Jaeger LeCoultre is a Swiss luxury watch maker that is known for their durable and expertly crafted movements. Jaeger LeCoultre has been manufacturing state of the art mechanical movements for other brands as well as for themselves. Luxury watchmakers such as Cartier, Patek Philippe, Omega, and (according to some rumors) Rolex have used Jaeger LeCoultre movements in a number of their timepieces.

One of the most sought after and highly collectable example of the Jaeger LeCoultre watches is the Polaris. Originally designed as a diving watch for the French Navy, this timepiece features an ultra-thin movement and a revolutionary alarm complication. The story of conceptualization of the Polaris watch starts in 1903 when Edmond Jaeger challenged Swiss master watchmakers to develop and produce a thin movement to be fitted into a set of watches for French Navy officers. The rest, as they say, is history.

Revolution in Diving

In the 1960’s after a few decades if trial and error, Jaeger LeCoultre produced one of their most popular diving watches. In the era when the world was changing as a whole, Jaeger LeCoultre and Rolex both released their first diving watches which would alter the fabric of the world of horology as we know it.

New Underwater Alarm Feature

Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris diving watch featured a never before seen feature – an underwater alarm. This alarm had to be designed to ring louder than previous alarm features for wristwatches since it had to be felt and heard under water through a diving suit. The caseback of a Polaris watch features a number of “openings” which act as an amplifier. The watch also features a date function, luminous markers and hands, as well as a rotating elapsed time bezel.

The Polaris is a rare watch to have. With only 1700 examples ever produced, they are hard to find and even harder to find in a good, original condition. The Polaris originally came with two distinct and yet similar dial designs. One featured long, skinny, index markers and Arabic numerals at 6, 8, and 12, while the other had a sportier look with the oversized index markers. The case also features three crows, each designed to perform a specific function.

Vintage Polaris - A Rare Investment

Although these timepieces were pretty durable, many have dull luminescence or “dusting” on the dial. The luminescent compound which was used in the 1960’s has a fairly short half-life and breaks down and crumbles easily. Therefore, if the watch wasn’t cared for properly, dusting and dullness as possible. Additionally, many of the original Polaris watches had their crowns replaced during repair and restoration process. Finding a Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris watch in an excellent condition with the original crowns and minimal dusting in the equivalent of having a Holy Grail of watches.

Ermitage and Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre

At Ermitage Jewelers we try to care and preserve history to the best of our ability which is why when we buy a vintage watch in need of a repair or adjustment, we ensure that the watch is repaired with only authentic parts matching the era that the timepiece was manufactured in. We try our best to preserve the historic and intrinsic value of every timepiece that we touch.

We invite you to browse our extensive watch collection or stop by our convenient Atlanta location. Our knowledgeable staff and experienced watchmakers will help you find the watch of your dreams.