The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Collection Makes US Debut at Watches & Wonders
A deeper dive into the JLC Polaris, Miami style!
The moment we touched down at Miami international, I knew this trip would be different. Over a thousand miles away from our concrete jungle of New York. We were surrounded by resplendent pastel colors and the art deco architecture of Miami. It was hard to anticipate what we were getting ourselves into. Just a few weeks removed from SIHH, Watchonista was headed back to the fold to view some of our favorite pieces from the eponymous show.
The Miami Design district beckoned us with its centrally located sphere designed by Buckminster Fuller Fly. Surrounding the sphere is a courtyard with a massive assembly of boutiques. For Watches & Wonders, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie partnered with 21 brands to showcase the very best of SIHH on US soil.
For me, this was an opportunity not just to experience Miami, but to get a temperature on the US watch market. I can report that the watch industry is alive and thriving in Miami.
JLC x Watchonista
The conversation to collaborate began quite innocently. It all started with a conversation at Passione Engadina in St. Moritz. Since then, we’ve produced behind-the-scenes coverage of the manufacture and a full overview of the Polaris Collection. For Watches & Wonders, the decision to collaborate was quite simple. Watchonista’s unique duality of having a footprint in Switzerland and the United States made it an easy choice to partner.
Over the last year, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a brand in motion. Under the direction of new Deputy CEO Geoffroy Lefebvre, the brand has positioned themselves to appeal to a new generation of collectors and satisfy their existing clients with new and exciting novelties.
Mr. Lefebvre has surrounded himself with bright and talented people. When his team asked Watchonista to help cover their efforts during Watches & Wonders, our answer was a resounding YES! We would end up taking over the iconic brand’s Instagram page and producing some very special content with a unique Miami / Watchonista flair. Our only hope was that we would impress JLC’s purveyors of social good.
To set the scene for Watches & Wonders, you land on a blistering hot runway surrounded by a beautiful terraforma of blue and black. I like to think of it as the concrete jungle meets Caribbean. Miami is a resplendent environment, one that encourages long conversations over Mimosas and Margaritas followed by a lazy stroll along Miami Beach. After all, this is the city that brought us Tony Montana and Miami Vice. There’s an undeniable energy to Miami that can’t be topped by New York or any other city for that matter.
Introduced at SIHH 2018, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection is a wide-ranging assortment of novelties that rekindle the spirit of the original JLC Polaris. This collection was the brands near sole focus of SIHH. Or as JLC calls it, the Made of Makers spirit.
While Watchonista has previously covered the Polaris novelties, we certainly haven’t seen the watch outside the confines of the halls of SIHH. To introduce the Polaris to the sunlight and palm trees of Miami beach was a special treat. Strapped to the wrist of our intrepid team, we embarked on a journey that would eventually transcend horological interests.
For Watches & Wonders, the brand brought their entire lineup of Polaris models. The Polaris Automatic, Polaris Chronograph, Polaris Memovox, and Polaris Chronograph World Time were on display in the brand’s Design District boutique. We had the special treat of taking a few watches for a spin around the city and capture the very special moments we were in.
Originally introduced in 1959 with the Memovox Polaris, the Polaris collection has gone through a wide-ranging sea of changes over the last half century. The brand has put the emphasis on bringing back the style and flair of the 1960s models but with innovative materials and design. On display alongside the new collection was the original 1959 Memovox Polaris which at 40mm was quite large for the 1960s.
For a very special moment in time, we brought the collection to the beach and captured what may be the first interaction of the 2018 Polaris and the ocean of Miami Beach. Under the watchful eye of our JLC chaperon of course.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection is a wide-ranging assortment of novelties that bring to life the tradition and inspiration of the original Polaris and Memovox Polaris. Pricing information is as follows:
Polaris Automatic - $6,600
Polaris Chronograph - $10,900
Polaris Memovox - $12,600
Polaris Chronograph World Time - $14,500
(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)