Universal Genève Polerouter

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SKU AS01850
SKU AS01850

Why We Love it

A mere five decades after the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, air travel was burgeoning.

On November 15 of 1954, a DC-6 aircraft christened the Helge Viking departed Copenhagen for Los Angeles, becoming the first flight to traverse the North Pole. The route, devised by Scandinavian Airlines, sought to shorten the flight time from Europe to the United States. This achievement was touted by a Swiss newspaper as “the first new commercial route in a thousand years.”

Yet despite the technological advances in avionics and aeronautical engineering, considerable challenges still loomed, especially to sensitive equipment and instruments. To address the problem of magnetism on a watch’s movement, SAS leaned on Universal Genève to produce a watch that could withstand the magnetic waves emitted by the instruments in an airplane’s cockpit (such as the navigational and communications equipment), as well as the strong magnetic field concentrated over the Pole itself. The concept of anti-magnetic watches was not untried by other brands—IWC made headway in creating the Mark XI pilot’s watch in 1949, which enclosed the watch’s movement with an iron dust covering.

But an anti-magnetic, purpose-built watch represented a departure from the watches that had been Universal Genève’s forte, namely elegant dress watches and chronographs.

This was the genesis of the “Polarouter’ (later renamed the Polerouter), brainchild of a young designer who was only just stretching his legs, creatively speaking. With the Polerouter, Gerald Genta designed a watch capable of resisting the magnetic fields over the Pole and remaining accurate during the flight. Both the flight and the watch were successes, leading to a fruitful partnership between the growing airline and the Swiss watch manufacture. 

The Polerouter serves as a subtle foreshadowing to Genta's later designs: the Patek Philippe Nautilus, IWC Ingenieur and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. This particularly Polerouter is an early version with a bumper-wind movement (Caliber 138SS). Capped in yellow gold, the slim and elegant proportions of the case launch this watch firmly into dress watch territory, a feature that is bolstered by the dauphine hands.

With an interesting history and great design, the Polerouter is not just a watch, it's a tangible piece of aviation and horological history that is as at home on the modern wrist as it was on the pilots that helped make it famous.

A:S Guarantee

+

Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

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.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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 Genève Polerouter

Universal Genève Polerouter

Sold
Sold
Universal Genève Polerouter

Why We Love it

A mere five decades after the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, air travel was burgeoning.

On November 15 of 1954, a DC-6 aircraft christened the Helge Viking departed Copenhagen for Los Angeles, becoming the first flight to traverse the North Pole. The route, devised by Scandinavian Airlines, sought to shorten the flight time from Europe to the United States. This achievement was touted by a Swiss newspaper as “the first new commercial route in a thousand years.”

Yet despite the technological advances in avionics and aeronautical engineering, considerable challenges still loomed, especially to sensitive equipment and instruments. To address the problem of magnetism on a watch’s movement, SAS leaned on Universal Genève to produce a watch that could withstand the magnetic waves emitted by the instruments in an airplane’s cockpit (such as the navigational and communications equipment), as well as the strong magnetic field concentrated over the Pole itself. The concept of anti-magnetic watches was not untried by other brands—IWC made headway in creating the Mark XI pilot’s watch in 1949, which enclosed the watch’s movement with an iron dust covering.

But an anti-magnetic, purpose-built watch represented a departure from the watches that had been Universal Genève’s forte, namely elegant dress watches and chronographs.

This was the genesis of the “Polarouter’ (later renamed the Polerouter), brainchild of a young designer who was only just stretching his legs, creatively speaking. With the Polerouter, Gerald Genta designed a watch capable of resisting the magnetic fields over the Pole and remaining accurate during the flight. Both the flight and the watch were successes, leading to a fruitful partnership between the growing airline and the Swiss watch manufacture. 

The Polerouter serves as a subtle foreshadowing to Genta's later designs: the Patek Philippe Nautilus, IWC Ingenieur and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. This particularly Polerouter is an early version with a bumper-wind movement (Caliber 138SS). Capped in yellow gold, the slim and elegant proportions of the case launch this watch firmly into dress watch territory, a feature that is bolstered by the dauphine hands.

With an interesting history and great design, the Polerouter is not just a watch, it's a tangible piece of aviation and horological history that is as at home on the modern wrist as it was on the pilots that helped make it famous.

A:S Guarantee

+

Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

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.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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.

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