Jaeger-LeCoultre

Summary

  • Lot number 
    90
  • Location
  • Watch type 
    Men/Unisex

Description

LECOULTRE - a gentleman's Polaris wrist watch. Automatic movement. Black dial with luminous hour markers, quarterly Arabic numerals, inner alarm track, rotaing calibrated bezel, date aperture to three. Stainless steel case fitted to a non-original black leather strap with stainless steel pin buckle. 42mm.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Alarm watch was already established as a ground breaking watch when the Polaris model was launched in 1965. First appearing in 1951, the Memovox was initially offered as a hand wound piece but five years later Jaeger-LeCoultre launched the world's first self-winding alarm. This proved to be a tremendous success and versions of this watch are still present in the contemporary collection.

The late 1950s and early 1960s were the pioneering days of sport diving and watch companies supplied these early divers with such iconic models as the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster 300. The release of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Polaris took things a step further. Rated to 600ft with a super-compressor case, this was a serious dive watch, but with the addition of an alarm to warn the diver when to begin their ascent, this became something really special. A triple layer case back featured holes in the outer surface to allow the sound to be heard more clearly. With only 1714 of these watches made during its six years of production, this watch is quite a rarity.

From a collector's point of view, one of the great attractions of this watch is its size. Watches from the 50s and 60s were often small, by today's standards, making them difficult to wear on a daily basis. The Memovox Polaris was 42mm, huge for the time, but perfect for today's market; so perfect in fact that in 2008 Jaeger-LeCoultre reissued the watch as a limited edition tribute and hardly changed a thing about it.