Universal Geneve Polerouter Date 'Glossy Gilt Tropical Spider’ Sold
Case: All Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 35mm excluding original UG signed crown
Caliber: Microrotor UG Cal. 215-1 Automatic
Strap: Period correct stainless steel JB Champion
bracelet for the USA market
Now, everyone knows the story of this watch but here’s a reminder, just in case: To shortcut the flights from Europe to California (USA) by some thousand kilometers, the airline SAS (Scandinavian Airline System) opened new routes over the North Pole in the 1950s. All crews on these flights had to take part in a special training at the "SAS's Arctic Flight School". The Swiss watch manufacturer Universal Genève provided the crews with automatic precision wrist-watches that are resistant against the strong magnetic field of the polar region. They became the official chronometers of SAS. This design was commended to 23 year old Gerald Genta who also was the same designer of the legendary Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. Soon this Polerouters, specially the Date versions, became a sought after for collectors all around the world.
This particular early 1959-1960 example has an amazing tropical, glossy, gilt and spider web dial with various brown tones. The tritium markers and hands are golden and perfectly matching. It has the correct applied UG shield logo and a beautiful minute counter inner silver ring that make the face of this piece just awesome. The 35mm (excluding the small original UG signed crown) all stainless steel case is part of Watch History as young 23 year old Gerald Genta (same designer of the Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus) designed it especially for SAS. It remains sharp and unpolished. The famous twisted lugs are UG’s sign of character adding so much value to the piece. It has the original acrylic crystal with the rarer circular date magnifier and UG logo engraved on the center. The case back has some marks due to normal wear and also remains unpolished letting the logo visible. In between the upper lugs you can still see both the reference and serial numbers, something pretty difficult to find on these pieces as they are very faint printings that worn away easily. The in-house cal. 215-1 looks clean although service history is unknown. It is running smooth and keeping time.
Vintage original advertising showing this particular version with UG shield logo applied on dial and crystal with circular date magnifier
It is suited on a period correct JB Champion bracelet in stainless steel made for the USA market that makes the look of this piece even cooler.