The Polaris family of Jaeger LeCoultre now gets a perpetual calendar. Introduced by the Maison in 2018, Polaris was initially conceived as the Manufactures modern sporty-elegant watch for everyday adventures. This year at Watches and Wonders 2022, Jaeger-LeCoultre has introduced a miniature mechanical computer that always shows the correct date, automatically adjusting for the different duration of months and even the leap years – The Polaris Perpetual Calendar.
It is no secret that given the irregularities of the months and years a perpetual calendar is among the most challenging complications to master for any watchmaker. LeCoultre & Cie developed its first perpetual calendar pocket watches around the end of the 19th century followed by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch in 1937.
For the new Polaris Perpetual Calendar, the Maison has introduced a new version of the well-proven perpetual calendar movement that first appeared in 2013 to create a retrograde display of Southern Hemisphere moon phases as well as an increase in power reserve to 70 hours – Calibre 868AA.
Now although the Polaris family got quite a mixed reaction globally, the new perpetual calendar has certainly intrigued us. Much like the Polaris Mariner Memovox, the Polaris Perpetual Calendar features a deep gradient-blue lacquered dial suggesting the transition from day to night – much like a subtle reminder of the connection between celestial phenomena and time measurement. The date, month and day indicators are at 9, 12 and 3 o’clock respectively, with the year displayed within the month indicator. The moon phases are displayed at 6 o’clock – with a retrograde display for the Southern Hemisphere framing a classical display for its Northern counterpart. To further enhance the visual richness, each sub-dial is slightly recessed and finished with a different texture. With lume filled skeletonised hands and trapezoid-shaped indexes, the Polaris perpetual calendar delivers the attributes that are essential for a sports watch.
To add that final touch, there is that small security zone indicator between the hours of 20:00 and 04:00 that shows red to warn you not to adjust the time or calendar indications. Overall a relatively well balanced and legible face for a perpetual calendar.
Staying true to its DNA of being an everyday wear watch, the Polaris Perpetual Calendar is easy to operate and adjust. The top crown rotates the inner bezel while the lower crown is for setting the time and winding the watch. The calendar settings are adjusted via a single pusher.
Featuring those taut lines, fine bezels, glass-box crystals, and an eye-catching mix of brushed and polished surfaces, the 42mm Polaris Perpetual Calendar is available in steel or pink gold. Turn it around and the transparent sapphire crystal case-back and an open-worked pink gold winding rotor reveal the fine decorative finishes on the movement.
Adaptable for every adventure, the steel version of the Polaris Perpetual Calendar comes with both a three-link steel bracelet and textured rubber strap. With the newly developed interchangeable strap system, this switch can be made by simply pressing on the pushers integrated into the attachment point between the lugs. The pink gold version is available with a sporty blue rubber strap and an alligator strap with a folding buckle for a more formal look. You could however also personalise your Polaris Perpetual Calendar with a plethora of calfskin straps in a variety of colours.
Do we like what we see? Given the various sub-dials, the face of the dial is extremely simple and legible. In terms of functionality, the new Polaris Perpetual Calendar checks all our boxes for being a user-friendly watch too. Although this is clearly a new entrant and a strong contender in the integrated sports steel world, the pink gold version with that contrasting blue rubber strap certainly caught our attention.