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Grande Maison's High-Performance Watches

by Murat Balci on June 08, 2023

Grande Maison presents two high-performance timepieces for its sporty-elegant Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection, paying homage to its illustrious diving watch heritage from an era of ambiguity and hazard.

When scuba diving first became popular as a military activity in the 1950s, it was a dangerous and difficult endeavor, and the only tool you had at your disposal in the depths of the ocean was your watch. As a result, there was an unprecedented need for pressure-resistant timepieces, prompting Jaeger-LeCoultre to develop a groundbreaking solution on the cusp of the new decade.

In 1959, Jaeger developed a self-winding Memovox movement and introduced an audible warning to signal divers to ascend to the surface. The Memovox Polaris released nine years later in 1968, combined an internally rotating bezel with an alarm and a triple-layer case back to improve sound transmission and make the watch more durable for divers.

Two new models of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner, both of which feature a transparent sapphire case back, are inspired both by the brand's history and its contemporaries.

Both meet all the requirements of ISO 6425 and have the sleek design of the modern Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris line. Both the Polaris Mariner Memovox and the Polaris Mariner Date are available from Jaeger-LeCoultre. Both are presented in a 42mm case size that draws attention to the signature design elements of Jaeger-Polaris LeCoultre's collection. The pair exudes a sense of royal splendor thanks to their taut lines, lass-box crystals, and dynamic combination of brushed and polished surfaces.

Both watches have a notched inner bezel that is screwed down to ensure there is no wiggle room while diving to depths of 300 meters (30 bar). In addition, if the security band is not tightened all the way, divers will be warned. Both dials are an elegant blue gradient, typical of modern Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris models.

The watch face is finished in contrasting textures, and it features three Arabic numerals and a bold, trapezoid-shaped index. The hands, indexes, and numerals of this timepiece are filled with SuperLumiNova, making them incredibly legible even in dim lighting.

Jaeger-LeCoultre takes this essential tool for any scuba diver one step further by using different colors to indicate the hour and minute hands. For better readability during the day, the second-hand has an orange end, making it less likely to be mistaken for any of the other measures.

Which one do you think is the better option? The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox, with its signature "school bell" alarm sound that delighted customers back in the day, is the perfect choice to pay homage to the Sound Maker and its Calibre 956 self-winding movement.

The Memovox is a work of art, with its three-crown design echoing the first diving watches by the brand and its additional Côtes de Genève decorations perfectly complementing the fine finishing on the movement plates.

The dual-crown design of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Date caters to those who are looking for a diving watch that is more in line with the Calibre 899 by providing only the essential hours and minutes. You can tell it has state-of-the-art features because it has a 70-hour guaranteed power reserve, while the Memovox only has 45 hours.

You can't go wrong with any Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece honoring the legacy of the Polaris Mariner, but especially one with a transparent sapphire case back. With both the Memovox and the Date models, Jaeger-LeCoultre stays true to its philosophy of fusing innovation and tradition.

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