Value Prop: 20217/5 Universal Genève Polerouter
Of the last decade, Universal’s Polerouter has slowly shifted from being a niche enthusiast’s micro-rotor to a foundational reference of attainable watch collecting. No one will argue that this is not deserved; the Genta-designed aesthetic is graceful as they come. However, that shift has also seen values skyrocket, as with everything. The very earliest Polerouters, though, did no incorporate that (admittedly lovely) caliber 215 micro-rotor auto. As a result, for design enthusiasts, the early bumpers are a massive comparative value today.
The Polerouter was released in honor of a first flight over the North Pole, hence the title. According to Mr C. Pennington, there are nearly 1000 variations that have been produced since. This mid-fifties reference 20217/5 was among the very earliest, an original calibre 138SS bumper-style movement that predates the 215 micro-rotor. That less sophisticated movement is housed in a no less sophisticated style. Genta’s restrained design managed to incorporate a crosshair dial, discreet luminous radium plots, a signature stylized chapter ring, plexi crystal, and 35.5mm lyre lug case beautifully.
The lugs on this case are as they should be, quite crisp. The dial has the lightest of spotting but is altogether very clear for a seventy year old watch. It even has its original crystal. Said to be running well. It comes from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this 20217/5 Polerouter here from Avocado Vintage Watches for 1800 EUR.