Jaeger-LeCoultre is pressing the restart button on its Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris chronograph. It’s still a two-register configuration, but instead of chronograph minutes and hours counters, it pairs a minutes counter at the usual 3 o’clock position with a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, replacing the hours. There are two new models, one with a blue lacquer dial, a signature color for the collection, and a new gray color. Both are double-gradients—the inner and outer dials are graduated, fumé style, with hues that fade toward the inside.
When Jaeger-LeCoultre relaunched the Polaris in 2018, the stainless steel automatic version represented a new accessible price point for the brand, just under $7,000. It was inspired by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic Memovox Polaris, made between 1965 and 1968, which was one of the earliest diving watches to feature an alarm function. Since the 2018 relaunch, we have seen progressively more complicated incarnations, including world time, chronograph, date, and alarm versions. There was a blue-lacquered dial version with a date in 2010, exclusive to the North American market, also a double gradient, with an inner and outer dial. The two new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris chronograph retain signature elements of the Polaris line: a thin bezel, a glass-box crystal, trapezoid-shaped indexes, and a large crown—a throwback to the 1960s model that inspired the contemporary Polaris line. The rubber strap is textured with a Clous de Paris pattern, another Polaris feature. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris chronograph rubber straps are blue, beige, or black. There is also a steel bracelet option, which works well with both dial colors. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris chronograph dials are actually composed of three parts: a central disk, a middle ring, to which the hour markers are applied, and an outer ring marked with a tachymeter scale. On the central disk and the hours ring, the color of the lacquer is graduated from light to dark. Each begins with the manual application of a clear coat of varnish, followed by a layer of color, shaded to the precise gradient. This is followed by 35 coats of translucent lacquer, to add depth and richness. The process is completed by polishing the components to a bright mirror finish. The subdials are circular-grained. It contains the automatic movement, Calibre 761, with twin barrels and a 65-hour power reserve. It’s a fully integrated, column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, with blued screws and Côtes de Genève finish on the baseplate and rotor.