There are diver's watches, and then there are diver's watches....just as there are grail watches, and then there are grail watches.
In this rare opportunity, we are beyond delighted to be offering both at once in the form of this absolutely incredible 1968 Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Diver's Alarm watch!
Culminating in a timepiece considered by many to be the ultimate vintage diver's watch, the Polaris project was begun by Jaeger-LeCoultre in1962 after completing a limited run of early mechanical diving alarms known as the "Memovox Deep Sea Alarm". The DSA was Jaeger-LeCoultre's original answer to safely calculating dive time in the new and rapidly growing sport of SCUBA. Utilizing an automatic movement with a manually-wound alarm function that would sound off at a pre-set time, the vibration and sound would alert the diver that it was time to ascend. In the late 50s and early 60s, this was as high-tech as it came. And it is every bit as awesome a function today.
Evolving from its predecessor, the Polaris featured a "jumbo size" 42mm steel case with two piece case back designed to amplify the sound of the alarm function underwater. The Polaris also featured an internally rotating timing bezel, operated from a third crown. The Polaris was made in a limited run of 1714 examples between 1965-1970 with a few variants to the hands and dial dependent on the destination market.
Recently obtained from the private collection of a serious diving watch enthusiast, this reference E859 Polaris may very well be the finest example in existence outside of a museum. While the bulk of these timepieces were used as intended - beneath the waves - this particular example seems to have been spared the hard life, and is in breathtaking original condition. This piece features the US-Market dial which only reads "LeCoultre," arguably the most desirable and certainly the cleanest variant.
This exact Polaris was loaned to our friends at Hodinkee for a write up late last year. Be sure and check it out HERE!
We've seen a number of remaining examples beaten to hell - a charm unto its own for sure - but nothing compares to the beauty of this all-original and only very lightly patinated example.
PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST - SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY, PLEASE!
Through much of World War II, allied aviators were donning the American-made A-11 service watch. While this tough-as-nails timekeeper performed meritoriously for soldiers and airmen alike, Britain's Ministry of Defense found that the production specifications of the A-11 were too broad and resulted in timepieces too imprecise for effective navigation.
As an answer to the A-11, the MoD issued new standards for the watches going to its RAF pilots. The new standard, coded 6B/346, required chronometer-grade performance and anti-magnetic properties. For the production of this new timepiece, the MoD turned to major European manufactures, eventually giving contracts to two: International Watch Company and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
The resulting timepiece was the Mark XI Pilot's watch.
In addition to the relatively standard features present on the A-11 (center seconds, hacking and a stainless steel case) the Mark XI featured a soft iron dial and dust cover which shielded the movement from magnetism.
While IWC produced their version of the Mark XI with their existing Calibre 89 (which found its way into many IWC models of the era), Jaeger-LeCoultre filled their orders with a 12.5 ligne, 16-jewel Calibre 488SBr movement - a movement that was only used in the Mark XI series - making the JLC executions much more sought after by collectors.
This particular example was produced in 1948 and features the original JLC dial, hands, crown and "Staybrite" stainless steel case.
One of the first affordable dive watches with a 1000mt (3330 ft) depth rating, the Luxor Neptune is the ultimate vintage tool watch from one of those lesser known horological brands we're partial to here at analog/shift.
Created by the Italian watch company DPW in the early 1980s, their Z1000 model was sold under various brand names and logos, with only minor cosmetic differences between them. A quality product with a classic shape, it quickly became the choice of both Italian and French civilian and military divers.
Housing a stalwart automatic ETA 2424 movement, this nearly mint 42mm diver has an impressive size and weight, wearing extremely well on the wrist for its depth rating. With a hefty Stainless Steel case with uni-directional rotating saw-tooth bezel, luminescent hands, and a recessed screw-down crown, this watch is begging to be used and abused for years to come. You'd be hard pressed to find another vintage diver this cool and capable for under a grand, don't miss it!
Ask any true watch collector about the greatest movements ever designed and there is a strong chance they will affectionately mention the Lemania Calibre .321 movement designed by Albert Piguet. Utilized in the original Omega Speedmaster during the American Space Program missions in the 1950s and 1960s, this workhorse movement has become a thing of legend, and deservedly so.
During the same time, Omega also made use of the Calibre .321 in another line of timepieces by installing it in their Seamaster Chronograph. The Seamaster was a more stylish (and terrestrial) alternative to the Speedmaster, and the robust movement found its home in smaller and more elegantly designed cases offered in both steel and gold.
This rare execution from the early 1960s boasts a stunning dial with both tachymeter AND pulsometric scales. The pulsometric scale was most often used by medical professionals to take an accurate reading of a patient's pulse - the chronograph is engaged as the pulse is read. On the 30th pulse, the chronograph indicates the patients heart rate. This function is often found on dedicated "Doctor's Chronographs" or has even been offered by other manufactures as an optional bezel insert for their standard timepieces, but is rarely found printed on a dial alongside a tachymeter scale. Very cool indeed!
With a solid 18k gold case, beautifully patinated cream colored dial, recessed & textured subsidiary registers, teardrop indices and knockout dauphine hands, this lovely timepiece is thing of beauty any way you ‘treat’ it. (Pun intended.)
We are a couple of guys based in New York City with a passion for bespoke style, substance, and authenticity. Admittedly, we appreciate ALL well-crafted and precious things, from fine single-malts to handmade cordovan bluchers, but we have a special and earnest love for the world of vintage goods, in particular, the world of vintage and luxury timepieces. We love the stories and histories vintage watches contain and the unparalleled craftsmanship with which they were made, often harkening back to an era when raw value was respected and a firm handshake was unflappable. Most importantly, we enjoy them for the works of wearable art that they are. We've had it with digital...we are 100% analog.
Our goal is to find and bring to market a small collection of exceptional vintage and contemporary timepieces. All of our items are hand-picked by our team, representing horologically interesting, important and desirable pieces. Essentially, we scour the market for the best available wristwatches, authenticate them and present them to you in an honest and straightforward manner.
We are here to help you buy a watch — not sell you one.