Jaeger le Coultre have updated their Polaris range with the Mariner Date & Memovox models, which retails for £9900 and £15,800 respectively in the UK.
There’s no shame in choosing the Date version of the Mariner at ten grand of course. It’s a class act, as you’d expect, with a 42mm steel case, housing the Cal 899 in-house movement. That in-house movement really is the USP with JLC, you are buying a watch that isn’t sharing its Valjoux 7750 or ETA 2824 engine with other watches – many of which may well be cheaper. Then there’s the beautiful dial, which is not just blue, but has a deep blue, sunray finish, lacquered dial, which looks stunning in the press photos. OK, it would look more stunning on my wrist, but I don’t have a spare 10K floating about right now.
Assuming you are flush, why should you buy this JLC rather than say a Rolex Sub? Good question. Firstly, because you want to be different from the crowd. Yes, the Rolex will probably make you money, and the JLC will not – pre-owned market demand is weak compared to Rolex Subs/GMTs. So it’s about the beauty of the piece, its luxury feel and the unmistakeable Swiss style. This is a very fine dress watch, with a classic two-crown case design, so you can use the top winder to set the dive time, assuming you wish to dive with the Polaris Mariner. Yes, it can dive to 300m and the markers and hands have super-lume for extra visibility – but is this a rival to a Blancpain 50 Fathoms? Nope, we don’t think so.
Why? Just look at it. It’s a sleek, polished and elegant evening out type of watch. The steel bracelet gives it that dress watch vibe, and it also lacks the big, two-colour bezel ring that many dive watches have. This looks like a watch you would wear with a designer label suit, rather that a wetsuit.
Need to upgrade? Then try the Polaris Mariner Memovox, which has the Cal 956 movement inside, 300m depth, plus the alarm function which means an extra crown on the case. It’s also extra cash at £15,800 and has 45 hours of reserve compared to 70 hours on the Mariner Date, 2-crown model.
If you love the style of the Polaris, and want to save money because you ARE on the GMT II waiting list, then the standard Automatic model has 100m depth rating, same blue dial, twin crown case design and its £7000, so a bit of a bragain by comparison. Just saying.
More at the JLC website.