There are tons of amazing and unique vintage divers out there, but the 1968 Universal Geneve Polerouter Sub took it to another level of coolness. Universal Geneve is a storied Swiss brand with a long history of amazing watches. They are primarily known for the numerous Compax chronograph models (the ever-so-popular so called ‘Nina Rindt’ chrono being just one of them) and iconic Polerouter dress watches designed by the one and only Gerald Genta. However, vintage collectors know that the Polerouter Sub line of divers are not only rare and desirable, but impossibly cool too. While the Polerouter dress watches first came out in 1954, the Polerouter Sub first appeared in 1961 and ran through about 1968, the year this example is from.
There are two main versions of the Sub. The rarest is the dual crown Super Compressor, which is extremely valuable and really quite difficult to find. Sadly, there are counterfeits that were made, but they are easily recognizable by the widespread pitting seen on the cases. Then there are the single crown models, of which there are several variations consisting of differing dial/hand combos, bezel colors and materials, and some variations in the shape of the crowns, as well as symmetrical and asymmetrical case shapes. The model presented here today is reference number 869120-02, in an asymmetrical stainless steel case that is 40mm wide by 48mm long with a 20mm lug width. The case is thicker on the crown side, so the sides form a crown guard. The subsequently recessed crown is a nice fat one that is nearly 7mm wide with a flat top that is signed with the Universal Geneve “U” logo, and screws down for water resistance. Other single crown variants can have domed crowns or a more truncated cone shape. The case finish is straight brushed, with nice sharp edges.