March 29, 2022
Given its reputation as the “watchmaker’s watchmaker,” Jaeger-LeCoultre’s movements carry a certain cache among enthusiasts, and this is especially true of its complications. As part of its Watches and Wonders 2022 novelties, the Swiss brand brings one of its most storied complications to the sporty Polaris line. The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar offers a cleanly balanced presentation, a handsome sporting look, and a stunning in-house movement, creating a fittingly intricate new flagship for its supercompressor-inspired sports watch series.
Model: Polaris Perpetual Calendar
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Case Material: Stainless steel/Pink gold
Movement: Manufacture Calibre 868AA (automatic perpetual calendar and moonphase)
Frequency: 28,800 bph
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet/blue rubber strap/blue alligator leather strap
Price & Availability: $29,600 (stainless steel), $44,300 (pink gold), on sale now
Rendered in either stainless steel or pink gold, the 42mm case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar takes a simplified, gentlemanly approach to sports watch design. At 11.97mm-thick, it should remain balanced and wearable despite its complications, and keeps its proportions balanced in images. The rounded polished bezel is elegantly slim, giving the design an all-dial appearance when viewed from above, and providing a bright contrast in images to the sharply brushed planes of the simple case sides and tapering athletic lugs. A set of aggressively tapering triangular polished chamfers helps to give these lugs a greater sense of dimension and refinement in images. The Polaris series’ signature twin gear toothed crowns at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock are present and accounted for here, with the topmost crown rotating the inner bezel while the lower crown handles winding and general time setting. To keep the overall profile clean and simplify operation, calendar setting functions are relegated to a recessed pusher at 8:30. While the shape remains the same, the stainless steel and pink gold variants bring distinctly different personalities to this case design. The stainless steel model feels reserved and timeless in initial images, and will likely prove the more versatile choice in real-world wear. By contrast, the warm, yellowish tones of the pink gold variant make this a far bolder and more immediately contemporary design in images, although the hue in images lacks some of the modernist punch of redder pink gold alloys. Jaeger-LeCoultre fits both case variants with a sapphire display caseback and rates them for a slightly underwhelming 100 meters of water resistance.
A perpetual calendar complication carries with it a potentially overwhelming amount of information, but the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar’s dial presents these displays – and several additional complications – with style and balance in images. Both variants begin with a dramatic midnight-blue fumé dial, with a heavily textured lacquer finish. The standard Polaris line’s long tapering applied indices are carried over here, albeit with cutouts to accommodate the Polaris Perpetual Calendar’s four subdials, while the bold applied Arabic numerals at 12 o’clock remain as a visual hallmark. From here, the dial design is dominated by the four recessed subdials at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Jaeger-LeCoultre finishes all four with a partial azurage design for a unified look, but this quartet of subdials covers an impressive breadth of information. At 12 o’clock, the pointer month subdial also houses a double window for the year indicator. The brand counterbalances this with another dual-purpose subdial at 6 o’clock, combining a traditional moonphase window for the Northern Hemisphere with a retrograde pointer display tracking the current moonphase in the Southern Hemisphere. By contrast, the subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock use a more open single-function design, tracking the current day and date respectively. Lastly, Jaeger-LeCoultre tucks in a small indicator window at the center of the dial just above the handset, which displays red (or orange, for the stainless steel model) when setting the watch is unsafe for the movement between the hours of 8:00 PM and 4:00 AM. The Polaris line’s skeletonized baton hands help to keep all this information readily available at a glance in images, while giving the design a modern edge. The brand gives each case variant a slightly different dial colorway as well, using orange highlights throughout the stainless steel model’s dial while the pink gold model matches its warm hardware with a bolder red hue.
Inside the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar beats the brand’s in-house 868AA automatic perpetual calendar moonphase movement. In keeping with the brand’s legacy of esteemed movement work, the 868AA is handsomely finished in images, with blued screws, perlage across the plates, Côtes de Genève for the bridges, and a matching skeletonized winding rotor in gold. The 868AA’s performance matches its appearance, with a perpetual calendar accurate through the year 2100 along with a hefty 70-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Jaeger-LeCoultre pairs the Polaris Perpetual Calendar with three distinctive straps. The stainless steel model can be paired with either a stainless steel H-link bracelet with sporty brushed center links or a textured rubber deployant strap in deep navy blue. For the pink gold model, the brand instead offers the same blue rubber strap, or a dressier blue alligator leather strap.
With a sleek, balanced presentation and an impressive range of complications, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar is a stylish capstone for the Polaris line. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar stands at $29,600 for stainless steel models and $44,300 for models in pink gold. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.