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Early Polerouter Sub Discussion

  1. styggpyggeno1

    styggpyggeno1 ΩF Enforcer ....and thread killer Feb 1, 2013

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    MOD NOTE: I've moved posts relevant to this discussion out of the "UG Watches on Ebay thread" to their own discussion.

    What is under discussion is the differences between the two types of 1st Generation Poletrouter Sub, pictured below
    [​IMG]
    The watch on the left is referred to as the 2nd execution, and the one of the right is a 1st execution.

    The commentary concerns an Ebay listing of a 2nd execution, like the watch at the left of the above pic
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/281058259014[​IMG]
    PoSubKGrHqJ,!nwFEF2eRs6yBRCMoFmN7Q~~60_3.JPG
    END MOD NOTE

    The case looks OK even if I have seen "fatter" lugs - second generation.
    Crowns look OK.
    Difficult to see the movement cal but I think it is a 69 because of the rotor configuration. Movement might be newer than the rest but I am not sure.

    Dial looks OK but pics are not great...I would say patina looks very much like the one Paul has on Heuerworld. It shares another thing with Pauls - the "T": s in automatic is a little misplaced, upwards, related to the other letters. And of course the second generation "fun fact" that you explored - the Genè ve. Compared to the first generation dial, with the smaller lumedots within the bigger white indexes, the second generation dials have a sloppier font and from what I have seen no serifs. See below. I have seen some variation in "sloppiness" and this one is among the worst (from what I can see in the pics).

    Bezel has really fat numbers in 40 - they seem to have no space between them, but it could just be a production variation. When I go thru the pictures I have saved, there are a lot of bezels with the same problem - sometimes between 2 and 0, sometimes 3 and 0, etc. Probably just bad quality control.

    Hands look OK - right length. Maybe lighter patina than dial but difficult to see/say for sure..

    In my collected pics there is a variation in how the movement sits in the case and how, and where it is fastened and/but this one falls within the variation.

    What have I missed, LouS?
    regards
    JE
    First gen with serifs:
    pic borrowed - look at small serifs and a more stringent font (compared with below)

    [​IMG]

    My own pic

    [​IMG]

    Secon gen - the one in the auction we are discussing, smudged letters and compared with the above - also different font. The lume patina is within normal for its age - bleeding and moving around.
    Edit - I mean the smudging of the "Polerouter" - not the out of focus smudge. Maybe a I should reserv myself - one have to take into consideration the possibility of a bad crystal also.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 2, 2013

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    Not a thing as usual, JE. But look at all the things you haven't missed:


    Does it not strike you that there quite a few quality control issues with these subs? Do you find it odd that UG went from precise and exact in the 1st execution of this model, so a little slipshod in the 2nd, and then back to precise and exact in the later models of teh Polerouter sub. ?

    I'm flattered that you remember my little investigation of this dial anomaly - the gap in the word Genè ve specific to this model

    [​IMG]

    In that same effort, I found that these 2nd execution models (let's call them execution, because in fact there are 2 later models of the watch which I would call 2nd and 3rd generation) FAR outnumber the 1st execution - 19 to 3 in my review at that time, and I was later struck that I identified quite a large number of them on sale from Australian sellers.

    So in sum, a model run with numerous quality control issues from a watch company that is not typically so afflicted, forming a preponderance of models available, originating in numbers from a part of the world - while well known for its distinguished watch aficionados and not in intself a surprising place for dive watches - in a way that seems to defy probability. It simply makes me a little unsettled. I should add that the market emphatically does not agree with me as noted in the sales price in my post above.

    In full disclosure, I happen to have one of these, and despite the misgivings, I like it a lot.
    [​IMG]

    Interested to hear some other opinions.
     
    x3no and styggpyggeno1 like this.
  3. styggpyggeno1

    styggpyggeno1 ΩF Enforcer ....and thread killer Feb 2, 2013

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    Aha - I see you point and I understand your "It makes me a little unsettled".
    Not ready to make a strikt statement in either direction yet but my spontanious reaction was/is - when these "aussie-watches" came to the market, was there such a strong market for the UGPS: s that it would be worth it to make fakes? Stranger things has happened and I do not rule it out. I hope we can find some really old pictures of the second execution and settle it on the positive side. Let us hope that we soon, once and for all, can write it off as just really bad quality control.
    Regards
    JE
     
  4. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 2, 2013

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    I'm not ready to declare one way or the other either. The oldest (and most reassuring) presentation of a second execution that I can definitively date is from Steve G's well-known watch collection, December 2006:
    http://ninanet.net/watches/others14/Mediums/mpole.html
     
  5. styggpyggeno1

    styggpyggeno1 ΩF Enforcer ....and thread killer Feb 2, 2013

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    The "T": s in automatic looks to be in line with the rest of the letters.
     
  6. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 2, 2013

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    I've just riffled a bit through the Antiquorum archives. There are six 1st Gen Polerouter Subs. The three 1st execution ones are all in the April 1994 Universal Geneve single brand sale. There are two 2nd execution Subs from June 2008 and March 2009. Most interesting is a an example from August 2010 which appears to be a (well-polished) 1st execution case and bezel, with 2nd execution dial, which also happens to be double-branded 'Tiffany.'

    PoSub75.jpg
    Certainly the 1st execution watches are beyond question in my mind. I would feel better about the 2nd executions if we found them in that UG brand auction. As for the gilt Tiffany dial, I think it is a one-off (note no "POLEROUTER SUB") and doesn't help us one way or the other.
     
  7. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 5, 2013

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    A huge amount of the second execution Polerouter Subs are fake. They were made in Australia by a guy who also made Heuer Bunds and Jaeger-LeCoultre Polarises. He also made fake Breguet and Patek wristwatches from pocketwatch movements. This seller in Ohio has been selling them. Previously, there was a seller listed on eBay in Pennsylvania, perhaps the same person, who was also selling them. He buys authentic movements to put in them (in the case of the Heuer Bund, I don't think he uses correct movements as he doesn't show pictures of them).

    Here is one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNIVERSAL-G...EYwShhM%3D&orig_cvip=true&hash=item2ec58b5a93

    Here is a Polaris he is trying to sell:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Jae...887693949?pt=Wristwatches&hash=item2ec5d6f27d

    Take a look at his other items and completed items to see more fakes.

    Note a few things. First, the case is not shiny. All the cases this guy makes have a short of rust to them. They were very crudely made. Second, you can see that the hashed crowns are crude and not right. They should be more rounded.

    Take a look at this piece I wrote about the Polaris:

    http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/2011/9...-comparing-a-fake-and-currently-for-sale.html

    I have seen a lot of these fake Polerouter Subs sell and am extremely concerned. I have even see people that bought them try to turnaround and sell them. They have been bringing strong money, which is awful.
     
  8. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 5, 2013

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    I've deleted your similar post in the other thread to concentrate discussion in this one

    Thanks for the commentary. Would you care to comment specifically on the following two as case studies? The first is the one you referenced and sold for more that $3600

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNIVERSAL-GENEVE-POLEROUTER-AUTOMATIC-MICRO-THIN-WRIST-WATCH-/200882739859?pt=Wristwatches&_trksid=p2047675.l2557&nma=true&rt=nc&si=85gmQpDYryXgagoI1UQNEYwShhM%3D&orig_cvip=true&hash=item2ec58b5a93
    PSub1.JPG

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/281058259014
    PSub2.JPG
     
  9. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 5, 2013

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    The first and most important key to know that it is fake is the finish on the case. See all the little black marks and black spots? It is from poor quality steel. He could probably polish away the black marks, but it would of course affect the look of the case.

    All the watches made by this faker have this issue, whether it is on the fake Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris watches or the fake or the The next key are the crowns. Not that an authentic watch can't have fake replacement crowns, but Piquerez crowns are generally much more rounded. You see this on the original Polerouter Subs. Take a look at this Polerouter Sub and its crowns. The upper crown looks legit to me, but the lower crown is much more crude.

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/22/stupidezzi2311.jpg/sr=1

    The fake cases are all the later version with the bevel. Piquerez introduced the bevel super compressor case in about 1962 on the Vulcain Cricket Nautical. The 1961 Cricket Nauticals have wider lugs without a bevel that are shared by the first generation Polerouter Subs and the Longines super compressor divers. The Polaris models, both 1965 and 1967/1968 all have the beveled cases.

    The Tiffany and Co. Polerouter above has the rounded lugs, but they have clearly been pretty heavily polished. It does look like a legit case though, and probably was been a special order piece for Tiffany.

    If you look at the fakes, the bevels just are not right. Take a look at the crowns, case finish, and bevels of these two Polerouter Subs sold by Antiquorum:

    http://catalog.antiquorum.com/catalog.html?action=load&lotid=352&auctionid=207

    http://catalog.antiquorum.com/catalog.html?action=load&lotid=410&auctionid=212

    The case is a much brighter steel, like on a Polaris, not matte and scratched. The crowns are rounded and the little notches on the side of the crown are much closer together. The bevels are also wider. These two may have been lightly polished, but probably not too much.

    I question almost any 2nd execution Polerouter Sub I see. The case metals don't look right (too gray, no reflective finish, too many scratches in a uniform direction that makes it look like it was polished), and they often have replacement crowns that look non-original and like modern re-makes. Also, sometimes the movements are in horrendous condition, which suggests they were a "drawer movement" that was bouncing around in a drawer and then re-cased.

    There were some 2nd execution Polerouter Subs with U.S. Navy markings on the caseback that I also question. It may have been a modern engraving.

    These are just my thoughts and might not all be right, but I know for certain that the two Polerouter Subs you show are fakes, just because of the finish and that I know where they have been coming from (someone in Australia making fake Heuer Bundeswehrs and Jaeger-LeCoultre Polarises).
     
  10. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 5, 2013

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    This one is probably real:

    http://www.watchestobuy.com/UniversalPolerouterSub.htm

    http://www.watchestobuy.com/images/UniversalGenevePolerouterSubb.JPG

    If you look at the middle pictures, it shows that the caseback had those U.S. Navy engravings, but then in the bottom picture it was polished out or switched. Or perhaps he switched the caseback, I just can't tell. This caseback looks good to me with the Huguenin Freres markings, perlage, and detailed UG logo, though. The movement looks horrendous, though, however the case has notches in the case by the crowns (look at the front view), which I have never seen a fake have, so I would tend to think it is legit.
     
  11. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 5, 2013

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    Also, another key to tell if one is correct is the caseback engravings. Legit ones should probably have perlage and finely engraved details. Just look at this one on the fake, which has a misaligned Swiss and no perlage:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 5, 2013

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    This caseback on the other fake is similar, but does not include the Brevet. You can see the lack of perlage, poor steel quality, and misalignment here, though, too.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 5, 2013

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    This U.S. Navy one looks like it has a more legit case steel, but the engraving on the back is fake. I have seen some of these show up over the last few years. More are being purchased and having the engravings polished off, like the one sold by WatchesToBuy.com

    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14258
     
  14. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 5, 2013

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  15. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 5, 2013

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    The crown shape distinction is a little subtle for me, but I do see the case cutaways for the crown, the case finish issues and the caseback markings differences. Interesting that the issue which initially drew my attention to these - the GENE VE - doesn't figure at all into your analysis, and is present on the watches you think are legitimate - the 2 Antiquorums and the WatchesToBuy one - - and that the Antiquorums don't have crown cutaways. Quite a difficult mess to untangle.

    The Navy engravings are indeed widely recognized as bogus.

    Has there been any talk in the Heuer community about the Bundeswehrs and in the JLC about the Polarises? Do any of our Australian members have any local knowledge about the source of these watches?
     
  16. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 6, 2013

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    There have been a number of posts about the fake Heuer Bundeswehrs on OnTheDash. Here are some:

    http://www.chronocentric.com/forums/heuer/index.cgi?md=read;id=31921

    http://chronocentric.com/forums/heuer/index.cgi?md=read;id=44874

    http://chronocentric.com/forums/heuer/index.cgi?md=read;id=41247

    Pics are no longer up, but here is one that was for sale:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heuer-Milit...D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    The main Jaeger-LeCoultre forum is on PuristS, but they have a rule against linking to outside sites and eBay auctions, so there is never any discussion of authenticity issues. There was a discussion here:

    http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...-JLC-Polaris-follow-up&highlight=fake polaris

    There was a thread on TZ-UK that I link to in my HODINKEE post where someone shows off a new Polaris, but then people began to comment that it was fake and point out the differences. That thread seems to have been taken down for some reason.

    It is just hard to say about what this Australian is doing. Did he get a stock of original dials (with the space in GENE VE) and cases from somewhere then start making them? Were the dials originally errors meant to be disposed of, but he somehow got them? Is almost every 2nd execution Polerouter Sub a fake, even those with period and original stainless steel cases? How long has he been doing this? The thing is that the internal bezels of the Polerouter Subs he is making look so good and original.
     
  17. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Feb 6, 2013

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    Yes, I remember not too long ago that they decided to forbid any mention of the outside world via links.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 6, 2013

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    This is the core reason this forum excels!
     
  19. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 6, 2013

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    Had a chance to review these in detail. Very interesting (the Polaris thread in particular makes educational reading) but I have to say that the Heuer Bunds are screamingly bad, recognizable at the beginner to intermediate level, and the Polaris is relatively crude too, although more refined than the Bund. The P-Sub - if from the same workshop - is several steps more accomplished - no obviously wrong parts like the bezels on the Bund and Polaris, fonts basically correct (assuming not all of the GENE VE dials are bogus, which would be breathtaking). The most compelling part of this for me remains the case finish.
     
  20. georgetownhoya

    georgetownhoya Feb 7, 2013

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    I agree with you LouS. It seems like the person pumping these out may have had the internal bezels and the dials (or had the dials made-up), but just needed to make the cases and crowns as well as obtain movements.