A fine and very rare yellow gold automatic wristwatch with polychrome enamel dial

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  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: 1957
    Reference No: 10'357-1
    Case No: 1'958'708
    Model Name: Polerouter
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. UG 215, 28 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Universal Genève Extract from the Archives confirming date of manufacture in 1957 and that the enamel dial was made by Mr Charles Poluzzi

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1954 Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) approached Universal Genève to produce a commemorative watch to celebrate its polar route from Copenhagen to Los Angeles. By flying a route over the North Pole, the airline cut travel time from 36 hours to 22 hours. Originally know as the “Polarouter”, the name was later changed to “Polerouter” and today is a highly desirable watch both for its commemoration of early aviation history, and the man who designed the case. One of the most distinguished names in horology is Gérald Genta. He is known for his outstanding modern case designs from Patek Philippe’s Nautilus to Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, however even from an early age he was a success. The “Polarouter” is one his earliest designs and was completed only a few years after receiving his Swiss federal diploma in 1951.
    Housed inside is Universal Genève’s patented self-winding "Microrotor" movement, one of the first calibers designed with a micro-rotor winding mechanism sunk into the movement. Introduced in 1955, this innovative movement permitted more energy to be stored compared with their earlier bumper-based winding system.
    The most impressive feature of the present lot is its exquisite, polychrome enamel dial featuring St. Paul, Patron Saint of Malta. Its caseback is inscribed “H.E. Card. W. Godfrey from Baron de Piro d’Amico Inguanez Malta MCMLX" (1960). This watch was commissioned by the Maltese noble man, Baron Jerome D'Amico Inguanez, the 7th Marquis De Piro and 8th Baron of Budaq and presented to the Archbishop of
    Westminster (Head of the Catholic church in England and Wales) his Eminence Cardinal William Godfrey in 1960. This was for recognition of Cardinal Godfrey's role as Apostolistic Delegate to Malta and Gibraltar during the Second World War and up to his appointment as Archbishop of Liverpool in 1953.

    In virtually unused condition, this is an exceptional example of a highly collectible Universal wristwatch.

  • Maker Bio

    Universal

    Swiss • 1894

    Universal Genève was founded in Le Locle, Switzerland in 1894 and was originally known as "Universal Watch." Since its inception, Universal Genève has produced watches with unusually high quality for their price point. Universal was among the first brands to introduce a chronograph wristwatch.

    Today, the firm's vintage models are highly sought-after and desired for their oversized cases and interesting dial designs. Key models include a variety of "Compax" models such as the "Nina Rindt" or "Evil Nina," the Uni-Compax, the Space-Compax, the Aero-Compax and the Film-Compax.

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159

Universal

Ref. 10'357-1
A fine and very rare yellow gold automatic wristwatch with polychrome enamel dial

1957
35mm. Diameter
Case and movement signed

Estimate
CHF15,000 - 20,000 
€13,800-18,400
$15,500-20,600

sold for CHF32,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016