Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph Review

by Chamath Gamage
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The modern gentleman is someone who tries to experience life to the fullest. For some, the glory is the destination, but for others who truly experience life, it’s about the journey reaching that destination and the many different experiences that come along the way. Always being open to trying new things, the modern man finds innovative ways to get the most out of his life. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Collection released in 2018 was created to complement this lifestyle by being an elegant yet sporty watch that can do it all. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Collection was inspired by their iconic Memovox Polaris watch from 1968. The Polaris Collection will join the brands’ exiting pillars which consist of; Reverso, Master Collection, Rendez-vous, Duometre and Hybris Mechanica. Jaeger-LeCoultre, however, didn’t only create one timepiece as a homage to the 1968 Memovox Polaris. They used the aesthetics, design cues and spirit of the 1968 timepiece to bring to life five new timepieces that form the overall Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Collection. These timepieces are the three-hand automatic, chronograph, chronograph world time and two models that have very close ties to the original Memovox Polaris; the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox.

What we have on our hands is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph in steel. The Polaris Chronograph comes in three variants; black dial, blue dial and a pink gold version. The black and blue dials are priced the same, while the apparent pink gold is the more expensive one in the chronograph range. We at Watchadvice have been fortunate enough to get the blue dial, to wear for some time to be able to give a detailed review on the timepiece. 

The Polaris Chronograph is the sportiest timepiece in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Collection. The Polaris Chronograph has ties to the brand’s motorsport history, where Jaeger-LeCoultre used to supply dashboard instruments to some of the most iconic classic cars and motorcycles. What makes this piece the sportiest is, of course, the chronograph feature along with the tachymeter scale shown on the bezel. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Chronograph features a 42mm stainless steel case and a bezel that has been integrated with the dial. The integration of the bezel and dial also makes the bezel thinner, but more importantly, the dial appears bigger. The chronograph pushers have been redesigned for a better grip and the start and stop functions when activated almost feel as soft and smooth as the iconic El Primero chronograph pushers. The bevelled lugs, to the detailed lines on the chronograph pushers, give that added depth and extra level of detail to the Polaris Chronograph.

In our view, this dial is a show-stopper. It has a lot of complexity and depth. The Polaris Chronograph in blue has four different finishes of blue on the dial. The centre circle of the dial features a brushed sunray blue finish, the hour indexes track has a grained blue finish, the tachymeter scale on the bezel has an opaline finish and the two chronograph counters include a concentric pattern. You would think that this much variety in a small space wouldn’t suit, but it’s quite the opposite. Jaeger-LeCoultre has done extremely well to bring the different finishes on the dial together. You have to look at this watch up close to truly appreciate the detail and aesthetics.

The grained finish on the hour track does look quite spectacular in person which is easily distinguishable thanks to the different finishing surrounding the hour track.

Similar in design to the original 1968 Memovox Polaris, Jaeger-LeCoultre has used oversized triangular hour indices as well as Arabic numerals for 12-hour and 6-hour indices. The use of oversize indices certainly helps to provide easy readability of the dial. This, of course, is only helped further by making the hour indices white (from the Superluminova), providing a perfect contrast to the various blue shades shown throughout the dial. This contrast will grab attention even from a distance.

The Polaris Chronograph features two chronograph counters that activate when the pushers are engaged. There is a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position and a 12-hour counter at the 9 o’clock position. Like the rest of the dial, the markings on the counters have been done in white to provide contrast and easy readability. The opaline finish and the concentric circle pattern in the counters certainly helps distinguish it from the rest of the dial. 

The engine powering the Polaris Chronograph is Jaeger-LeCoultre very own in-house chronograph Caliber 751H. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 751H is an automatic mechanical movement that serves to power the hours/minutes/seconds and the chronograph functions on the Polaris Chronograph. Launched in 2004, the Caliber 751 alongside Calibre 752 were the first automatic chronograph movements to be ever produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre. The movements use a vertical coupling system, which allows the column-wheel chronograph to be extremely accurate. 

There are different variants of the Calibre 751 since its first creation in 2004, used for chronographs and world timers; however, they all roughly have the same output in terms of accuracy and power reserve. The Calibre 751H used in the Polaris Chronograph has a frequency of 4Hz, beating at 28,800 vph, 37 jewels and more importantly a power reserve of approximately 65 hours. The Polaris Chronograph does come with an open case-back; however, most of the movement is covered, so you aren’t able to see the inner workings of the Calibre 751H movement.

 The case-back features several inscriptions too, one of which is the “1000 hours control”. The 1000 hours control is Jaeger-LeCoultre own in-house testing certification, where they pay special attention to the final testing and quality of their watches. These tests exceed official chronometry tests, and as the name suggests, each watch goes through 1000 hours of testing. If the Jaeger-LeCoultre watch features the “1000 hours control” inscription, that means the watch has passed all the production tests which ensure its regularity, resistance to temperature changes and atmospheric changes, robustness to shocks and magnetic fields along with waterproofing tests.  

How does it wear? 

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph is very comfortable to wear, mainly thanks to the newly engineered steel bracelet. The watch should be able to accommodate all wrist sizes due to the design of the clasp. The clasp can be adjusted from both sides, ensuring that you can get an accurate, snug fit on the wrist every time. Another key feature of the steel bracelet is the design. The bracelet features a mixture of polished and brushed links, which is quite noticeable from some distance. The two different finishes integrate very well with the case as well, where the case also has brushed finishing (case) and polished finishing (bezel and chronograph pushers). 

When worn on the wrist, it sits well on a medium-sized (6.5-7inch) wrist. With a 42mm case size, this watch personally feels like the perfect size. The dial certainly appears to be bigger and gives off a much larger appearance than what you would generally get on a 42mm chronograph. This is because the bezel is neatly sloped and blended into the dial. 

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph could be classed as a sporty dress watch, thanks to the beautiful bracelet, and the bezel being integrated with the stunning blue dial. In our view, this timepiece is versatile enough for it to be paired with formal attire (as seen in the photos) or with a casual look. The blue dial will pop with a white T-shirt or shirt. The black dial version of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph will undoubtedly look good paired with a suit too. For a more refined look, you could pair this up with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s calf skin strap.

Looking at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph, you wouldn’t think at first glance that the dial is vintage-inspired. Using design cues from the iconic 1968 Memovox Polaris, Jaeger-LeCoultre has combined their knowledge of high manufacturing know-how to bring a modern, elegant, sporty timepiece that is destined to become a symbol for an active lifestyle.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph Specification:

Model Reference: 9028180
Case Diameter: 42mm
Dial: Blue dial
Case: Stainless Steel
Functions: Hour counter, Chronograph, , 30-minute counter, Hour – Minute, Tachometer
Movement: Calibre 751H
Power Reserve: Min. 72 hours
Water Resistance: 10 ATM / 100 meters

Australian Retail Pricing: $17,900.00

Availability: Available now

Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutiques:

  • Melbourne – 86 Collins Street
  • Sydney – Shop 4, 84 King Street

Local Authorised dealers :

  • Brisbane – The Hour Glass
  • Melbourne – The Hour Glass and Watches of Switzerland
  • Sydney – Swiss Concept and Watches of Switzerland
  • Perth – Watches of Switzerland
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