Universal Geneve Polerouter Prototype
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
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.
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.
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Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
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Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Universal Geneve Polerouter Prototype