not even a year of production the model used by
the SAS was renamed to "Polerouter". Still
the watch was supplied with the automatic movement
cal. 138 SS with a central second. The Polerouter
has also a two-piece casing with "Bombe" lugs (for
19 mm straps). The diameter is still 35,5
mm and the thickness 11 mm.
With this model the typical "twelve-angular"
screwed back cover was introduced. It has an engraved
Universal logo but no "waterproof" writing.
The watch was available in steel (ref. S 20214)
and in steel with a 300 µm cap of 14K gold (ref.
S 20217). The latter was nearly always yellow gold
and only extremely rare in pink gold. The convex
glass of the early versions is screwed-in from the
inside; later normal glasses were used. Both versions
are waterproof up to 50 m. The crowns of the first
models are not signed, but later a crown with a
Universal logo was used. The dial has an index ring
for the hours, cross-hair lines, "Dauphine" hands.
Dependent on the casing material the dial was available
in black, silver-white and gold. A few pieces (ref.
H 20217) had a luminous index ring and "Flèche"
arrow hands (picture).
Polerouterde luxe (microtor) 1955
in 1955 the top-model Polerouter de luxe
was offered with a casing with the so-called "Bombe"
lugs (Ref. 10357). Parallel to the steel model it
was supplied with the new "Microtor" caliber
215 which was used throughout the whole production.
Like the initially parallel sold model with the
cal. 138 SS, the Polerouter de luxe (microtor)
was only available in 18K pink or yellow gold.
gold casing has a weight of 23 g, fitted with a
screw-in back with a 12-angular "lock",
a diameter of 34 mm and a thickness of 9.4 mm. The
crown is now more flat like for the steel models.
The index ring, made of 18K gold, was with most
versions part of the casing. As with later "normal"
golden Polerouter the ring is polished with
engraved hour marks. The
dials are always without radium points or minute-marks.
The golden versions (polished or brushed) are made
of 18K gold (picture). Only the silver-white and
black dials have printed cross-hair lines. The Universal
logo below the "12" is normally a Universal
arms and only in the production year 1960 a "U"
(Ref. 10361). The plain polished "Dauphine" hands
are made of 18K gold.
1955 - 1962
Polerouter (microtor), sucessor of the "bumper"
model, was introduced in May 1955. The watches (ref.
20357, 20360, 20263) were equipped with the new sensational
Microtor calibre 215. The design was identical with
the pre-decessor, but the new movement allowed to
reduce the thickness to 9,8 mm and later to 9,1 mm.
The screwed back has an engraving with a globe and
Universal flag at the Pole. The watch was available
in steel and in steel with a 300 µm 14K gold cap (picture).
The size of the strap was reduced to 18 mm in 1957.
The dial has an index ring for the hours and cross-hair
lines. Most watches came with radiumed points and
luminous "Dauphine" hands. The new writing "Microtor"
was in script for the first versions. The dials were
available in black, silver-white or gold. A few pieces
had a luminous ring to indicate the hour (ref. 20380).
The later version (ref. 20358) with the new Universal
"U" logo was thinner with a smaller lunette and fitted
with the cal. 215-9. Some versions, mostly in 18K
gold, had straight and were fitted with the cal. 218-9.
1956 - 1962
Polerouter Jet was introduced in April 1956
as the "thinnest ever produced automatic waterproof,
center second watch". Basically it is just
the cheaper sister model of the "classic"
Polerouter. The thinner casing was archieved
by reduced material thickness and a changed design.
The standard movement became the cal. 215-07 with
just 17 jewels.
Nevertheless, some models were fitted with the high-grade
cal. 215-9 with 28 jewels. All
models do have a three-piece casing of approx. 33
mm diameter with convergating straight lugs and a
screwed back cover. The back of some models have the
globe with the Universal flag at the North Pole. The
crown is signed with a Universal logo. The watches
were available in steel (e.g. ref. 20355), pink and
yellow goldfilled (e.g. ref. 40355/3, picture) and
in 18K pink and yellow gold (e.g. ref. 10364, 10368,
10369-2). The dial design varies from plain hours
lines to bi-coloured dials with fancy index rings.
The same varity applies for the hands, although "Dauphine"
hands were used mostly. As with the normal Polerouter
models, the Universal logo changed in 1959 from the
arms to a simple "U".
1958 - 1961
Polerouter Date Chronomètre is probably
the most exclusive and rarest piece of the Polerouter
line. The ref. 104503-3 was the first Polerouter
Date at all and was produced over a short period
of time (1958 - 1961) and in 18K gold only. The seize
and design of case, dial and hands is the same as
for the "normal" Polerouter Date.
The most important external difference is the absence
of the Universal Genève logo at the "12"
and the writing "Chronomètre" above
the "6". The movement used is the Microtor
cal. 215-1 with a fine-tuning regulator at the balance
cock. The movements are numbered and have the writing
"Adjusted two 2 positions & temperature"
engraved in the train bridge. The later model (ref.
H 104601-1) has a slimmer casing and a "U"
below "12" and now, like other Polerouter
Date of this age, without the writing "Microtor".
The most important difference is the utilization of
the cal. 218-2. It is now adjusted in 5 positions
with the inauguration of the "Polar Route" by the
airline SAS, Universal Genève launched the model Polarouter
in fall 1954. The watch was worn by the SAS pilots
on all "Royal Viking" flights over the North
Pole. The pilot watches (ref. 20217-6) bear a SAS
arms on the dial. The watch is supplied with the anti-magnetic
automatic calibre 138 SS with central second.
The two-piece casing has "Bombe" lugs (for 19 mm straps)
and a screwed back cover with an engraved Universal
logo and a "waterproof" writing. The casing
is waterproof up to 50 m and has a diameter of 35,5
mm and a thickness of approx. 11 mm. The watch was
available in steel (ref. 20217) and in steel with
a 14 K gold cap (ref. 20214, picture). The convex
glass is fixed by the inner index ring, acting as
a tension ring. The crown is often not signed. The
dial is surrounded by an index ring for the hours,
has cross-hair lines, the Universal logo below the
"12" and "Dauphine" hands. The very first
models have the "Polarouter" sign at the "6"
and not at the "12" below the writing "Universal
Genève" as all other models. The dial was available
in black and silver-white, most watches came with
radium points and radiumed hands.
1960 - 1969
Polerouter Genève was produced from
December 1960 to roughly 1968. The round casing has
a always short straight lugs. Some models had two-piece
case with a screwed back, others were made of one
piece with a pull-out crown. The watches were available
with or without date.
The date window is of rectangular (picture) or conical
shape and located at the "3". The
watches were supplied with the different versions
of the "Microtor" (cal. 218-9, cal. 1-69
etc.). The style of the dial varies: Most models have
a plain black, silver or golden dial with simple hour
bars with a printed minute scale. Only a few "Date"
versions (e.g. ref. 204604/4) have an inner index
ring similar to those of the "classical"
Polerouter with additional hour bars.
The hands are mostly of "Dauphine" type
or straight. The logo at the "12" is mostly
a metal "U" in the same material as the
casing, only a few models after 1966 have the new
square-shaped metal plate with a printed "U".
watches were available in 14 K or 18K yellow gold
(e.g. ref. 169111) or pink gold (e.g. ref. 269111),
goldfilled (e.g. ref. 404604) or in steel (e.g. ref.
1965 - 1968
Polerouter "NS" was introduced in
1965. The watch is relatively rare and was only produced
in steel with a date indication. The design of the
casing is similar to the one of the Polerouter
III. The movement used was the cal. 69. The charcoal
grey dial has a red cross-hair line and a sloped edge
with a minute scale and silver point- and bar- indexes.
1963 - 1968
model Polerouter Super was produced from 1963
to 1968. The casing has a screwed back and a new design
with bigger lugs a more massive general appearance.
The first versions still had slightly curved lugs
but later this was changed to more straight ones.
At that stage a screw-in crown was used for the first
time in a Polerouter.
The watches were supplied with the Microtor cal.
69 (28 jewels) or cal. 1-69 (17 jewels). The style
of the dial varies. Some models still have the inner
index ring with a horizontal line, others already
have plain dials with simple hour bars with a printed
minute scale. All
watches have a conical date window at the "3".
The flat Perspex glass has an inner magnifying glass
of conical shape. The hands are always in "Baton"
style. The watch was available in steel or 18K gold.
Parallel to the introduction of the Polerouter
Super, Universal Genève changed the nomenclature
for the reference numbers. The steel model with
the index ring (picture) has the ref. 869112-01.
At the same time the logo changed to a square-shaped
metal plate with a printed "U".
1964 - 1969
Polerouter Compact was introduced somewhat
arround 1966. Although the watch is quite rare it
is the cheapest (apart from some Quartz models) that
was produced under the name "Polerouter".
The general design is very similar to the Polerouter
Genève without Date. The round casing has
short straight lugs.
The movement used is the cal 256 B, the so-called
"Super Microtor" although not being a Microtor.
Instead it is fitted with a simple central rotor.
The dial has hour bars and simple straight hands.
The "U" logo is positioned under the "12",
The model was available in 18 k yellow gold, steel
(ref. 2254403) and 14K goldfilled.
1961 - 1968
Polerouter Sub was introduced in 1961 as
the diving watch of the Polerouter line. Two different
types of watches were available, both with a massive
steel casing (660 ft waterproof) with a screwed
back. The watches were fitted with different versions
of the famous "Microtor". The "U"
of the word "Sub" has always the shape
of a trident.
The classic model has a casing with 42 mm diameter
and two crowns (ref. 20369-1). The inner revolving
ring with a 60 minutes dive scale (sometimes with
luminous numbers) can be adjusted by the crown at
the "2". The crown at the "4"
has the normal winding and set functions. The dial
has big luminous hour marks and "Skeleton"
hands. The movements used were the cal. 215 and
later models had a (mostly asymetrical) case with
a big screwed crown and a revolving graduated bezel
(e.g. ref. 869120-02, picture). In contrast to the
first model it has a date indication with a conical
window at the "3". The dial has big luminous
hour bars, sometimes with numbers. The red Universal
logo and the "Baton" hands are typical.
The movement used was the cal. 1-69.
1966 - 197?
model Polerouter (Day-Date)is the latest
mechanical Polerouter. As the Polerouter III
it has a day-date indication with two seperate windows
at the "3". The huge two-piece casing has
a screwed back and a very typical 1970's design. Other
versions with huge lugs were produced as well.
The movement is the 25 jewels Microtor cal. 72. The
dials vary in a wide range from blue with fancy hour
"blocks" and a outer minute scale (picture,
ref. 872101) to versions with a fine textured map
of the world and an index ring. The hands are always
straight with a luminous inlay. The logo is a printed
"U" within a square at the "12"
and "Polerouter" writing underneath. The
models were available in steel, 14K goldfilled and
in yellow gold.
1965 - 197?
Polerouter III wasintroduced in 1965.
This watch is one of the last representatives
of the long Polerouter evolution. The most characteristic
feature is the day-date function with two separate
windows at the "3". The massive casing in
different versions has a typical design of the late
1960's and early 1970's.
The movement is the 25 jewels cal. 72 with the engraving
"Microtor" on the barrel bridge. The silver
"Breguet" style dial is different from all
other Polerouter models. On a matt silver ring black
roman numbers are printed. An outer minute scale is
fitted with luminous points for the hours. The simple
hands are luminous. The logo at the "12"
is a printed "U" within a square. As with
the very first Polarouter watches, the model
name is located at the "6". The casing has
a screwed back and is made of 14K yellow gold. Annother
version has a (rounded) rectangular steel casing and
a structured dial with hour bars. The day window and
date window are located at the "6".
Polerouterde luxe (bumper) 1955
famous Polerouter de luxe was introduced
at the beginning of 1955 parallel to the new Polarouter.
The casing completely differs from all other Polerouter
models. As the top model of the line it was only
available in 18K pink or yellow gold. The watch
(ref. 10234 respectively TL 10234) is fitted with
the reliable automatic cal. 138 SS.
gold casing has a weight of approx. 20 g, a screw-in
back and straight lugs. The diameter is 38.5 mm
and the height 11.0 mm. The crown is strongly curved
and marked with an "U". The polished index
ring, made of 18K gold with engraved hour marks,
is part of the casing. The dials are always without
radium points and only rarely fitted with minute-marks.
The golden dials (polished or brushed) are made
of 18K gold. The silver-white and black variations
cross-hairs and four additional wedge-shaped indicators
made of gold (picture). The early models have the
writing "De Luxe" in script fonts above
the "6". All other models in small print
fonts below the "12". The
Universal logo (Universal arms and rarely a "U")
is located below the "12". The plain polished
"Dauphine" hands are made of gold.
rock'n roll hit by Bill Haley
of US Civil Rights Movement
satellite "Sputnik" in orbit
of the Dalai Lama
cardiac pacemaker implemented
of the Berlin Wall
spy plane incident
F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas
joins Vietnam war
storm in Europe and the USA
human heart transplantation
of cultural revolution in China
man on the moon
1958 - 1968
first Polerouter Date (ref. 204503) was introduced in 1958. The
design, and size are identical to the ones of the Polerouter (microtor)
models. The conical date window is located at the "3", incorporated
in the index ring. The convex glass had a inner magnifying glass that
was first round and later of conical shape. The movement used was the
cal. 215-1 until 1960.
From 1960 to 1962 the cal. 218-2 with a fine-tuning device was used and
finally the cal. 69 with a new winding mechanism. Due to the additional
date mechanism the thickness of the movements was increased by 0,6 mm
to 4,7 mm. The watch was available in steel (ref. 204610 and 204605) ,
in steel (picture) with a 300 µm cap in 14K yellow gold and in pink and
yellow 18K gold (ref. 104501 and 104601). Dials were available in a wide
variety: black, silver, yellow or pink golden (polished, brushed, textured).
As with the normal Polerouter models, the Universal logo changed in 1959
from the arms to a simple metal "U". Towards the end of the production
a new casing with a more massive design and the cal. 1-69 or 69 was launched
in 1964. Soon the logo was changed to a printed "U" within a
square. Some versions have the casing of the Polerouter Jet without
an index ring.