When Jaeger-LeCoultre revived the historic Polaris name in 2018, it redefined the modern sporty-chic watch with an entirely new line of timepieces conceived for everyday adventures. And now, in 2023, it elevates the Polaris Chronograph with two signature dials that showcase the artisanal skills housed within the Manufacture. Underlining the versatility of this confident and refined expression of watchmaking’s definitive sporting complication, each of the new Polaris Chronograph models is presented with a pair of interchangeable straps that enable a change in style and attitude in a matter of moments.
Anchored by the clean, modern lines of the case, the new Polaris Chronograph dials are bold and visually striking, thanks to the richness of their lacquered surfaces – one in deep blue that channels the elegant side of the Polaris character, the other in a warm grey – a new colour in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s portfolio – that speaks to its sportier side. Complex in construction, the dial is composed of a central disc, a middle ring, to which the hour markers are applied, and an outer ring that is marked with the tachymeter scale. On both the central disc and the hours ring, the colour of the lacquer is graduated from light to dark, adding great visual depth to the dials. The lacquering of these two dial components is a lengthy and exacting artisanal process, with each layer of coating being manually applied. It begins with the application of a clear coat of varnish, followed by a layer of colour.
The challenge lies in controlling both the shade and the gradient, so that the two sections match. 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 layout of the new Polaris Chronograph dial is timeless and intuitive to read, featuring a central chronograph seconds hand to enable more precise reading of this key measurement. Balanced by the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, the sub-dial at 9 o’clock (in a notable change from its predecessor) now animates the dial with a running seconds display. The circular graining of these sub-dials adds contrast to the high gloss of the lacquered surfaces and the opaline finish of the outer ring.
Orange accents draw the eye to the key indications and add dynamism to the overall composition. Skeletonised hands allow greater visibility of the indications and, in keeping with the contemporary Polaris design codes, bold trapezoid-shaped indexes balance the fine detail of the chronograph displays. Luminescent coating on the indexes, numerals and the tips of the hands enhances legibility in all light conditions – an essential attribute for a sports watch.
Harnessing a Legacy of Watchmaking Excellence
The sapphire crystal case-back reveals the automatic movement, Calibre 761 – a quintessential example of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s approach to watchmaking that combines high performance with mechanical elegance. Powered by twin barrels, the fully integrated chronograph movement features a column-wheel chronograph mechanism with vertical clutch and offers a 65-hour power reserve. The fine finishing includes blued screws and Côtes de Genève decoration on the baseplate as well as on the signature open-worked winding rotor bearing the ‘JL’ motif. The movement was designed, produced, finished and assembled within its own Manufacture at Le Sentier, in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux.
When Elegance Meets Adventure
Deftly balancing the robust capabilities and practical functions of a sports watch with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s distinctively elegant aesthetic, the Polaris line pays direct homage to the Maison’s emblematic diving watches of the 1960s, capturing their sporting spirit and reinterpreting their vintage appeal in elegant and confidently contemporary style. Offering great versatility, both as a casually elegant everyday timepiece and as a high-performing sports watch, the Polaris Chronograph is designed for optimal comfort on the wrist. Well-balanced and highly wearable, its 42mm steel case features the key Polaris design codes: taut lines, sharply curving lugs, a thin bezel, a glass-box crystal, and an eye-catching mix of brushed and polished surfaces. The large crown – a signature of the1960s model that inspired the contemporary Polaris line – and robust pushers are designed for better grip and ease of use.
Naturally, for a timepiece designed to adapt itself to all of life’s adventures, the interchangeable strap system allows for a quick change of character and style. Each new Polaris Chrongraph is accompanied by a package of two straps: the blue dial is complemented by a steel bracelet and a blue rubber strap textured with a ‘Clous de Paris’ pattern, while the dynamic styling of the grey dial is complemented by a beige canvas strap and a similarly textured black rubber strap.
Since 1833, driven by an unquenchable thirst for innovation and creativity, and inspired by the peaceful natural surroundings of its home in the Vallée de Joux, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been distinguished by its mastery of complications and the precision of its mechanisms. Known as the Watchmaker of Watchmakers, the Manufacture has expressed its relentlessly inventive spirit through the creation of more than 1,300 different calibres and the award of more than 400 patents. Harnessing 190 years of accumulated expertise, La Grande Maison’s watchmakers design, produce, finish and ornament the most advanced and precise mechanisms, blending passion with centuries-old savoir-faire, linking the past to the future, timeless but always up with the times. With 180 skills brought together under one roof, the Manufacture creates fine timepieces that combine technical ingenuity with aesthetic beauty and a distinctively understated sophistication.