Jaeger-LeCoultre E 859 Memovox Polaris 1968, a “mystery”

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We all know there are two versions of the original Jaeger-LeCoultre E 859 Memovox Polaris. The Polaris “1965” and The Polaris “1968”. The big difference being the dial which on the “1965” is similar to the black dial E 855 while the “1968” have large luminous index…

OK, why do I call this post a “mystery”? Because of the name Polaris 1968…

Yes, the Tribute To Polaris 1968 was launched on the 40 years anniversary of the original Polaris in 2008. The Polaris line was launched last year on the 50 years anniversary.

Now the reason I think this name is mysterious is that if you look into documents the Polaris 1968 dial was already introduced in 1967.

Here is a scan from the Jaeger-LeCoultre European catalogue from 1967. As you can see, the Polaris have the “1968” dial and not the previous “1965” dial. So a “1968” dial in the 1967 catalogue?

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1967 catalogue – Calibre 825 watches

OK, it could be explained with that the catalogue was printed on the wrong side of the year end…

But I found another document, an Argentinian newspaper ad from 1967. That is harder to explain… Remember that back then the game was different, not like today – you get to see the novelties, place an order and then wait for months… No, if advertised in the local newspaper, the retailer must have had a stock ready or would have chosen a different watch to advertise.

So why did Jaeger-LeCoultre choose to call this dial version the “1968” dial instead of “1967”?! The dial version was already in use one year earlier, in 1967…

I have no clue… But would love to know!

Another “mysterious” thing about the Polaris and 1967 – some sources claim that only 9 pieces of the Polaris were produced that year. Nine is a very small number. I know mine is from 1967 based on the markings in the case back: 6-67 and a movement number correspondent with that year.

Jaeger-LeCoultre – 6-67 E 859

I know at least one more Polaris from 1967, a fellow collector and friend not far from Sweden that have one…

So already two out of nine located. Now, what dial do my watch have?
Yes, you guessed it…

My Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris – 6-67 E 859

Edit: with permission from @cfnissen, here is his Polaris 1967 with the same dial and same case marking 6-67:

@cfnissen Polaris 1967 – 6-67 E 859

Edit: This shot is too good not to include here – cfnissen at young age wearing his fathers Polaris 1967:

@cfnissen Polaris 1967 – 6-67 E 859

The Polaris “1968” dial on two known Polaris from 1967…

It would be really interesting to know which dial the rest of the Polaris made in 1967 have.

These two watches plus advertisement and catalogue from the year 1967…
Can it be that the Polaris “1968” is named based on a misunderstanding?

Regardless of name, these are fantastic watches!
On the wooden beam: LeCoultre Polaris 1965, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris 1967 and the Tribute To Polaris 1968.

LeCoultre Polaris 1965, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris 1967 and Tribute To Polaris 1968