Steel Universal Polerouter “NS” vintage wristwatch, circa 1964
A stylish automatic centre seconds wristwatch with date and cross-hair dial
The Polerouter series is one of Universal’s most famous model lines. Polerouters were the official pilots’ watches of the Scandinavian Airline, SAS. In 1954, SAS launched a new route from Copenhagen to New York which flew over the North Pole. This new route exposed the planes to strong magnetic fields that could adversely effect the timekeeping of a mechanical wristwatch. The Polerouter was designed to counter these effects and provide precision timekeeping for the Scandinavian Airline. The cases of the first Polerouters were designed by the legendary wristwatch designer, Gerald Genta, who is also well-known for his creations for Patek Philippe (Nautilus) and Audemars Piguet (Royal Oak) amongst others.
On 27th May 1955, Universal filed Swiss Patent No. 329805 for a ‘Microrotor’, the patent was published on 30th June 1958. This inspired piece of horological engineering created a satellite rotor that could be recessed into the backplate of the watch movement. Without the need to accommodate and mount a traditional rotor above the movement’s backplate, it was possible to create a much slimmer automatic movement and, so too, a thinner watch case. At the time of its inception, the ‘Microrotor’ was revolutionary. The small size of the rotor and its off-centre position meant that the rotor itself had to be made of a heavy metal in order to move and, thereby, wind efficiently. The rotor was also designed to wind in both a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.
This Polerouter “NS” model is one of the most stylish of the Polerouter series and features a very handsome silvered dial with vertical satin finish and red ‘cross-hair’. The applied numerals are an attractive combination of batons with golden centres at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock and flat applied discs at the intervening hours. The date aperture is a framed, wedge shaped aperture and is equipped with semi-fast date change facility by advancing the hands backwards and forwards between 10pm and 2am.
Universal calibre 69 Geneva striped automatic movement, lever escapement, 28 jewels, mono-metallic balance, 18,000 BPH, precision regulation, Incabloc shock absorber; silvered dial with red cross-hair, applied steel disc and baton numerals the numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock with golden inserts, wedge shaped date aperture, stainless steel tonneau-form case, polished chamfered bezel, screw-down case back, Universal crown; case, dial, movement and crown signed.
Diameter excluding winding crown: 34mm
Length including lugs: 41mm
Depth to centre of crystal: 11mm
Lug gauge/strap width: 18mm
All Black Bough watches have been fully serviced and overhauled and are sold with a one year guarantee, Black Bough fitted presentation box and detailed Black Bough certificate.