Universal - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XI Hong Kong Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: Circa 1957
    Reference No: 10357-4
    Case No: 1’934’827
    Model Name: Polerouter Deluxe, “Yemen”
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 215, 28 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated Universal pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Universal presentation box with Yemen Coat of Arms.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Released in 1954, the Universal Geneve Polerouter earned its iconic status as it was worn by SAS (Scandinavian Air System) pilots when they flew the Polar route for the first time in commercial air history. By flying over the North Pole from Copenhagen to Los Angeles, the flight duration was cut short from 36 hours to 22 hours. Launched with various dial options, including gold, steel and capped, the model was also available with examples featuring a date. In 1955, the cal. 215 was introduced featuring a micro off-centered rotor. The case measures a comfortable 35mm in diameter featuring Lyra-style lugs famously designed by Gerald Genta.

    The present example Universal Polerouter in pink gold from circa 1957 is a special one. Immediately drawing attention to the dial a map of the Arabian Peninsula with its main focus outlining Yemen, the dial further features the Yemen Coat of Arms, indicating that the present wristwatch was commissioned to the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen who was reigned by the penultimate King Ahmad bin Yahya Hamidaddin from 1948 to 1962. Extremely rare, these examples are highly collectible as it is not often that one such as the present example to appear in the market, and when it does, it garners much interest from collectors of fine and rare timepieces. Furthermore, adding to its rarity and desirability, the Arabic-Indic numerals on the dial is a rare trait.

    Offered in excellent and very well-preserved overall condition, the present example was most likely worn for less than a handful of times. It is also accompanied by the original presentation box stamped with the Yemen Coat of Arms.

  • Artist Biography


    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


Ref. 10357-4
A very fine and rare pink gold wristwatch with center seconds, dial depicting the Arabian Peninsula with Yemeni Coat of Arms, Arabic-Indic numerals and presentation box

Circa 1957
35mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

HK$50,000 - 68,000 

Sold for HK$126,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001


The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XI

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2020