Steel Universal Polerouter Ref. 20217 -5 vintage wristwatch, circa 1955
A stylish stainless steel automatic centre seconds wristwatch with bombé lugs
Universal’s reference 20217 is an extremely stylish vintage wristwatch with a distinctive and bold case design that measures 36mm in diameter. The so-called ‘bombé’ lugs have a sinuous flow with polished finishes to their upper edges that contrast with the satin finish of the case sides. The broad flat bezel enhances both the solidity and size of the watch and adds considerably to the case’s exceptional profile view. The silvered dial has a circular satin finish and is quartered by a black cross-hair design with luminescent dots at each hour. An inner steel bezel is calibrated at the hours with fine milling between each marker. One of the most original and unusual vintage watch designs, it’s no surprise to learn that it was none other than the legendary Gerald Genta (he of Patek Philippe ‘Nautilus’ and Audemars Piguet ‘Royal Oak’ fame) that worked with Universal on the model’s design.
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.
Universal bumper automatic calibre 138SS movement, lever escapement, 17 jewels, compensation balance, 18,000 BPH, Incabloc shock absorber; silvered dial with circular satin finish, luminous dots at the hours, luminescent dauphine hands (please note luminescence will have naturally dulled with age), black cross-hair, inner steel bezel calibrated at the hours; large polished stainless steel case, bombé lugs, satin finished case sides, flat polished bezel, screw-down case back, Universal crown; case, dial, movement and crown signed.
Diameter excluding winding crown: 36mm
Length including lugs: 46mm
Depth to centre of crystal: 11mm
Strap width/lug gauge: 19mm
All our watches have been fully serviced and overhauled and are sold with a one year guarantee and detailed Black Bough certificate. This watch is accompanied by a Black Bough fitted presentation box.