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Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Polaris
The Memovox Polaris is a classic alarm dive watch produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre from 1963 through 1970.
Introduced in 1963 and released for sale in 1965, the Memovox Polaris combined two hot trends It was a Compressor-case dive watch and also featured an alarm function and date window, the first dive watch so equipped. Replacing the famous Deep Sea Automatic, the Polaris added a third crown (at 3 00) to operate an internal dive bezel. It also updated the case with EPSA Compressor technology, having a triple case back The outermost case back was perforated to allow the alarm to be audible; the second caseback snapped on and featured a Compressor gasket, while the inner caseback was struck by the alarm hammer as on other Memovox models.
Like all Compressor models, the Polaris featured crosshatch-inscribed crowns, but this was the only three-crown Compressor. It is also unusual among non-Super Compressors in having multiple crowns The Super Compressor models from other makers had two crowns, including one to operate an internal dive bezel, but the Polaris lacked the screw-on caseback of those models. The Polaris was also unusually large for a Compressor at 42 mm.
The Memovox Polaris was rated for 200 m (660 ft). The Polaris featured the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal. 825, an update to the classic Memovox movements with a date wheel and second-generation automatic winding system.
When production ended in 1970, 1,764 examples had been produced. The classic Memovox Polaris look was the reference for the modern Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX1.
Memovox Polaris II
In 1971, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the next-generation Memovox Polaris II. The chief technical improvement was the introduction of Jaeger-LeCoultre's "Speedbeat" Cal. 916, which operated at 28,000 A/h.
The Polaris II featured a stylish new 43 mm oval case and more-daring dials. A majority of Polaris II watches were destined for the US market and feature a turquoise bezel, “LeCoultre”-signed dial, and “HPG” (High Precision Guarantee) logo. The European market version features a grey bezel and grey “Jaeger LeCoultre GT” (Grand Taille) dial.
Only 1,120 Memovox Polaris II models were produced.
Tribute to Polaris
In 2008, Jaeger-LeCoultre released a series of limited-edition watches as tributes to the classic Polaris. These included the Memovox Tribute to Polaris 1968 (768 pieces in steel) and the Memovox Tribute to Polaris 1965 (65 pieces in steel and 65 pieces in platinum). The “Tribute 1968” (Ref. 200.84.70) features the looks of the original in a large 42 mm case. The 1965 model is rarer, with the steel versions limited to the company's Paris boutique. Cal. 956 is used for both watches.
The Memovox Tribute to Polaris watches are credited to Magali Métrailler, Jaeger-LeCoultre's first female designer. She has said that it was the original Memovox Polaris that was her inspiration for the Master Compressor and AMVOX line.
In 2018, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a new line of Polaris watches, including a Polaris Automatic, Polaris Date, Polaris Chronograph, Polaris Chronograph WT (World Timer), and Polaris Memovox. These resemble the 1968 Polaris line, with Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 and triangular hour markers between. A special boutique edition (limited to 250 pieces) was also created, the Polaris Geographic WT with Cal. 936A/1.