Released back in 2004 the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Memovox was the first real attempt from Jaeger-LeCoultre to make a watch based on the Polaris look from the 1960’s.
Big, black dial, three crowns divers watch with an alarm. They even named it “Compressor” but referring to the wing-nut compressor crowns, not like the original Polaris with Compressor case.
The Master Compressor Memovox were received with mixed feelings…
For the time (2004) Master Compressor Memovox were a quite large watch at 41.5 mm in diameter and 15.5 mm thick. But that was not the problem by those who didn’t like it – the problem was the crown at ten, operating the inner rotating bezel and the alarm disk window.
Personally I truly love this watch! First time I saw it, I bought it!
The fact that the third crown is on the opposite side of the time- and alarm crown is logical to me. Due to the wing-nut compressor crowns, three crowns on the same side would have been too crowded or the middle crown would have been a normal crown which would have looked odd and unbalanced.
The alarm window between 7:15 and 12:45 makes sense. With two big crowns and the date window on the right hands side and one smaller crown top left, the alarm window makes an unsymmetrical watch look balanced and also make space for a larger logo on the dial than if a traditional Memovox alarm disk.
Interesting detail is that on the first batches of the Master Compressor Memovox it was written “MEMOVOX AUTOMATIQUE” while on later versions it only says “MEMOVOX”.
As said, I love this watch! Built like a tank, can take a beating with no sweat. but still with an elegant side and many refined details.
This watch were my beater for many years and I wore it and used it as a true beater. Full of battle scars and dings. Love every one of them as they bring back many happy memories…
Like all the Master watches from the early 2000, the Master Compressor Memovox have the gold planisphere on the back. A very nice detail I would prefer over seeing some of the automatic movements shown through sapphire crystal today.