Review: new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Green

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Jaeger-LeCoultre extends the Polaris Date with a new edition in a dégradé green lacquer dial. We managed to get a hands on session with this novelty, and bring you this review.

Review: new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Green

Price in SGD 13,200(Incl GST) / EUR 8,200 (Excl VAT). Available as a boutique only edition and via the JLC e-commerce site (not launched yet for Singapore). Limited

The Polaris Date was first launched in 2018, drawing its inspiration from the 1968 Memovox Polaris. The model got an update in 2020 with a blue dial version, under the model name of Polaris Mariner. This new release is basically the same watch with a new dial.

The case, dial and hands

The novelty is the same watch as the 2018 Polaris Date, with a dial refresh. The case remains the same handsome stainless steel case, measuring 42mm in diameter with a thickness of 13.92mm. This is a very handsome case with graceful lines defined by the gentle curves of the lugs. The polished chamfers on the case lugs extend from the narrow bezel. The dial is protected by the glass-box crystal that recalls the Plexiglas dial crystals of mid-century timepieces.

What makes this a novelty is the dial. JLC describes the colour gradient as ranging from light olive to verdant rainforest, taking on different shades according to the angle of reflected light. A coat of translucent lacquer brings mesmerising depth to the dial, allowing the vanilla-tinted dial indexes to stand out with perfect clarity. JLC calls the dial double gradient as the centeral disc has a dégradé gradient, and the outer ring as its own.

Though we find the green hue is not picked up well by our studio strobe which is set for 5500K colour temperature. It appears very dark in our photographs, but the hue is more brownish-green, not dissimilar, though even less green than the Olive Green of Patek Philippe Ref. 5711.. Perhaps an effect of the angle of incidence of the strobe light which highlights the olive brown rather than the rainforest green. In the flesh, the dial does show some green at certain angles.

The JLC press pics show the green, with the double gradient effect.

The dial is lacquered in a double gradient and finished in multiple textures to priortise legibility while keeping the aesthetics still very attractive. A balance of opaline, grained and sun ray surfaces is used to define each key dial segment, from the mobile inner bezel ring to the minute track. As a result, legibility is excellent both in good and poor lighting conditions. A vanilla hued SuperLuminova is applied to the indices and the tip of the hands, to give the watch a vintage vibe in good light. This lume shows up as the standard green in the dark. . The indices ands remain unchanged from earlier models other than a different hue for the lume.

Functionally, the mobile inner bezel is controlled by the crown at the 2 o’clock position. This performs the key feature of a true diver’s watch, permitting the wearer to measure timing offsets or countdowns with great precision.

The movement: JLC Caliber 889AB

The Polaris Date features a transparent case-back, while being water resistant to 200m, making it equally at home in an urban cityscape or the rated 200m depths that one might take the watch to. The movement is the JLC manufactured movement in the latest-generation Calibre 899, with 70 hours of power reserve, and running at 28,800 bph. The movement has a parts count of 218, with 32 jewels.

Movement finishing is de rigueur for JLC. Very good finishing. Nay, excellent finnissage, only stopping short of any extravagance made purely for the sake of cosmetic reasons. What remains is very well engineered and functional. And will be accurate and reliable. backed by the 8 year JLC warranty.

Competitive Landscape

Diver watches are aplenty, and the landscape is represented by almost all brands in the market. so for the purposes of illustration, we highlight 3 watches. all 3 feature an internal diver bezel operated by a second crown. and in varying price points to showcase some possibilities.

First off, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver, SGD 39,600. AP also offers a model in a green dial, but with their  “Méga-Tapisserie” motif.  It is equipped a new automatic movement an instantaneously jumping date indicator. The Caliber 4308 is designed and made in-house in Le Brassus. and rated to a depth of 300m.

Also in the landscape is Franck Muller Skafander Classic Diving Watch, SGD 23,800. Offered in their signature Curves case, the watch is a bold statement, with brilliant colour accents and a lock to secure the inner bezel. The movement is the FM 2800 SK, which is a derative of the ETA 2892-A2. The depth rating is only 100m, so possibly might not make the cut as a professional dive watch.

We also have the The Longines Legend Diver, SGD 3,590. The movement is not surprisingly, an ETA sourced one, being in the same group. The water resistance rating is 300m. At this price level, we do not expect elaborate finishings, not the case or dial and certainly not to the movement/ But the Longines Legend Diver is certainly a good option for the budget conscious.

Thus we see the JLC Polaris Date is very well placed in terms of pricing, being only SGD 13.2k at retail, and offering the beautiful gradient grey-brown dial and an in-house automatic movement.

Concluding Thoughts

The JLC Polaris Date is certainly a beautiful watch. at 42mm, it may be a tad larger for smaller wrists, but should be comfortable as a daily driver for the medium or larger wrists. The aesthetics is very persuasive, the gradient green-brown dial is an enticing attraction.

This boutique only edition carries a small premium of just SGD 200 over the standard black dial version, but also has an open case back to showcase the movement.

Photo Notes

The watch was photographed in the JLC Boutique in MBS with the Fujifilm GFX 50S II with Hasselblad HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 + H26 Extension Tube attached via the H Adapter G. Profoto strobes provide the lighting. Photographs not marked with the Deployant watermark are provided by JLC.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date Green technical details

Dimensions: 42mm x 13.92mm
Calibre: automatic mechanical Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 899AB Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, rotating inner bezel
Power reserve: 70 hours
Frequency: 28,800
Dial: gradient green lacquer with opaline, grained and sunrayed finishes Case: stainless steel
Case-back: open
Water resistance: 200m
Strap: interchangeable green rubber strap
Reference: Q906863J – Boutique Edition

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5 Comments

  1. I’m confused:

    “The movement is the JLC manufactured movement in the latest-generation Calibre 899, with 70 hours of power reserve, and running at 28,800 bph. The movement has a parts count of 219, with 32 jewels, measuring 4.6mm thick with a power reserve of 38 hours.”

  2. So, I have a question. under the heading of “The case, dial and hands” there was mention of the case and the dial, but I could not find any data about the hands. What am I missing here? Please advise. Thank you.

    • Thanks for your comment, Alfonso. Indeed I have forgotten, as it remains unchanged except for the new vanilla hued lume. Will fix that immediately.

    • ARBcuentatiempos on

      WAO mayúsculo! Bellezón de guardatiempo. (Además del respeto y admiración que siempre he tenido por JLC, una de mis top ten). Hubiera preferido que fuera un Compressor legítimo, y si no, al menos una tapa trasera roscada. Pero reconozco que no se vería tan elegante al observarla en conjunto con el magnífico calibre.
      Interesante los 8 años de garantía a medio camino entre los 10 que ofrece Oris, y los 5 o menos que dan los demás. Si los sumas a las 1000 horas de duras pruebas que reportan desde la casa, son palabras mayores, que inclinan bastante la balanza para desbancar a la competencia. De la competencia reseñada este claramente sale vencedor.

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