Universal Genève: Polerouter at the heart of Innovation

Universal - Genève Polerouter Date Cadran Gilt

Universal Genève Polerouter

Watchmaking isn’t only about watches. It’s also about individuals who fight to make their projects come alive…to make dreams come true. The history of Universal Genève is such a story, rich with men and events that have sculpted the evolution of their timepieces.



Universal Genève - Polerouter Bracelet Gay Frères

Universal Genève, the pioneer

From their beginnings in 1894 in Le Locle, innovation is front and center of their concerns. That same year, they have the idea to patent a watch with a 24-hour indication.

Shortly after, the mastery of chronographs becomes a new focus of the manufacturer. At the end of the 20th century, Universal was already making chronographs with the 30-minute totalizer.

The results of these successful innovations? Exponential growth of the little manufacturer in Le Locle and relocation of its operations to Geneva in 1919 for room to grow limitlessly. Then a couple of years later in 1925, Universal releases its first automatic calibers.

Universal Genève Polerouter - Cadran Gilt - Bracelet Gay FrèresUniversal Genève Polerouter - Cadran Gilt - Bracelet Gay FrèresUniversal Genève Polerouter - Cadran Gilt - Bracelet Gay Frères

Universal “Polerouter,” aviation’s choice

On November 15, 1954, the first commercial flight Copenhagen-Los Angeles flying over the North Pole took place. Universal Genève supplied the automatic watches for the pilots of the Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) preparing for these commercial flights.

This is why in the Spring of 1954, Universal presented its “Polerouter” with a new automatic micro-rotor movement, created by the lengendary Gerald Genta.

Various versions of the Polerouter exist. Some with sectors on the dial, others with a black lacquered dial, the “Gilt.”

The history of this watchmaker has been influenced by great men, as much through their methods as through their creativity. A brand that has left iconic models on the wrists of both neophytes and aficionados. Their design and perfect proportions will never leave us indifferent.

This makes me think of Joseph, the origin of Joseph Bonnie and Gabriel’s (our founder) grandfather. He was never without his Universal chronograph before passing it down to his son…

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