A Hands-On Introduction To The New Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date With A Double-Gradient Green Dial
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris is a watch that began its life as a three-crown dive/alarm watch. The brand reminded us of this in 2018, releasing the Memovox Tribute to Polaris and the Polaris Date at SIHH that year. Since its release in the 1960s, the Polaris has become much more than just one quirky diver. Now, the brand uses the Polaris name to designate an entire line of watches. It includes chronographs, world timers, perpetual calendars, the Polaris Date and no-date models, and even one model which remains faithful to the OG Polaris with its built-in alarm function. Looking through the lineup, one can’t help but notice that other than black and gray, only blue is available as a more colorful option. Until today, that is.
As of today, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris line welcomes a splash of green in the form of the new green Polaris Date. It would be quite easy to be overly cynical and make a number of comments on the use of green in the watch industry in recent years. If you’re anything like I am though, you don’t care much for trends, and you try to see if each new watch stands up on its own merit. And whereas some efforts at going green have not been all that spectacular, I believe that the new colorway rather suits the Polaris Date. But as you know if you’ve read this morning’s Strap Check article, I am going through somewhat of a khaki-green phase myself. And the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date added fuel to the khaki-green fire burning in my heart.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date — Green Boutique Edition
Now, before I get into it, there’s one thing I want to address. And that’s the fact that referring to this dial simply as “green” does a great disservice. If there’s anything that this dial has, its depth. Lacquer is applied over its textured surfaces in a way that creates a vignette effect. The color gradient ranges from black at the outermost edges to a light khaki green at the center. This effect repeats itself again in the center of the dial, where the Memovox model would have its rotating alarm setting feature. The internal rotating bezel, operated by the crown at 2 o’clock, is black with white numerals and hash marks. It also features a number of markings in orange — every 15 minutes, as well as designating every five minutes in the first 15. At 12 o’clock, you’ll find a white-and-orange arrow filled with lume.
These orange details match the tip of the seconds hand, which features a lume-filled window about halfway down its length. It aligns perfectly with the minute track which outlines the internal dial. This area of the dial has a subtle sunburst texture that can be seen through the lacquer. The outer section, where the 12-, 6-, and 9-o’clock applied markers, date window, and the rather small Jaeger-LeCoultre logo can be found has a grained texture, also below the layer of lacquer. This means that the dial’s rough-textured surfaces all appear glossy at a surface level under the domed sapphire crystal. The applied markers and hands are filled with slightly off-white tinted lume. The twin-crowned 42mm stainless steel case is brushed, with a polished bezel and subtle chamfering on the lugs.
On the flip-side
Turning the watch over reveals a sapphire exhibition case back. Below it — and protected with 200m of water resistance — you’ll be able to appreciate the automatic mechanical Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 899AB. Beautifully decorated with Geneva stripes, blued screws, gilded text, and a signed and skeletonized rotor, it’s a sight to behold. It provides 70 hours of power reserve, beating at 28,800vph. It can be set using the crown at the 4-o’clock position. The movement features hacking and hand-winding, as you might expect. What you might not expect, however, is for a 200m dive watch to not have screw-down crowns. But JLC has managed to achieve the rating with both crowns simply pushing into the 13.92mm-thick case. This does mean that the bezel can be set at any time, without needing to pull out or unscrew the crown.
This latest version of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date comes on a quick-release khaki-green rubber strap. I found it to be rather comfortable, but perhaps a little bit short for any actual diving. It’s not too thick, yet still balances the watch’s weight well. It fastens using a double deployant clasp, signed with the brand’s logo. The strap features a diamond grain texture, contained within the slightly raised matte edges. This pattern is repeated in each of the two keepers. The first of these two is fixed using two rubber protrusions on either side. Overall, thanks to the slim case, lack of bezel, and comfortable rubber strap, the watch is incredibly comfortable on the wrist. My feeling was that a 39mm version of this watch would be perfect, as 42mm still does feel rather on the large side.
Overall, I was pleasantly impressed with the new green take on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date. But as we all know, there is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of a khaki-green binge. So my opinion might be somewhat biased here. However, when I think back to other green watches I have seen in the last few months, this is likely my favorite. There are as many shades of green out there as there are fish in the sea. The Polaris Date, however, just happens to feature one that I love. And in a green sea with plenty of fish in it, I think this would be my pick. The boutique edition will be available for €8,700 (ex. VAT). For more information check out the JLC site.
What do you make of the green Polaris? Do you think it’s a case of trend-chasing? Or do you appreciate it for what it is? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.