1 of 768: Jaeger Lecoultre Polaris Limited 190.8.96

If I’ve featured JLC a little heavily in the last month, I apologize. In my defense, I’m not sure you can feature JLC too heavily. There have been a few very appetizing references surfacing lately. I remember a period of four months where there wasn’t a single Polaris LE 190.8.96 on Chrono24. I checked back in today and there were three. Seems uncertain times may be offering a little more market diversity.

This Polaris is JLC’s iconic diver, re-interpreted. The signatures like superdomed acrylic crystal, inner rotation bezel, and automatic alarm remain. The original is a legend to those who pay attention. This re-edition is the one you’d actually buy. This is one of the more limited runs, in 42mm, with a vanilla fauxtina on its indices. What’s more, this is a piece which indicates that you have real knowledge in horology history.

The re-edition puts me in mind of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Hear me out. It’s well known amongst the old guard that the Ferrari 250 GTOs you see racing and occasionally trading paint are not Ferrari 250 GTOs. The regulating bodies at Goodwood have a running list of GTO owners. If you own the real thing, you are invited to come race it. However, what actually happens, is that the owners have an exact replica built to original specification. An original GTO is priceless. A replica (which is indistinguishable to 99/100 petrolheads) is acceptable to the most stringent fans in the world when you know the owner could race the real thing.

That’s what’s going on here. If I see someone wearing a recent Polaris LE, I do not think, ‘should have gone original vintage.’ It’s a watch of such exceptional taste that I think, ‘they probably have the original back home and don’t want to risk it. Or at least they could.’ I call this analog Goodwood syndrome. And I’m fine with it. Because it means the world of watchmaking is a more diverse, more interesting place.

Find this Polaris Limited Edition here from Xupes. for 13000 GBP.