One of my favorite diving watches is the Jaeger-LeCoultre "Polaris" which was launched in the mid 1960's. The Polaris has always been a very collectible watch due to its limited production run of approximately 1700 pieces. The Polaris is the design inspiration for Jaeger-LeCoultre's contemporary models Compressor, Amvox, and the new re-edition model.
The Polaris has great design and function. The case is 42mm which was considered an oversized watch back in the 1960's. The round case design with its faceted lugs is timeless and can be worn as a true diving watch or worn with an Armani suit. The case construction was very strong using Jaegers compression system and was waterproof up to 200 meters. Due to the extremely strong case construction, I have not seen many of the Polaris watches in bad condition even though it was used as a divers watch.
The Polaris is powered by LeCoultre's Caliber 825 17 jewel automatic movement. The watch has an inner rotating divers bezel, date feature and most importantly an alarm function. LeCoultre designed the alarm function so it would ring louder under the water which would alert divers. The alarm feature of the Polaris also makes it a great traveling watch because the sound will definitely wake you up.
I have seen the Polaris with two different dial configurations which are both beautiful and their own right. The first being a shiny black dial with long stick markers and inner luminescent dots. The second dial variation is a lot more sporty with large luminescent rectangular markers. Both versions have the inner triangular luminescent marker for the alarm function and the inner rotating bezel which adds to the timeless design.
The three large crowns, with a beautiful criss-cross design, control all the functions of the watch. When the buttons on the Polaris are not original the look is just not the same.
I have also seen two case back with the Polaris. One back is smooth and the other is perforated for a louder sound and stronger vibrations.
I still own a Polaris that I purchased in 1992 for $1,900. which was a lot of money for this model back then. Since it had the box and papers I paid a $500 premium. Since then I have seen the value of the watch constantly appreciate and as of today the Polaris is valued from $15,000. to $25,000. Even at these higher levels it is still a great watch to own due to its beautiful design, technical function, desirability and rarity.
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