1950s Universal Geneve Genta Polerouter (Cal. 218-2)

Genta Polerouter Feature

In the world of the Universal Geneve Polerouter there is one variation that all collectors have a particular affinity for: the Genta Polerouter.

Gerald Genta is a name all collectors know but few outside the collector’s circle do. He was a watch designer who created some of the most immortal and unique pieces. Today these pieces are the foundation of some watch brands. He designed the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Phillipe Nautillus, and the Cartier Pasha among others, but before these incredibly avante garde and iconic pieces was one of his first: the Universal Geneve Polerouter. At the age of 23 he created this beautiful, and insanely reasonably priced collectors piece.

The raised chapter ring gives the watch a sense of depth, which is a feat given how thin this was is for an automatic. The trapezoidal date window is another element Genta added to make this watch ever so slightly different from everything else on the market. It is very important to note should you be a stickler for all original, that the best way to know is to look at the crystal. Universal Geneve made crystals with specially shaped date magnifiers for these watches. They are impossible to find and so finding one with its original crystal is a huge plus. This piece unfortunately is without that crystal (but I am just getting into one with the original which will be photographed and posted soon.) Finally, the subtle sunburst streaks on the dial that radiate out from the center creates radiant streaks that sync up with the chapter ring and make this watch catch light different than most others.

Genta Polerouter Angle Genta Polerouter Side Genta Polerouter Date Window

My work on this piece consisted of a usual full service but no major repair work. When I got it I noticed a slight rattle in the automatic works which is totally normal with these pieces. The rotor wearing or the axle breaking is quite common. What I found however was significantly (and pleasantly) more minor. There are two screws that fix the automatic works to the mainplate. One of those screws was missing. Once that was in the piece worked and wound like a charm.

Genta Polerouter Offset Date Wheel Genta Polerouter Sans Rotor

While I generally have a strong preference for black bands, this watch just looked better with brown. While a black band can provide a very prominent contrast to help highlight some of a watch’s subtle details, this watch needs no such contrast and looks perfectly at home on its band.

All together this is a fantastic collector’s piece. It is an amazing design and considering that at the time Genta was in his early 20s, and it was most certainly a brilliant first step in the legacy of the watch world’s most revered designer. Its price point makes it one of the best deals in watch collecting. If you haven’t added one to your collection, I would very seriously consider it.

Genta Polerouter Front Genta Polerouter Movement Genta Polerouter Movement 2

6 comments on “1950s Universal Geneve Genta Polerouter (Cal. 218-2)

  1. Clint James says:

    I am trying like all hell to find a replacement crystal for an early UG Polerouter. Where did you source the crystal for this piece?

    • aberlow says:

      Unfortunately that Crystal is two steps under impossible to find. Occasionally they pop up on eBay, on their own or in a parts watch. The latter is how I have obtained two so far.

  2. Miguel Mendoza says:

    Hi. Very nice information about this beautiful piece. I have just found one in very good condition with all original elements including the original magnifier for the crystal on the date. The problem is that the automatic doesn’t work. It runs nicely and on time but only handwinding. Is it possible to repair ir is impossible to find pieces? Greetings from Mexico City.

    • aberlow says:

      Hey! Yes, parts are hard but not impossible to come by. I actually have a full auto mechanism at my bench, so it’s definitely not impossible. Good luck!

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