Of all of Genta’s diverse work, the Polerouter is easily one of the most classically beautiful. Moreover, its calibre 218 micro-rotor was materially innovative, a groundbreaking movement engineered ground-up to in order to allow a gracefully thin case. Yet, for all its numerous merits, the Polerouter is still an attainable proposition for many. Certainly, its status has risen as of late. But today as ten years ago, the Polerouter is still a gatekeeper of serious watch collecting, an unimpeachable three-hander whose charm runs deep. Just look at that trapezoidal date window.
The Polerouter was released in honor of a first flight over the North Pole, hence the title. Perhaps more impressive that that feat, though, was its calibre. When one goes deep enough into watches, they tend to polarize on the subject of micro rotors. It is hard to keep them fully wound, they require more attention. To me, that’s half the charm. I feel mechanical sympathy on a fundamentally deeper level when I have to look after the calibre attentively. Universal’s innovation was this Polerouter’s caliber 218 micro-rotor auto, where burying the winding mass allowed for a thinner overall profile. This, in conjunction with graceful lug design, creates a beautiful harmony of form following function that aids this Polerouter’s charm. The 36mm lyre lug case on this example houses a black dial with date complication and silver metallic rehaut. The crosshair design nicely offsets what is a highly quirky date aperture. No doubt, a near-perfect watch.
The black dial on this example, often called the tuxedo dial here, is very well preserved. The case still has its serial and reference engravings, visible with depth. Lugs are sharp and the overall case has light to moderate surface wear. All tritium pips are present. The micro-rotor has no scrape and has been recently serviced. It comes from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this Polerouter here from Vision Vintage for 3650 GBP.