It’s been a busy last six months for me… Been involved in several major projects which left very little time for my blog…
Now vacation is here and I can finally sit down and write again!
I will start with one of the Novelties of 2022, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date – Green, reference Q906863J. One which have more common points with the Jaeger-LeCoultre heritage than meets the eye at first glance and maybe more significance than one may think…
This new Polaris Date intrigued me a lot when I first saw it in photos.
My guess was that Jaeger-LeCoultre would follow up on the first blue fume dial from 2019 with either a red or a grey dial version based on the history of the Polaris II fume dial versions. You can read my thoughts about the watch here: First thoughts and Second thoughts.
When Jaeger-LeCoultre released the Polaris Mariner Collection in 2020 I was not really paying attention, at first glance it looked like a darker shade of blue compared with the one from the year before.
Due to the pandemic I didn’t have the chance to see this one in the metal…
And now in 2022, Jaeger-LeCoultre follows the Mariner version with yet a non-limited ‘special edition’ in green:
Different from the previous Mariner version, this one sparked my interest from the get-go!
The different shades of green, the cream colored lume, the orange markers…
Yes, again – its mostly about the dial
Do I prefer green over blue? Normally, no – I most of the times prefer blue dials. But the combination of green and cream lume works much better for me that the dark bule/crispy white lume which makes it look a bit too modern for my taste.
One have to remember that Jaeger-LeCoultre outside the Reverso, mostly kept the dial colors to the basics – white/silver, grey, black and additional blue as their ‘special’ color.
There has been a few green Reverso models in recent years, most very limited in production except for the Reverso Tribute with small seconds from last year (I will return to that one in a later report).
In the beginning of the Reverso history there were also some green dial versions and during the late 1970’s Jaeger-LeCoultre made some green dial watches as well…
Like the reference 16306:
But if I remember well, last time there were a round men’s watch with green dial in the regular catalogue was back in the 2006/2007 Manufacture book!
The AMVOX 1 R-Alarm, Green dial/Titanium case Limited Edition of 500 pieces:
Back then I really wanted a green dial watch, but the dimeter of 44 mm was too much for my taste. The weight was not the problem due to the Titanium case, but the size made it look like a hockey puck on my wrist…
50 Shades of green
While the AMVOX 1 R-Alarm is British Racing Green, the new Polaris Date is more ‘moss-green’, yet very varying depending on light and surrounding.
Just to illustrate how much the dial changes, here is a shot with a burgundy background, notice how the dial looks more brown than green? In real, the dial is not brown!
Here another shot with blue background, turning the dial back to green and making the finer details more accentuated.
The lume and markers
The softer, warmer tone of the of the lume, some may criticize it as “fake patina” but I like it. Gives a much more coherent look together with the green fume dial.
The orange markers which were already introduced with the Mariner collection are much better suited here. You see the markers with ease, not blending in or standing out too much!
The skeletonized hands are another improvement that was added with the Mariner collection, the solid hands as of the first blue version are hard to do well, often they become too wide just to match the hour markers but breaking the over all balance of the watch.
Compare the width ratio – hands/hour markers, between the original Polaris and the Polaris Date Blue from 2019:
The new skeletonized hands reminds me of this one – the E 875 Memovox Speedbeat hands aren’t skeletonized but the visual effect is similar.
Even if the new Polaris Date has wider hands, there is still a balance. A more modern look, yet elegantly balanced both hands/lume – and overall!
Another detail from the past, the rectangular lumed plate on the seconds hand. Something the Polaris II featured already in 1970.
The 42mm steel case is a modern interpretation of the original Polaris EPSA case. Very similar up front, with some modern tweaks to the lugs.
In comparison with previous version the new version of the Polaris Date is almost 1 mm thinner, 13.10 mm vs. 13.92 mm. May not sound much, but a 6% decrease of the thickness is good for the comfort on the wrist.
While the original Polaris has the famous 16 holes on the back to amplify the alarm…
The Polaris Date is missing the alarm and instead of the 16 holes, there is one big ‘hole’ displaying the movement. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 889, very nicely polished and with 70 hours of power reserve.
Another feature which is possible to see from the back is the dual quick-release spring bars of the strap. Very easy to operate and makes it even easier than the single quick-release spring bars to exchange straps. At first I got a bit worried about the strength of the spring bar, but the feel is as solid as a normal spring bar.
I had the chance to wear this Polaris Date for a few hours and must say that the comfort really match the original!
This new version of the Polaris Date is what I think what the brand needs – a solid, good looking, basic sports watch which is able to compete with the top tier in this category!
Solid enough to be worn as a everyday, at any occasion watch – at the board meeting or going to the gym. Elegant enough to be match by a suit, a par of jeans or a wetsuit.
Wetsuit? Yes, one should not forget that even if most people today would not go diving with their ‘luxury’ watch on their wrist… The Polaris Date originates from one of the most iconic divers watches which were made as tools for that purpose – diving!
And here, the original and the new tool matches – waterproof down to 200 meters!
This new Polaris Date with green dial is a great addition to the Polaris line which checks a lot of boxes. Keeping it basic, yet interesting! And for the one that want more complications, there is always the Perpetual Calendar version…
I like to send a big thank you to my Jaeger-LeCoultre contact for taking her time to show me this piece!
Stay tuned for more!