Jaeger-LeCoultre’s latest limited-edition packs vintage diving flair (and a hint of hand-painted artistry) into a contemporary package.
The business of retro design can be tricky. Remain too faithful to the original, and you risk looking regressive. (Or, worse still, lazy.) Lean too far in the opposite direction, and you’ll lose the old-school charms. There’s no universal recipe for success. Paying homage can be the quickest way to end up creatively bankrupt.
For an example of retro done right, cast an eye toward Vallée de Joux, and the folks at Jaeger-LeCoultre. Last year, they wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Memovox Polaris, a landmark mid-century design and the first diving watch with an amplified underwater alarm. Instead of a single tribute, Jaeger-LeCoultre developed an all-new Polaris collection, offering everything from a three-hand automatic to a rose-gold chronograph and worldtimer. Each offered a unique riff on the 1960s Memovox aesthetic. The throwback vibes were strong, but the collection felt thoroughly modern. No small accomplishment.
Now we have the newest addition to the Polaris lineup, the Polaris Date Limited Edition, initially available only to North American customers. All the better for the brand’s U.S. clientele to secure their piece of the rock; produced in a series of only 800 pieces, the Polaris Date Limited Edition represents one of the more exclusive (and desirable) new Polaris models yet.
Photographs by Atom Moore, atommoore.com
Polaris Date by Jaeger-LeCoultre, $8,250; jaeger-lecoutre.com