Originally unveiled Circa 1950, the Memovox has become an icon in the genre of alarm watches. Analogously, the Polaris, originally released in 1968, is also one of those later mid-century watch designs that has been re-interpreted for our contemporaneous times. Yet, when you combine these two retro emblems, what result is something that is oddly futurist.
Despite its vintage inspirations, the aesthetics of the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox is distinctly modern: steel with a bold dash of sumptuous blue and a smattering of orange accents. All signs point to a distinctive reference with robust capabilities paying direct homage to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first diving watches.
“It’s so understated and elegant, I can wear it for everything – in the sea or on a bicycle, at a photoshoot or just chilling out,” says actor and longstanding Friend of La Grande Maison Benedict Cumberbatch.
Ever since Cumberbatch wore the Polaris Mariner Memovox for the making of the short film In a Breath, it has become one of his favourite pieces. Indeed, its dressed up aesthetics aren’t the only aspect to have seen improvement.
Functionality has been enhanced, to be fully compliant with ISO 6425 diving specifications and water-resistant to 300 metres (30 bar), while the concentric rings of the gradient blue dial create a sporty and distinctively contemporary aesthetic.
The self-winding movement, Calibre 956, is a direct descendant of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first automatic alarm watch calibres. With a new peripheral gong designed to allow for a transparent sapphire case-back, the Polaris Mariner Memovox retains the signature “school bell” sound that lends a warm charm to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s alarm watches.
Cumberbatch also appreciates how Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers have risen to the challenge of combining elegance, functionality and high performance in the watch: “It’s light, it’s incredibly durable and I like that you can actually see the mechanism at the back through the glass – which is quite rare in a dive watch. It’s the geek in me. I love to see the mechanisms.”
The Polaris Mariner Memovox stands as a timepiece for all occasions, all year round, perhaps especially for summer-time adventures where it truly shines.
POLARIS MARINER MEMOVOX PRICE + SPECS
Case 42mm stainless steel with 300 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic Caliber 956 with 45 hours power reserve