Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Universal








This is a Universal automatic rotation bezel stainless watch, Black dial, three hands, rotation bezel, signed Universal Automatic.
Stainless case, two crowns, stainless back, and diameter 42 mm X 47 mm.
Automatic movement, caliber 215-2, 28 jewels and signed Universal, Pat +329805+

Look at the unique small rotor that help wind the watch..An innovation during that time.

For those unfamiliar with this iconic watch, below is a bit of history (content largely borrowed from www.polerouter.com) and some details regarding the watch.

The Story:

The airline SAS (Scandinavian Airline System) opened new routes over the North Pole in the 1950s to significantly shorten the flight time from California to Europe. The swiss watch manufacturerer Universal Genève was charged with providing the crews with automatic precision wrist-watches that provided resistance to the magnetic fields over the polar region. Universal Genève introduced a watch with the name "Polarouter" in fall 1954, which was created and designed by one of the most admired watchmakers of the 20th century, Gerald Genta (he later created the "Royal Oak" for Audemars Piguet and the "Nautilus" for Patek Philippe). The watch was re-named "Polerouter" soon thereafter and fitted with the famous calibre 215 "Microtor". Several other Polerouter models followed over the next twelve years, including the Polerouter Sub. During the 1950s/1960s, Polerouters were considered to be high-quality luxury watches – costing as much as a Rolex Explorer during the late 1950's.

The Movement:
In the early 1050s Universal Genève created (at the same time as the Buren Watch Company), a radically new automatic winding system: the Micorotor with its incorporated rotor mass. The first movement was introduced in 1955 and was called the Caliber 215. The rotor wound the mainspring in both directions, enabling more energy to be stored. The principal characteristics of this movement were as follws: 28.0 mm diameter, 4.1 mm height, 18,000 vibrations per hour, and 28 jewels. The 2-arm monometallic balance was protected by an Incabloc antishock system. The self-compensating flat Nivarox hairspring was blue coloured. The escape wheel was fitted with a Gyrocap shock-protection. The power reserve of 60 hours was exceptionally high (and remains so). The rotor was pink gold-plated, and the movement was decorated with a fine "Fausses cotes de Genève" decoration.

After a few additional iterations of this ground-breaking movement, UG finally released the most advanced of their microrotors – the cal. 69. The cal 69 is the movement in the example listed for sale. The movement features a more advanced winding system, and the rotor has been given a new shape. In addition, the movement was created such that it would not require as much lubrication as other movements. The cal. 69 is the last and most-advanced example of the classical micorotor UG movement.

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