Universal Genève Polerouter Date

Curated by our friends at Analog/Shift

The Story

Released in 1954, the Polerouter, despite its elegant appearance, had exploration at the heart of its development.

A mere five decades after the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, air travel was burgeoning, widening the horizons of the modern day. Despite the technological advances in avionics and aeronautical engineering, considerable challenges still loomed, especially to sensitive equipment and instruments.

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. To celebrate this feat, Universal Genève launched the 'Polarouter' (which was later renamed the Polerouter) leaning on the then 23-year-old Gerald Genta to design a watch capable of resisting the magnetic fields over the Pole and remain 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. 

A Polerouter has everything you want in a vintage watch: an interesting history and a sleek exterior designed by the hand of a master. When you find one that's this clean, you should get excited. This Polerouter, a coveted date model, serves as a subtle foreshadowing to unusual shape of Genta's later designs: the Patek Philippe Nautilus, IWC Ingenieur and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. 

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 to make it famous.

The Details

Maker: Universal Genève
Model: Polerouter Date
Year: Circa 1970s
Material: Steel Huguenin Freres case
Diameter: 36mm (excluding crown)
Caliber: Universal Genève Calibre 69 self-winding movement
Bracelet/Strap: Black leather strap
Lug width: 18mm

Overall Condition

Steel case is in very good condition with sharp bevels on the lugs and moderate signs of wear. Black glossy dial is likewise in very good condition with patina to the luminescent elements of the hour plots. Universal Genève crown. Universal Genève case back has some signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

Guarantee 

Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of their products in perpetuity and backs each vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase. For full information on warranty, condition and shipping, please click here.


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