the brand made in 1968. Only 1,714 of the original were made, so they’re highly sought-after on the vintage market by collectors. It would only make sense, then, that the brand would try to capitalize on that history with a modern, limited-edition variant.

Who It’s For: People who want a luxury dive watch that isn’t a Rolex Submariner, or diehard watch enthusiasts who appreciate the lesser-known icons of timekeeping’s past. Vintage collectors who haven’t been able to score the rare original might also be interested, too.

First Impressions: While many watchmakers have been going all-out to reissue perfect recreations of their old watches, JLC went more for inspiration. That means that the watch receives a robust and modern-sized 42mm case, while the dial’s Arabic numerals are chunkier than the original. Still, the watch mirrors the 1968 piece thanks to an internal rotating bezel, a two-crown design and vanilla-hued Super-LumiNova that mirrors the radium lume of the original. Of course, having JLC’s Calibre 956 inside — a direct descendant of the original Memovox movement — helps keep the spirit of the 1968 model alive, too.

Insight: Jaeger-LeCoultre released several watches under the newly-instated Polaris Collection, so while we love the Memovox, it isn’t the only piece on offer. A time-only version is also available for $6,600, which is a great substitution for those intimidated by the Memovox’s limited production (just 1,000 pieces will be made) and lofty $12,600 asking price. A few chronograph versions (including a titanium world timer) are also available for individuals looking for something slightly different.

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