The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Polaris Ref. E859 is one of the most iconic dive watches from the 20th century, and it’s not hard to see why. With it’s distinctive design and a production run of only 1714 pieces it is extremely rare and sought after by collectors.
One of the pioneers of the alarm watch would have to be Jaeger-LeCoultre, famous for producing their Memovox line. While most of the Memovoxes made were dress watches and far cheaper, JLC began testing and prototyping underwater diving alarm watches in the 1960s. The result culminated in what you see here, the gigantic 42mm Polaris.
In order for the alarm to be heard underwater, JLC developed a patented triple caseback. The 16 holes seen on this caseback is to ensure the alarm and vibrations are amplified so the diver can both hear and feel when it is time to return to the surface. As a result, this watch is seriously loud.
Part of the Polaris’ charm lies in its iconic design, with huge exploding painted indexes, an inner rotating ring, and Ervin Piquerez supercompressor case with crosshatched crowns. This combined with its large size makes for an incredibly wearable watch by today’s standards.
This Jaeger-LeCoultre E859 Polaris is a true museum piece and for any serious dive watch enthusiast, this piece is a must.