001 Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox Polaris II

£6,000.00

Dial is 95%, case is 95+% whilst the movement is 95+%.
Width 44mm; Lug to Lug 49.6mm; Height 15.8mm., it takes a 19mm strap and a matching grey Perlon one is fitted.

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Description

The JLC Polaris II is actually more rare than the Mk I Polaris, and unlike its predecessor came in a choice of colour ways. The US got a fetching shade of turquoise blue for the dial and bezel, whilst the rest of the world got the more restrained choices of burgundy or grey. The US versions were signed ‘HPG’ on the alarm disc (standing for ‘High Precision Guaranteed), whilst the rest of the world got ‘GT” (standing for Grand Taille, meaning ‘BigCase’ but also referencing Gran Turismo cars). It was quite obviously a 1970s watch, being made between 1970 and 72, both the colours and the shape could have come from no other era, although for its time, it was quite a massive watch, the lugless case measures 43.5mm long.

The dial is split into 3 parts, an outer white minute/seconds track which sits above the actual grey dial, which has large tritium batons for each of the hours, apart from the 12 which has double tritium markers. There is a gold central alarm dial which bears the word ‘Memovox’ and the alarm pointer is formed from the stylised letters GT.

The Oval case is sandblasted over the surface, including the case back, the two winding & setting crowns are both original and signed with the double J logo; the ratcheted bezel rotates in both directions and is fitted with a clear Bakelite insert in grey with a white triangle at 12 full white Arabic numerals for the 10 second intervals and individual dashes for all the remaining minutes. The scalloped case back is unique in my experience and MAY be something to do with reinforcing the sound of the alarm.

It uses the Cal 916, which incorporated several new features for JLC, it beat at 28,800 making it the highest frequency Jaeger movement and the rotor wound the watch in both directions. The only downside of the movement is that it has just 17 jewels, enabling it to be imported into the US without the additional tariffs on higher jewelled watches. 17 jewel watches were taxed at a flat rate of $1.25, anything over than 17 jewels had to pay $3.00 PLUS 3% of the value. It wasn’t the additional $1.75, it was the 3% tax which made all the difference. Enough of a difference that many Swiss firms, including Omega and Rolex made ‘US only’ versions of their movements with only 17 jewels, when the rest of the world had movements with 25 jewels or more. It also meant that many firms started to design movements with only 17 jewels, even if they were high quality & the Cal. 916 is one of these.

Dial is 95%, case is also 95% whilst the movement is 95+%.
Width 44mm; Lug to Lug 49.6mm; Height 15.8mm., it takes a 19mm strap and a matching grey Perlon one is fitted.

£6,000.00 (approx. $8,000.00)