Sold For
$3,190 USD

16 bids

No reserve
Auction Ended
On Oct 10, 4:09 PM UTC
Lot #1678

Universal Geneve Polerouter Date 869111/01 Tropical Dial

This auction is subject to a 10% buyer’s premium on top of final bid amount (hammer price).

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Designed by Genta in 1954 when he was just 23, the Universal Geneve Polerouter is the watch that kick-started the designer's illustrious career. Launched to commemorate the beginning of Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) flights from Europe to Los Angeles and New York, the Polerouter has aviation at its core, as referenced by its name. The routes flown by SAS from Copenhagen to LA flew over the North Pole, which shortened flight times between the two points from 36 to 22 hours, thus creating the name Polerouter. In addition to being named after its route, the Polerouter's construction was also influenced by this route, as the North Pole's magnetic force would wreak havoc on most watches and instruments in the plane. As such, Universal Geneve needed to make the Polerouter resistant to magnetism. One of the most iconic pilot's watches around, the Polerouter has grown a cult-like status amongst watch collectors as they fawn over its understated design and rich heritage linked to the dawn of transcontinental aviation. In addition to being offered in excellent condition, this example also boasts a vibrant tropical brown dial, which only adds to its beauty and desirability.

Loupe This Scorecard


V 8.5


Vetted & Approved


Gay Freres UG Bracelet

Est. value range

$4,000 – $6,000

The Details


Universal Geneve


36mm x 10.5mm


Polerouter Date


Automatic Universal Geneve cal. 69




Stainless steel bracelet


Circa 1960s


Very Good


Stainless steel


Watch only

Dial Color

Brown (Tropical)


Initially offered with a black and white dial, this example's center portion has transformed from jet black to a soft brown that evolves to different lighting situations.


In keeping with most watches of its time, the Polerouter was a classically designed timepiece. However, as a result of its legibility requirement for the pilots wearing it, its case was a little larger than most other watches at 36mm in diameter. In addition, this example is even offered on a stainless steel bracelet, adding to its modern aesthetic.


This reading was taken (crown down) with a ONEOF Accuracy Boutique Edition timing machine at time of cataloging. It is provided as a courtesy only, and shall not be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please refer to our terms and conditions of sale for more information.


Watch is in overall very good condition. The watch has surface wear and minor scratches along its surfaces, comesurate with careful use over the last 50+ years. Some visible light marks are seen long the lugs and case. The dial color has changed to various shades of brown over the years, with the tropical effect being most prominent around the UG logo and left quadrant of the dial. The limes are dark in tone, and hands match. The watch comes on a Gay Freres signed UG band with 24 links total, showing light stretch.

Our Perspective

An iconic timepiece that has slipped under the radar for far too long, the Polerouter's well-deserved status as a horological icon has seen its stock rise to stratospheric levels, with watch collectors enjoying its beautiful design, rich history, and links to one of the biggest names in the industry.

Justin Gruenberg