Watches and Wonders 2022: A review on the Jaeger Lecoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar in Steel and in Rose Gold.

May 17, 2022,07:05 AM

In 2018, Jaeger Lecoultre decided to widen the scope of the iconic Polaris, which since 1965 and the unveiling of the first model is, basically, a diving Memovox, re-edited in 2008.

So, 4 years ago, Jaeger Lecoultre came to the SIHH in Geneva with a whole family of Polaris, and not only a water resistant alarm watch. Since then, we had the Polaris Automatic ( no date, no alarm ), the Polaris Date ( No Alarm ), the Polaris 50th Anniversary ( Alarm and Date ), the Polaris Chronograph, the Polaris Chronograph World Time, and the Polaris Géographique World Time.

For Watches and Wonders, this year, Jaeger Lecoultre unveils a new Polaris, a daring version of the icon which consists in housing a perpetual calendar in a diving watch, and for those who could think that it was not daring enough, in two versions, one in steel, and one in rose gold.

The Grande Maison is not the first to have played with this combination, as Ulysse Nardin did it with its " Acqua Perpetual " 20 years ago in a 42, 7 mm steel case, but, still, it is not something you see everyday. 

Let's see what we have here.

- A traditional case.

I mean a 42 mm one, as there were three different sizes in 2018: 41 / 42 and 44 mm. The 42 mm case is the " historical " one, as it is the size of the Polaris 1965 and 1968, vintage or Tributes.

You will find the polish satin finishing and the generous beveled lugs. 

The height is 11, 97 mm, which has to be compared with the Master Chronograph Calendar ( 12, 05 mm high ), and the Master Ultra Thin 39 Perpetual Calendar ( 10, 44 mm for the Guilloché Blue Enamel / 9, 2 mm for the " normal " dials ) or with the Master Perpetual Calendar Skeleton from 2007 ( 41, 5 mm big / 11, 80 mm high ). So to say, the proportions of the Polaris Perpetual Calendar are quite restrained, if you keep in mind that the Polaris Memovox Mariner is... 15, 6 mm thick!

Lug to lug, the length is 48, 815 mm which will make it wearable for most wrists. 

As for the choice of a rose gold case for the Polaris, it is the second time they made it.Indeed, since 1965, it has only been made once, in 2018, and it was for the Polaris Chronograph. We  sure had the platinum version of the Tribute to Polaris in 2008, and titanium for the Polaris Chronograph World Time. Jaeger Lecoultre smartly decided to avoid a rose gold bracelet. So the rose gold Polaris Perpetual looks, in real, lighter than the steel version on its steel bracelet. And it is, as the Steel Polaris Perpetual Calendar on its steel bracelet weighs 187 grams, versus  133 grams for the rose gold version. 

The Polaris Perpetual Calendar has a see-through case back, which, in my opinion, was not necessary here, I mean for a diving watch. A solid case back would have been more consistent and there is nothing exceptionally nice to see, in terms of movement finishings and decoration.
And maybe we would have a bigger resistance to water: With this see-through case back, the Polaris Perpetual Calendar is water resistant to 100 meters. 

To be complete, none of the two crowns are screw-in, like most of the Polaris we know ( with the exception of the Polaris Memovox Mariner which had the screw-in crown dedicated to the bezel ).

- The visible Star of the Watch: The dial. 

For those who are familiar with Perpetual Calendars from Jaeger Lecoultre, you immediately know there is something special with this Polaris. 

A hint? The position of the moon phase and the months. Normally, on the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar 39, the moon phase is located at 12 o' clock and the months at 6 o' clock. 

On this Polaris Perpetual Calendar, these two indications are reversed, which is something we already saw in another Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar 39, the White Gold version with the guilloché blue enamel, issued in 2020. A detail which announces something about the movement, as we'll see later in this article. 

This dial is exemplary, in terms of symmetry, with the 4 subdials dedicated to the day, the date, the month and the moon phase. The years window is also nicely integrated in the months sub dial, and the " danger zone " indicator, reminding that you should not set the date between 10 PM and 4 AM, is discreetly located above the axis of the hands. 

The hands which are empty at their base, to allow you to see the danger zone indicator.  Smart. And discreet.

A few words on the dial texture, now. It is grained with a gradient ( smoke ) blue lacquer finish, at the contrary of the Polaris Geographique World Time which was grained only.

The counters have a circular grained finish, the hands and the applied indices are made in steel for the steel version, and golden for the pink gold one.

The bezel is blue opalin, to complete these pleasant shades of blue.

What about a lume shot? 


I will quickly mention it as it is well known, now. Indeed,  the movement was first introduced in 2019, in the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Guilloché Blue Enamel. It is the Cal 868, automatic, with a power reserve of 70 hours, which was a very good improvement, compared to the former automatic perpetual calendar and its 38  hours power reserve. 

This longer power reserve is due to the new silicon escapement, a redesigned barrel and new oils.

The inverted months and moon phase sub dials reveal that this movement has been rotated to 180 degrees, as it was the case for the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Guilloché Blue Enamel. 


Depending on the version, you have two choices. 

The steel version comes with a steel bracelet ( which is not an option ) and an additional bluel rubber strap on a folding buckle.

The rose gold version is mounted on a blue rubber strap, folding buckle, with an extra black alligator strap.

For the rubber and the alligator straps, you have the quick change simple " presto " system, double " presto " system for the bracelet.

You can also quickly adjust the buckle of the steel bracelet.


There are not so many perpetual calendars among sports watches. 

The most famous certainly are the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, but the first is water resistant to 20 meters, and the second to 60 meters. 

A less famous one is the Ulysse Nardin Acqua Perpetual from the early 2000's, with a steel case and water resistant to 300 meters, which is more consistent for a sports watch than only 20 or 60 meters, in my opinion. 

100 meters is a minimum for a sports watch, and for what is supposed to be a diving watch even more, so the Polaris  qualifies here. 

Personally, I like the " blend of genres " and here, a fresh approach of a traditional or noble complication. So to say, I have nothing against perpetual calendars housed in sports watches 

I like the symmetry of the dial a lot, the integration of the years is not ruining it. And the gradient blue gives a huge cool factor to this watch. 

Now, there is one thing I regret... I would have been totally mad IF this perpetual calendar could be associated with... An Alarm. 

Yes, this is my only regret, here. 

Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,



More posts: Jaeger LeCoultreMaster PerpetualMaster Ultra ThinMemovoxnautilusPolaris 1965Royal OakSeiko PresageSPB069J1

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Comments: view entire thread


Waited for long time on this 😎

 By: @lberti : May 17th, 2022-07:12
Thank you !

Pleasure, mon ami.

 By: amanico : May 17th, 2022-15:43

Thank you very much for this excellent review, Nicolas!

 By: lm6 : May 17th, 2022-08:07
Have been looking forward to it, as I find this model very interesting indeed. I have no problem with a perpetual calendar in a sports watch. On the contrary I find that it works very well. A perpetual calendar works best (and is best suited) to a watch t... 

Thank you for the excellent review Nico….

 By: Johnny. : May 17th, 2022-08:32
Very nice watch and as you mentioned nicely balanced dial. The rose gold version is sweet and very sporty with the rubber strap, the steel version looks a bit boring on the steel bracelet and I am sure that on the rubber strap or a nice black leather stra... 

Fantastic review,thanks for this!

 By: jlux : May 17th, 2022-08:53
I really like this watch : the design,the proportions,the dial,the movement! I feel that this is one of the best watches from JLC since a long time and,for once, competitively priced (the steel version). I will certainly try to see this watch in real.

They dared, at least.

 By: amanico : May 17th, 2022-20:58

These are cute but all sport QP's have been made to look silly now thanks to these;

 By: BigFatPauli : May 17th, 2022-10:06
With their low WR and lack of flexibility in changing the date, they all feel like yesterday's lunch. One could offer that the JLC, versus all the competition, however, has price and availability going for it. In today's market, those are significant. ...  

Versus a Royal Oak QP and Nautilus QP? I think it is....

 By: BigFatPauli : May 17th, 2022-23:06
I'm just pointing out options you brought them into the conversation with, "The most famous certainly are the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, but the first is water resistant to 20 meters, and the second to 60 meters. "


 By: Gelato Monster : May 18th, 2022-04:02

THAT would be daring.

 By: amanico : May 18th, 2022-15:55

Great review and write up Nicolas! It’s an amazing reference and while at first I loved the steel version, I find the rose gold sublime here and even more suiting!

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 17th, 2022-10:09
This dial seem to work even better in rose gold. Now funny enough the picture detail that stuck with me is how the year display is fixed at “20XX”! Now that I have any plane to make it to year 2100, but was surprised that watch kind have an expiration dat... 

I guess servicing after 78 years make sense :-))

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 17th, 2022-11:39


 By: lm6 : May 17th, 2022-14:16

Maybe in spirit!

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 17th, 2022-21:37

That's for sure!

 By: amanico : May 17th, 2022-21:41


 By: amanico : May 17th, 2022-21:01

+1 Rose

 By: Gelato Monster : May 18th, 2022-00:07

Thank you for a most comprehensive review of a highly anticipated piece from JLC!

 By: Rhyzen : May 17th, 2022-11:53
I'm tempted by the pleasing combination of function and looks, and this review is nudging me closer to the edge!

Thanks for the Great review and pictures Nico!

 By: GWIS : May 17th, 2022-13:06
It is a very handsome watch. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, having tried them on, the pink gold version is my favourite. It has real presence without being over the top and showy. All the best, Jon

Great review and a great-looking watch...

 By: mdg : May 17th, 2022-16:24
...I can always do without the year indicators. Unnecessary and would maybe make it a bit thinner...but maybe not. I think having the hour markers wrapping around the subdials is distracting. They could have made them shorter and all the same shape. For s... 

Love audacity, rare quality today in this world

 By: Gelato Monster : May 18th, 2022-00:08
Everybody only play with colour

It's why I love the...

 By: mdg : May 18th, 2022-00:48
Laurent Ferrier Tourbillon Grand Sport so much. It's kind of a 'just because we could' watch : ) ...  

ouch love at first sight

 By: Gelato Monster : May 18th, 2022-01:37


 By: amanico : May 18th, 2022-07:43

Thanks for the great pics and review! Really love this interpretation, lots of lume and center seconds I think makes this a standout against the competition and the dial looks great!

 By: Fastwong : May 17th, 2022-20:36
I do wonder though if the movement is sports watch tough. I think JLC could have gone one more and maybe upgraded the movement or used the extra space in the case to do an anti shock system for the whole movement like MB&F in the evo perpetual but may... 

I’m not an expert however does a anti shock system really not depend on the movement construction?

 By: rip9er : May 18th, 2022-01:10
Some movements are built better than others so a anti shock system may not be necessary for the same accuracy?

Oh totally, I might have just made up something completely unnecessary. But....

 By: Fastwong : May 18th, 2022-03:32
The perpetual movement was originally designed to be compact for the ultra slim so I wonder if it is up to a more sporting use case unmodified. For example when Lange launched the Odysseus the movement gained a full balance bridge. When MB&F launched the ... 

I wonder what happened to the 1000h testing of Jlc?

 By: rip9er : May 18th, 2022-04:29
If I remember right shock testing was part of it which means if the previous perpetual calendar passes it then this should as well. I guess It all boils down to the 8 year warranty which would give anyone the confidence in owning this watch 😁

Translated it will be accurate? 😆

 By: rip9er : May 18th, 2022-11:20
From a practical point of view unless a watch is more accurate than others then it is simply in efficient and over engineered. 😂

Thank you Nico very insightful story

 By: Gelato Monster : May 18th, 2022-00:12
Excellent and very good suggestion from everyone. Personally I am cold metal but this one warm metal is the best.

too exquisite for canvas

 By: Gelato Monster : May 19th, 2022-10:45

Been wearing this for some time.

 By: fuigo : May 18th, 2022-03:05
It’s a great daily wearer. Not too sporty looking as other popular sports models. The function is useful. It doesn’t wear large at all, so don’t let the spec scare you. If you have somewhat interested in this piece, I highly recommend trying it on. At the...  

Thanks for the great picture.

 By: GWIS : May 18th, 2022-05:47
Enjoy the watch! All the best, Jon


 By: fuigo : May 20th, 2022-00:32

Overcast is the best light for wrist shots

 By: fuigo : May 20th, 2022-00:33
At least that’s what I think.

Thank you for the insight on this beauty.

 By: rip9er : May 18th, 2022-03:34
In picture and on paper I find this watch to be a home run. The dial looks stunning but what I like most is the wearable proportions and 12mm thickness. Would have wished thinner but 12 is Daytona thick which is very good. Bracelet and rubber strap option... 

Personally, I love this release...

 By: watchme : May 18th, 2022-18:21
I think JLC has a real winner here considering it is a VERY wearable watch in terms of profile and width. Also, the strap + bracelet option is really great on the steel version. I think in the haute horlogerie realm, this is possibly the best bang-for-the...