Jaeger- LeCoultre : In immersion since 1959
Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea
Case: steel, plexiglass watch glass Diameter: 40.5mm Movement: automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956, 28,800 vph, 45-hour power reserve Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, alarm. Strap: black calfskin, steel pin buckle Water resistance: 100m Limited edition: 959
Memovox Tribute to Polaris 1968
Case: steel, cambered synthetic glass Diameter: 42mm Movement: automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956, 28,800 vph, 45-hour power reserve
Functions : hours, minutes, small seconds, alarm, internal rotating bezel Strap: black leather, steel pin buckle Water resistance: 200 m Limited edition: 768
Memovox Tribute to Polaris 1965
Case: platinum, cambered synthetic glass Diameter: 42mm Movement: automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956, 28,800 vph, 45-hour power reserve Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, alarm, internal rotating bezel Strap: black leather, platinum pin buckle Water resistance: 200 m Limited edition: 65
Today, so-called diver’s watches must meet duly standardised demands in terms of luminosity, resistance to shocks and to magnetic fields, the robustness of the wristband, and of course watertightness to at least 100 metres. They must also have a time control system, and Jaeger-LeCoultre made a landmark contribution in this respect. The brand entered the world of diving with a world premiere. The Memovox Deep Sea presented in 1959 was equipped with an alarm to remind divers that it was time to return to the surface – a judicious security measure complementing an outer rotating bezel bearing the triangular marker characteristic of the Memovox line. The caseback carried a motif specially created for the occasion, the depiction of a frogman surrounded by air bubbles. Equipped with automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 815 beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour and fitted with a “tropical” natural rubber strap, the Memovox Deep Sea was issued in a production run of 1,061 between 1959 and 1962. Last year, it was re-issued in a 959-piece limited edition in a size more suited to current tastes. While it is equipped with the most evolved version of the famous Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956 automatic alarm movement, the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea retains the initial vintage charm, including a plexiglass watch glass and an original colour for the luminescent material.
With the Memovox Polaris presented in 1965, Jaeger-LeCoultre particularly distinguished itself in terms of the case design, distinguished by a surprising triple back : an inner back in bronze to enhance the resonance of the alarm ; a watertight-sealed back to ensure resistance to depths of 200 metres ; and an openworked back to prevent any contact between the diving suit and the suit from muffling the sound vibrations. This case measuring 42 mm in diameter, an extremely generous size for the time, ensured improved underwater dial readability, while the integrated rotating bezel enhanced safety, and the automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 925, also oversized, guaranteed improved performances. The Memovox Polaris was issued in a production run of 1,714 between 1965 to 1970, before giving way to a new version named Memovox Polaris II, of which 1,120 were produced until 1972. Within an extremely large egg-shaped case, the latter model housed a high-frequency automatic movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 916, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour instead of 18,000, that the Manufacture was then beginning to produce and which proved so efficient that it is still used today in the Master Compressor Memovox. The now legendary Memovox Polaris diver’s watches are among the most coveted among collectors. In 2008, two models were treated to Memovox Tribute to Polaris re-editions, aesthetically very faithful to the originals although equipped with 21st century movements. The very first model created in 1965 was reinterpreted in a 950 platinum 65-piece series, and the 1968 model – doubtless the most famous of them all – in a 768-piece steel edition.
In 2012, the saga continues with two Deep Sea models featuring chronograph functions. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Vintage clearly reflects the design codes of the original Memovox Deep Sea. Framed by a 40.5 mm-diameter steel case topped by a fixed bezel, the matt black dial radiates a decidedly classic style. Just as it used to be, the protective glass is in plexiglass, while the Superluminova on the triangular markers, the hour-markers, and the hour and minute hands features a warm bright orange shade. The embossed black calfskin leather strap has a texture comparable to that of the initial natural rubber model. The signature frogman motif also appears on the back of the case which is water-resistant to 100 metres. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Vintage displays short-time measurements thanks to a central seconds hand and two counters: a minute counter at 3 o’clock and an hour counter at 9 o’clock. It is powered by automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 751 G which incorporates the latest technical developments such as the variable-inertia balance or ceramic ballbearings ensuring smooth long-term and lubricant-free operation. This creation is intended for devotees of legendary models who nonetheless wish to benefit from contemporary comfort and reliability.
Designed for professional use, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph incorporates a chronograph operating indicator inspired by the Chronoflight, a Jaeger-LeCoultre invention dating back to 1930. This onboard chronograph, equipped with multiple counters and totalizers, was intended for civilian or military aircraft. It served to totalise flight times while subtracting stop-overs. It was also adopted by racing drivers and was used for over 30 years. As adapted to divers’ requirements, the device enables them to ensure at a glance that the chronograph is ready to be activated, that it is performing a measurement, or that the time measured is displayed on the counters – and all this without any risk of errors. The operating indicator consists of two discs – one white and the other red – appearing through a round dial aperture. When the display is white, the chronograph is ready to be triggered. When the red and white appear simultaneously, that means a measurement is in progress. Finally, the red on its own indicates that the measurement has been made and the diver can check it before resetting. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph is driven by the new automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 758 housed in a 42 mm-diameter steel case. As one expects of an authentic diver’s watch, it meets all the criteria laid down by the ISO 6425 norm in force since 1996. It is equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel, it is water-resistant to 100 metres, it is perfectly readable in the dark, and it complies with the corresponding standards in terms of magnetism and shock protection. By enhancing the safety of divers for whom any mistake in counting minutes spent under water could have dire consequences, this new instrument is set to have a major impact and take its rightful place among the legendary creations from Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Vintage
Case: steel, plexiglass watch glass, fixed bezel Diameter: 40.5mm Movement: automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 751G, 28,800 vph, 65-hour power reserve Function : hours, minutes, central chronograph seconds hand, 30mn counter and 12h counter Strap: black leather, steel pin buckle Water resistance: 100m
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph
Case: steel, sapphire crystal, unidirectional rotating bezel Diameter: 42mm Movement: automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 758, 28,800 vph, 65-hour power reserve Functions: hours, minutes, central chronograph seconds hand, 30mn counter and 12h counter, chronograph operating indicator Strap: black leather, steel pin buckle Water resistance: 100m