First thought on the Jaeger Lecoultre Polaris Mariner Date and Mariner Memovox.

Oct 01, 2020,00:22 AM

Jaeger Lecoultre comes back to the Polaris with two new models, the Polaris Mariner Date and the Polaris Mariner Memovox. 

Polaris, Mariner, two names which have their roots in Jaeger Lecoultre rich history. If you know the Polaris by heart, as it is one of the most popular watch from the Manufacture, the Mariner belongs to a family, the Master Mariner, born in the late Fifties and which gave birth to a model which is appreciated by the Jaeger Lecoultre fans, the Master Mariner Deep Sea. 

You could also think that this name was used to enhance the link to the sea, with the blue dial and the improved water resistance of these two watches, which are now 300 meters. 

Historically, the Polaris Mariner Memovox is the fourth opus of this watch. Born in 1962 / 1963 as a prototype, the definitive Polaris was issued in 1965 with a glossy black dial with luminous dots but without luminous indices. The Polaris we better know was issued in 1967 with its long triangular luminous indices. 

Then in 1970, Jaeger Lecoultre reinvented the Polaris, with an oval round case, under the reference E 870, which came with three dials, a grey, a blue and and a red. 

We had to wait till 2008 to see the Tribute To Polaris with two dials, one from the 1965 edition, the other from 1967 / 1968. 

In 2018, Jaeger Lecoultre unveiled a new line of Polaris, with and without date, with a chronograph world time and chronograph only, the Geographique World Time and a Polaris Memovox 50th Anniversary, in a limited edition, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this icon. 

So, what are the characteristics of these 2 watches? 

They both respect the ISO 64-25 Norms, which means that they fulfill the different points: 

- An unidirectional bezel, 

- Differentiated hour and minute hands,

- A running indicator, 

- A water resistance of 100 meters minimum. 

-  And a good visibility in the dark. 

Here, not only Jaeger Lecoultre respects the ISO norms, they also go farther. 

Indeed, the water resistance is improved to 300 meters instead of 200 meters for the Vintage, the Tribute and the 50th Anniversary, an orange security ring which informs you that the bezel is not secured, a screw-in crown ( the bezel, not the the time nor the alarm ) and some different luminova for the minute and hour hands.

The crown dedicated to the bezel on the Polaris Mariner Date: 

And on the Polaris Mariner Memovox: 

Two other features are present on these watches are the line on the bezel, between 0 and 15 and, of course, the see through case back showing the Cal 899 ( Mariner Date ) and the Cal 956 ( Mariner Memovox ).  

Polaris Mariner Date: 

Polaris Mariner Memovox: 

Jaeger Lcoultre reworked the Cal 899 with the same improvement than for the Master Control Date, with an enhanced power reserve of 70 hours, and the Cal 956 with a new architecture for the peripheral gong and hammer. As you can see, the rotors are in tungsten. 

The Cal 899

The Cal 956: 

The size? 42 mm for both of them, 15, 6 mm high for the Polaris Mariner Memovox, and 13, 9 mm high for the Polaris Mariner Date.In the  reality, the watch looks less bigger, due to the fact that the sapphire is 2, 3 mm high and the case back 2 mm thick. 

The smoked blue dials are very nice looking, on both of them. 

Here, none of them are limited editions. 

They are both mounted on a bracelet. No strap option for the moment. 

Polaris Mariner Date: 

Polaris Mariner Memovox: 

The price? 9100 Euros without VAT for the Mariner Date, and 14, 500 Euros without VAT for the Mariner Memovox ( 17, 200 Euros VAT included ). 

Of course we'll come back to these 2 watches as soon as I can take some decent pictures of them. 



More posts: Jaeger LeCoultreMemovox

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Good looking watches.

 By: jlux : October 1st, 2020-00:54
Price positioning is however questionable. My favorite from the Polaris line is still the very basic no-date version on a leather strap.

Quite elegant

 By: Arronax : October 1st, 2020-02:58
My only minor concern is that a regular dive-watch bezel also protects the crystal from shocks and dings, while this box sapphire is quite exposed. I almost cracked the sapphire of my luminor on a dive boat a few years back after my son's dive tank hit my... 

I like these a lot

 By: robsallnow : October 1st, 2020-03:22
They seem to have addressed the issues I had with the previous version of the Polaris Date that stopped me buying one, the faux patina and the poor power reserve and added a display back that I the downside seems to be that they have in effe... 

Tired, old and inappropriate movements let

 By: Rapwatch : October 1st, 2020-03:41
this whole approach down. So, JLC finally make an ISO 6425 grade dive watch, Great. But forgetting the somewhat ridiculous 'alarm' dive watch, with the creaky 40 something PR...... this was a missed opportunity to apply a proper sports watch movement to t... 

PR is one thing, 899 balance power is not competitive for sports role

 By: Rapwatch : October 1st, 2020-07:26
Remember these days Encouragingly, Autotractor's balance power was nearly as high as Rolex. Unfortunately Cal 899 has a weeny little balance wheel. This link has an interesting discussion around this.

Orange Detail

 By: Jakub M : October 1st, 2020-03:55
I really like these apart from being (in my eyes) rather overpriced, according to the website orange bar on rehaut controlling crown disappears when you screw in the crown to ensure you are not going to forget screwing in the crown (that reminds of older ... 

That's it. [nt]

 By: amanico : October 1st, 2020-14:57

Nice looking watches. Would I purchase?

 By: MichaelC : October 1st, 2020-05:07
No, but they do look nice. Look forward to your live photos and personal thoughts after you get to handle them.

Great summary of the Polaris.

 By: Nicetomeetyou : October 1st, 2020-06:48
The dials are sublime & the specs (water resistance) are good. Size is appropriate (even though maybe too large for my wrist). The date is in the right sweet spot for case thickness. The memovox ideally could be a bit thinner; But understandable given... 

Yes, for that extra pop of orange on the dial...

 By: Nicetomeetyou : October 1st, 2020-18:49
You must pony up the extra green $$$.

Well put. [nt]

 By: amanico : October 1st, 2020-22:17

Great review of two nice watches but it was time for JLC to update the 956 with the new Mariner

 By: India Whiskey Charlie : October 1st, 2020-07:01
Also, the prices seem a little steep.

Terrific review. Thank you!

 By: descartes1 : October 1st, 2020-08:15
I view this as sort of an odd choice for JLC. It’s essentially the Polaris with greater technical ability (depth). I’m not sure there are too many in the market looking for this sort of thing from JLC. My preference would be for them to create an elegant,... 

The TRUE question is to know if the Nautilus, Aquanaut and Royal Oak are TRUE sports watches. I don't think so, personally. Honestly, you put another name than Patek or AP on the dial of the RO or Nautilus and...

 By: amanico : October 1st, 2020-14:22
I am not sure they will be hot cakes everybody wants to eat... And at what price!!! You have more horological content with a Polaris than with a Nautilus or a RO. Well, it is just my opinion. Best, Nicolas

I share your opinion. [nt]

 By: kkochheiser : October 1st, 2020-15:30

You are probably right, but I for one would be keen to have something sleek and sporty looking from JLC

 By: descartes1 : October 1st, 2020-16:40
Not like a RO styled copy like then Lauretto but something a bit more original.

Wonderful write up!

 By: MiguelFlash : October 1st, 2020-08:31
I truly enjoyed reading this thread and the pictures are beautiful. I like this watch. Thank you!

Noted. ;) [nt]

 By: amanico : October 1st, 2020-14:24

Funny....purely coincidentally took my Polaris out of the bank vault today .....

 By: HSTE : October 1st, 2020-11:41
...... I actually quite like the Mariner Memovox. It has to have the three crowns. Love three crowns. Cheers, HSTE ...  

What is my first thought?

 By: Thomas_3 : October 1st, 2020-12:48
Too expensive!

Love these! IMHO, a really tight and refined update to the polaris line like the updates to the master control series

 By: Fastwong : October 1st, 2020-15:59
I really like the orange accents, lumed second hand, and the way the box crystal plays with the interior bezel. I don't even think the price for the date version is out of line, that's submarinerish pricing but you can actually get one and you're getting ... 

Great looking diver's watch, no doubt about it. for the mariner date, I'd get it over any modern sub anytime (except for that shiny bracelet which i'm not keen of).

 By: hoseachandra : October 1st, 2020-18:01
For the memovox, it is a modern approach from JLC, can't blame them to move forward in design. JLC does not have to keep relying on past design. But the pricing is too ambitious, especially that it is not a limited edition. So i think for many fans who ar... 

FAIL - the more I find out the more disappointed I get

 By: Rapwatch : October 2nd, 2020-00:20
I know no serious diver uses just a watch etc etc but ISO or not, Useless bezel - screw crown is a showstopper. I use my diving bezels 5-10x a day. Having to unscrew/rescrew a crown to do this is ridiculous. As mentioned above you cannot do this underwate... 

Some points I agree and disagree.

 By: amanico : October 2nd, 2020-01:38
The screw in crown for the bezel: I van understand that if you use it ten times a day, it can be tiring. Now, the idea to avoid that the bezel turns by accident is not that bad, for a diver. I agree with you on the lack of a diving extension on the bracel... 

Sadly this formula could have been launched 15 years ago

 By: Rapwatch : October 2nd, 2020-11:25
And then developed. Instead we got Polaris inspired AMVOX abomination that Lambert allowed Metrailler to deface along with the sidetrack of ‘compressor’ overwrought horrors. We had to wait till at least 2008 to get a proper Polaris facsimile. Fine. Good j... 

Сaliber 899 with silicon escapement?

 By: Dmitriy : October 2nd, 2020-23:39
The photo shows that the anchor and anchor wheel are made of silicon.

On a pure 'LOOKS' level...

 By: Mostel : October 4th, 2020-12:52
I LOOOOOVE the alarm diver.... for me it would have to be that model, go all the way. BUT... big but.... The price is quite outrageous... with resale on JLC being so painful... who wants to throw down 17k new?? Additionally, I have read enough posts about... 

Thank you for the review..

 By: nacelle : October 7th, 2020-19:49 the orange accents and the treatment of the blue dial. Lume looks very good indeed. Need to see them live and others have thoroughly dissected the movement and pricing position. Very sharp looking watches...