Affordable Vintage: Universal Genève Polerouter Super
One of my #1 vintage watches, and one that has seen an uptick in prominence as of late among gatherers, is the Universal Genève Polerouter. All things considered, the Polerouter is anything but a solitary unmistakable model, yet rather a group of watches that started in 1954 and finished around 1969 (with a brief yet deadened return in the ‘80s). We’ve covered this line before here on worn&wound in a progression of articles: a set of experiences and outline of the Polerouter line, a nearby gander at the Polerouter Sub , and a breakdown of the questionable Polerouter Sub Super Compressor . From these three articles alone, the assortment of the Polerouter line is obvious. Today, we’re going to jump much more profound into that heredity and investigate a later, mostly secret variant—the Polerouter Super.
The most popular Polerouters are the soonest references dependent on Gerald Genta’s beginning plan. The principal watch to bear his stylish, the Polarouter, was commissioned by the Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) to be given to their pilots upon the completion of the noteworthy Copenhagen-Los Angeles polar flight—an attempt that viably cut hours off flight times by opening courses over the North Pole. Formally delivered in 1954, the Polarouter—named after said polar flights, however the line was later rebadged Polerouter—would become the springboard for most future references inside the collection.
Universal Genève Polerouter Date; ca. 1957 Universal Genève Polerouter Super; ca. mid-1960s.
That starting plan included a 34.5mm case flaunting ravishing bombé drags and a dateless dial with a finished inward file ring. Controlling the watch was the firm’s cal. 138 SS guard programmed. As the years passed by, Universal Genève developed the line, which ultimately included models like the Polerouter Jet, Polerouter de luxury, Polerouter Super, Polerouter Genève, Polerouter Compact, Polerouter Day-Date, Polerouter NS, Polerouter III and the Polerouter Sub. It was a hodgepodge of sorts—some observes unquestionably had leftovers of Genta’s DNA, while others seemed as though they were something different altogether. In that time, Universal Genève likewise developed its stable of developments, ultimately supplanting the 138 SS with the 215 miniature rotor, one of the first of its sort. The 215 was then trailed by the 218, which itself was supplanted by the 218-2.
Sometime during the 1960s, Universal Genève came out with the Polerouter Super. It’s indistinct precisely what the main Super arrangement resembled. I’ve seen dials stamped “Super” inside prior Polerouter cases, and I’ve likewise seen dials checked “Polerouter Date” inside later Super cases. The authenticity of such pieces is hard to decide, however it creates the impression that there may have been a considerable amount of blending and coordinating inside the Polerouter family, with parts streaming openly across various references . All things considered, the model appeared here highlights a case normally found among the Super line, and the dial is a later, post-Genta design.
The case gauges generally 35.2mm wide and 43.3mm drag to-haul. Regarding thickness, its 10.5mm, however a fair piece of that comes from the tall formal hat gem which gives the watch its lovely profile. Sitting inside a pattern in the mid-case is a different angled bezel, hanging marginally over the width of the case and further adding to the exceptional profile of the watch.
Eschewing the bombé carries of prior Polerouters, the Super case rather settles on sharp hauls that bend down to embrace the wrist. The quality here is truly amazing. My model is completely immaculate, and all points and lines are dangerously sharp. Besides, the fine brushing along the highest points of the hauls and the sides of the case is staggeringly very much done. It’s somewhat pearlescent and offers a pleasant differentiation to the cleaned underside of the carries just as the unadorned case back.
The noticeable crown—measuring around 5.6mm by 4.3mm—screws down into the case. At the point when the crown is unscrewed, it must be pulled out to one position (time setting). The date isn’t brisk set. When you have the right time, the crown should be squeezed back against the case, and a half-turn secures it. The crown highlighted here isn’t the lone kind of crown I have seen matched with a Super case. Different models highlight a considerably more noticeable crown with a stretched, ventured end.
Compared to prior Polerouters, the dial of the Super is rearranged. The model here is white with gold hands and applied markers at every hour, a printed minutes/seconds scale, and a date window a three. Tritium lume specks complement every hour marker, and the date window is managed in gold. Under twelve is an applied logo—a brilliant “U” badge—as well as the brand and model name, or more six is “AUTOMATIC.” Despite its more straightforward structure, the dial isn’t without subtlety. The printing is exact much under amplification. The faceted markers are finely cleaned and include dark focus fill. The trapezoidal date window—one of my #1 dial details–is a similar shape as the magnifier on top of the gem, and together the two truly offer accentuation to the particular (and energetic) tasteful of the typeface. Unique precious stones are uncommon, so on the off chance that you discover one see yourself as fortunate. (Other than having the right magnifier, Universal Genève precious stones are likewise endorsed in the center similar as the manner Omega gems are).
Powering the watch is the acclaimed Universal Genève cal.69 miniature rotor development. First presented in 1962 close by the cal. 68, together these two developments are the two most popular emphasess of Universal Genève’s miniature rotor framework, highlighting a “stop oil” synthetic treatment to keep oil from shifting–ultimately decreasing help intervals–and a 55-hour power hold. It’s an amazing, high-grade type with a demonstrated history of performance.
As far as evaluating goes, the Supers are somewhat everywhere. I’ve seen a few models go for as low as $300 and some as high as $2,500, contingent upon the case and dial combination just as the general condition. As a rule, the Supers on the higher finish of the valuing scale will in general be hardened steel with before Genta dials, however the two-tone highlighted here is moderately uncommon as most Supers came in gold or treated steel. Most models that I’ve seen have drifted somewhere near the $1,000 mark, so there are unquestionably a few arrangements to be had here.
Throughout its run, the Polerouter was situated as a top of the line watch in Universal Genève’s inventory. For viewpoint, in the last part of the 1950s a steel Polerouter was evaluated equivalent to a Rolex Explorer. For my cash, the Super is an extraordinary option in contrast to a vintage Rolex Datejust, and it’s got a considerable amount greater character to boot.