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Why We Love it
The introduction of the micro-rotor movement was a feat of engineering that gets less than its fair share of attention nowadays.
Wristwatches have really only been around for a little more than 100 years. We know that queens and dignitaries have worn them for centuries, but it wasn’t until WWI that wrist watches were produced on a mass scale and became popular.
Self-winding, or automatic movements — movements with an oscillating weight which winds the mainspring via the movement of the wearers wrist — only came onto the scene in a meaningful way roughly 70 years ago. Since their incorporation into the cannon of watchmaking, only a handful of companies, including Patek Philippe and Piaget, have employed them.
Why? Well, the answer is sadly simple: they’re not easy to get right.
That’s why Universal Genève’s development and production of a micro-rotor movement in the mid 1950s is an impressive and noteworthy achievement. It’s further impressive that those early movement are still reliably ticking away today.
By employing a micro-rotor design, which embedded the oscillating weight in the bridge of the movement rather than atop it, Universal Genève was able to build a watch thinner than its contemporaries. That watch was the Polerouter.
This particular Polerouter sports a stunning gloss black crosshair dial, matching luminous dauphine hands and a very strong case, rivaling some of the nicest Polerouters we’ve seen so far.
Most of us, even the most diehard collectors, know only one watch designer by name: Gerald Genta.
The man behind the AP Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the IWC Ingenieur, Genta changed the watch industry with his luxury stainless steel sports watches with sharp 70s lines and his characteristic integrated bracelet design. But before he could pioneer haute horology, he had cut his teeth on a more approachable timepiece; the Universal Genève Polerouter.
The Polerouter was Genta's first watch design brought to market, penned by the young Swiss designer in his early 20s. The watch was a sales success and propelled Genta’s career forward (allowing for the greats such as the Royal Oak and the Nautilus.) The first Polerouter was released in 1954 (and originally called the POLARouter) to celebrate and promote Scandinavian Airlines’ Royal Viking polar flights between New York City, Los Angeles and Europe. The flights forged a new route over the North Pole, reducing flight times between the two continents. Flying over the North Pole presented a unique set of challenges for a watch, and the Polerouter was designed to be highly resistant to magnetic fields (in addition to the usual shock and water resistance) so as to maintain accuracy during the trip.
Stainless steel case is approximately 35.5mm (excluding crown).Calibre 215-1 Micro-rotor Automatic Winding Movement. Circa 1968.
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition overall, showing light wear consistent with age and use. Glossy black quadrant dial is in very good condition throughout with even patination to the luminescent indices and one minor blemish above "Automatic" printing. Luminous dauphine hands have been refinished to match. Universal Genève signed crown.
Includes leather strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options