A fine and rare gold capped wristwatch with sweep center seconds

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: Circa 1954
    Reference No: 20214-2
    Case No: 1'648'748
    Model Name: Polarouter
    Material: Gold capped
    Calibre: Automatic, cal 138SS, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt pin buckle
    Dimensions: 34.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, dial further signed Gobbi

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1954, Universal Genève, under the fantastic pen of young designer Gérald Genta, presented the Polarouter. The watch was initially designed as an antimagnetic watch to meet the needs of the pilots of the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) that were flying over the North Pole to take a shortcut from Scandinavia to the American West Coast. The very early batches were named Polarouter but within the first few months of production the brand changed the name to Polerouter. Polarouters are therefore very rare as only a small number were produced over a short period of time.
    The present gold capped example further stands out from the regular production by a few other features that even the savvy collector may never have seen grouped in the same watch. First of all, the watch was sold by famous Milan based retailer Gobbi and therefore proudly displays its signature on top of the Automatic inscription. A closer look at the dial reveals that the marker ring has a different design than the one usually seen on most of the reference 20214. Where the usual design is to have radial markings between the hour markers, the marker ring on this watch reveals concentric circles lines between the hour markers. This unusual design has only been seen on a small number of gold capped Polarouters.
    Presented today in original and honest condition for a watch of this age, the present Polarouter remains a witness of the first Polar flights of the early 50s’.

  • 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.

    View More Works

15

Lot Offered With No Reserve

Universal

Ref. 20214-2
A fine and rare gold capped wristwatch with sweep center seconds

Circa 1954
34.5mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, dial further signed Gobbi

Estimate
CHF4,000 - 8,000 
€3,700-7,300
$4,000-8,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Virginie Liatard-Roessli
Specialist, Head of Sale
+41 76 338 91 03
vliatard@phillips.com

Double Signed: A Celebration of the Finest Partnerships Between Manufacturers and Retailers

Geneva Auction 9 November 2019