One on One: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Geographic

Justin Hast's in-depth look at the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Geographic: an exploration of the bold new lacquered dial, dual time function, and sporting pedigree of JLC's underrated sports watch.

One on One: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Geographic

Jaeger-LeCoultre is known by two names in the watch world: The Watchmakers Watchmaker and The Grande Maison. Both hark back to the days in which JLC made calibres for the rest of the watch world. In fact, the Maison has over 430 registered patents and 1,400 unique calibres, which is insane. 

Based in the Vallée du Joux, next to Audemars Piguet, every watch is made there. They also make their own honey but that’s a side note. Most will know the brand for the Reverso – undoubtedly a classic, and every collection should have one. But what really interests me, is the evolution of the Polaris. Every major brand needs a sports watch, and for JLC the Polaris is just that. And to my mind one that is underappreciated. So when the chance came to shoot and wear the latest models launched only a week or so ago – I was all in

There are three new JLC Polaris watches that have been announced, each featuring new dials, but the one that caught the eye was the new 42mm Geographic with the latest version of the Caliber 939 movement (similar to what was found in the 2020 Master Control Geographic). That means there are 70 hours of power reserve while giving you an easily-set second-time zone at 6 o'clock (set by a crown at 10 o'clock, with a city referenced on the dial), AM/PM indicator, and power reserve around 10 o'clock on the dial. It is incredibly easy to use and the build quality is sublime. It also eliminates the date subdial for a clean look that fits well on the new gradient blue–grey lacquer dial with a central sunburst finish. It really has a thickness to the finish, achieved by layer after layer after layer of lacquer.  

I don’t have a dual-time watch, but there’s no doubt that the complication has been on my mind. There are so many great models, obviously the Rolex GMT being the most popular. There’s just something so incredibly satisfying being able to, at a glance know what time it is at home. This model is listed at $16,100 which feels like relative value with the addition of city window at 6 o’clock (although purists would have liked to see a larger movement - I’m ok with it). All in all I really like the asymmetric dial layout and crown configuration – I’m also a sucker for orange so the accents on the dial fire me up. The Polaris Geographic hasn't been updated since its release in 2018, and that was a limited edition of 250 pieces, so it feels like the right time. The Polaris Geographic is one of the bolder, sportier options on the market, and the new lacquer dial does a lot for the good looks, with a mix of gradient and texture. The 42mm case size, with a relatively thin 11.54mm thickness is great for a modern watch and keeps the relatively busy dial legible. If you are in the northern hemisphere and like me consider what summer watch you will be wearing – you can hardly go wrong here. It is In fact far nicer In person than In the images.