Introducing Two New Variants of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Chronograph Watch

A new colour and 35 layers of lacquer are just some of the details that make these latest watches stand out from the rest.


Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris models are the closest thing the brand’s got to the legendary sports watches it made in the nineties and noughties. If I’m honest, though, they don’t come close to the models like the Master Compressor and the Extreme LAB watches. Back then, Jaeger-LeCoultre went nuts on overengineering its sporty watches to ensure they could stand the tests of time. But, all things come to an end, and I suspect the cost and complexity of producing those watches caused their demise.

I remember once going into Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Bond Street boutique in London a few years ago and being amazed when they said Jaeger-LeCoultre was moving away from its sporting watches. Given that the previously mentioned models were so cool, and the Reverso was a sports watch first, this seemed strange. Perhaps Jaeger-LeCoultre felt the same way, as they quickly u-turned and made the Polaris watches.

The Polaris range of watches hasn’t ever been my cup of tea, they look smart but they seem to lack soul. These new watches with their redesigned dials look the business, there’s no mistaking that, but I’m not sure they pass the “vibe check” just yet.

The watches themselves remain virtually unchanged, the Polaris Chronograph still draws a modern look and feel with its sharp lines and case measuring 42mm x 13.39mm. They also come on a three-link bracelet or a variety of straps made of rubber or leather or something else entirely.

There is a new movement here; the calibre 761, which is in-house made and has a 4Hz beat rate and 65 hours of power reserve. It’s specced with a column wheel and vertical clutch, which are features that watch lovers at this price point want to see more often. The movement is also self-winding and has a very high-quality finish to it, one that’s to be expected of a brand commonly known as “the watchmaker’s watchmaker”.

Yet, the main draws of these new watches are definitely the dials. These “panda” dials come in two colours: blue and, for the first time, “warm grey”. 35 layers of hand-applied lacquer are required to give these watches true depth and clarity, they look excellent. The simple 30-minute chronograph layout works a treat, and a contrast in textures and mixture of gradients seals the deal.

Unlike most watches we seem to cover these days, the new watches aren’t limited edition pieces. They’re quite pricey, though, with prices starting at $14,300 for a warm grey version on a strap and $14,800 for a blue dial on a strap.