Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris: An exhibition on this cult classic

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris: An exhibition on this cult classic

The legend returns

Text: Celine Yap

Historical watches, current models, and a special-edition Polaris Geographic WT

Of all the most iconic watches made by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Memovox Polaris of 1968 is said to be the most cultish. It's not as mainstream as the Reverso and neither is it as classic as the Master. This collector's treasure cut its teeth in the mid 1950s and by the 60s became the first dive watch in the world to include an alarm function.

We don't think much of them now but an underwater alarm watch was extremely useful back in the day when dive computers were not nearly as ubiquitous as they are now. The word Memovox literally means voice of memory so divers may use it to set a specific duration by which time the watch will ring and vibrate simultaneously, informing its wearer of the appropriate moment to make his ascent.

The word Memovox literally means voice of memory

Between 19th and 29th July, Jaeger-LeCoultre has brought this landmark timepiece to Singapore for an exclusive exhibition at the atrium of Ion Orchard. Watches on display included historical pieces like the Memovox Automatic of 1960, the Memovox Speed Beat of 1970, and of course the original Memovox Polaris of 1968 which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This latter model is the very one that inspired a full contemporary collection launched at SIHH 2018. We covered the highlights in our post-SIHH report here.

Managing director of Jaeger-LeCoultre Southeast Asia & Oceania, Maxence Kinget, with celebrities Tay Ping Hui, Rebecca Tan, and Pierre Png

Heritage director of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Stephane Belmont, and guests

But the event was not just about watches that we already know about. Jaeger-LeCoultre had also unveiled a completely new model called the Polaris Geographic WT. This boutique-only edition offers a world time complication plus power reserve and date. But what we find most alluring is its finish, specifically the gradated effect and grained texture of the dial, along with applied numerals and indexes that distinguish it from the historical model.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Geographic WT

At the exhibition's opening, celebrities from Singapore and around the region aptly lent star power to Jaeger-LeCoultre as they learned all about the genesis and evolution of the Polaris.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris exhibition is happening at the main atrium of Ion Orchard Singapore from 19th to 29th July.