The collection’s trademark feature still rings loud and clear.
Though the story of Polaris began about 50 years ago, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Memovox sees its roots a little further back, in the 50s.
The union of the two celebrates its golden jubilee this year. 1968’s Memovox Polaris has received a worthy update in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox collection, which we welcomed into Malaysia just this month.
Voice of memory
Vox being Latin for voice, Memovox refers to the first ever function of this watch. Early advertisements were built on how ‘Memovox reminds, notifies, and wakes up”, its shining feature being the alarm that chimes loud and clear. It was worn by businessmen, because how else were they expected to remember meetings pre-internet?
This alarm drove the vision of Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox, which took on a different demographic by the time the second edition surfaced in 1956. Memovox became “for the man of action”, which informs the development of the collection to this day.
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox, we consider its transformation from business to diving watch – and how it has taken on a sheen of sporty elegance.
1950: Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox
The collection's genesis is a mechanical watch with an alarm, controlled with an additional crown. One was famously gifted to Charlie Chaplin in 1953.
1956: Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Automatic
Automatic watch with built-in alarm - a first for JLC. In was with this model that Memovox's charm attracted citizens of the outdoors: adventurers, sportsmen, and divers alike.
1959: Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Deep Sea
Moving on to another first in three years is an impressive feat, especially since this Memovox scored a world record for first diving watch with alarm. With this model, the focus evolved from reliability to safety.
1968: Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Polaris
The 60s were a time of great exploration, including underwater. Memovox Polaris found new purpose on the watch of divers with a 50-piece, 42-mm collection that not only rang loud for up to 200 meters, but was also readable, and resistant to shock and magnetism. Another revision came in the form of a third crown, which controlled an internal rotating bezel. 1968 saw the model take on a sportier design with luminescent baton hands and numerals, as well as a triangle for alarm time display.
2011: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea
Remember that first alarm-equipped underwater watch? Well, 2011 saw a reprisal of the dual-version model in a limited series re-edition. Two types were similarly made for Europe and US, with the former sporting a black dial, while the latter one of black and grey, stamped 'LeCoultre'.
2018: Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
Inspired by the 1968 model, this year's tribute still bears the original look and alarm functionality, with 200-m water resistance. The new stainless steel case sits at 15.9mm high, translating to a rather rugged, sporty fit. This is complemented by a black rubber strap with Clous de Paris raised pattern, and a steel folding buckle. Its simple dial is highly readable thanks to large, Arabic numerals and trapezoid batons in vanilla Super-LumiNova. At the heart of the 1,000 pieces is Jaeger-LeCoultre's Caliber 956 (straight out of its very own complications workshop). One for urban adventurers who value quality and classic style.
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The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection consists of five models: Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph World Time, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox. Explore them on the official site.