Universal Geneve Polerouter Prototype
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Universal Geneve Polerouter Prototype

Why We Love It

For information on the classic Universal Geneve Polerouter, skip ahead to "The Story", below. When you're done, come on back and keep reading, the example we have here is really unusual and particularly interesting!

 The story here is all about the dial, and what a dial it is! This is a non-retailed prototype configuration of which there are an estimated 3 known examples in circulation. While we have all come to know and love the classic black crosshair Tuxedo dials of the Polerouter, here we have an eye catching red crosshair with contrasting white rehaut. The sweeping seconds hand has also been changed to the same red, and has been fitted with luminous sword hands.

While this dial configuration was never issued for retail sale by Universal Geneve, this particular prototype dial was lovingly kept and cared for by a former UG employee, and was recently fitted into a complete case assembly to finally showcase how it might have looked if they were ever put up for sale in the 1960s. The watch is cased in a period correct twisted lug HF case and mated to the famous Cal. 215 Microrotor movement. This example even features an authentic (and impossible to find) UG signed crystal with iconic trapezoidal magnifier.

It might not be entirely "real", but its entirely real. If you catch our drift.   

The Story

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.

 

Details

SKU: AS02751

Stainless Steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). UG Cal 215 Microrotor Automatic Movement. 1960s.

Overall Condition:  The watch is in very good condition over all, with wear marks throughout the case and bezel consistent with age and use. Steel case is in exceptional condition with only faint marks from wear, with strong curved lug bevels. White prototype rehaut in exceptional shape. Matte Black quadrant dial is non-luminous and in excellent condition; luminous stick hands have faded to a even patination. UG signed crown. Screw case back featuring the “Polerouter Globe” logo in very light printing

Includes Genuine Swiss Tropic Rubber Strap.

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