Forums Latest Members
  1. aap Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    2,997
    Likes
    22,589
    As some of you might know, I only got into watches last June 2015. Since then, I've bought a Heuer Bund, Zenith EP TV, IWC 1872, Omega Seamaster 300 and a Cyma Dirty Dozen, among others. But of all my purchases, I really got hooked into UG. My first was a Compax 1950. And although I now know it's not from the glory days of UG, I still love the watch. Things got serious fast when I bought @jordn's Polerouter Date. My love for the brand deepened.

    Even before I got seriously interested in UG, I've always liked the look of the 2nd Generation Polerouter Sub, the one with the art deco numbers. I first saw and tried one in Tokyo last August 2015. I loved it, but something felt wrong and intuitively decided not to buy it. I later found out that the hands were wrong. Soon after I got the two aforementioned UGs, I had my eyes back on that Polerouter Sub and was dead set on getting one.

    I went on a rampage looking for it. And that journey proved to be fruitful, not just because I got the watch, but because I learned so much about watches, and equally important, about collectors & sellers.

    The process was long and tedious (but definitely enjoyable). I posted WTBs on various fora, asked people on IG who posted their watches if they were interested to sell, scoured old websites on Google, checked out tons of watch fora (thanks Google translate).

    Throughout the process, I considered all generations and examples, from the 1st to the 3rd. I read and re-read the threads here about Polerouter Subs. I soon realized that as much as I also wanted the 1st and 3rd generations, I really wanted my first Polerouter Sub to be the 2nd generation, with a slight preference for the symmetric version. I bugged @LouS, @ChicagoFrog, @Diabolik and @Modest_Proposal for advice and leads. And they were very helpful.

    The two who helped me the most though were @woodwkr2 and @jordn. They were very generous in sharing their time and expertise. I learned a lot from their strictness and rigor in critiquing the watches I would ask their advice on. It was a masterclass on watches every time they would give their take on the watches I was considering.

    I must have gone through at least 15 different sellers and watches. There would be a problem with each of them - polished lugs, "lathed" casebacks, wrong hands, wrong crystal, etc. I discovered some shady sellers - people who would lie about these flawed watches. They will try to convince you that the wrong part was correct, or that it was a rarer version.

    The most amusing ;) experience happened a couple of months ago. I rejected an example because it had a bad cosmetic problem. The watch was being offered to me then at USD 2700. Soon after I said no to the seller, I noticed it up for sale in an online store (not the seller's; which meant he sold it to that store). In a few days, I started seeing the watch on IG, posted by the end buyer. A few weeks later, the new owner was offering it to me for USD 4,000! This happened in less than 4 weeks!

    Throughout all of these experiences - the shady sellers, the flawed examples, the skyrocketing prices, @jordn would keep telling me two words - PATIENCE and VIGILANCE.

    True enough, a couple of weeks later, I would stumble upon an Italian website, selling a very nice example of the watch. And for a very great price. I instantly emailed the seller. Alas, no reply. I tried calling his office and mobile numbers. He didn't pick up. This went on for a few days - I resent my email and called his numbers a few more times. Still, no reply!

    I was already considering to stop pursuing the seller and compromise with another example (albeit with a scratched up bezel) from a different seller, but @jordn said that the Italian seller's watch was one of the best from the ones I've showed him. He also told me there really are watch dealers and sellers that are bad at communication. I checked the Italian watch forum orologi.forumfree.it and was reassured about the seller reviews there stating that this seller and store are very reputable.

    The seller finally replied a few days later, but it was still not smooth sailing. His terms were more rigid than others. For example, I had to arrange pickup and delivery of the watch myself. I tried contacting the local post office there in Italy, but that was a dead end. The only option was Fedex (or UPS). I had to apply for my own Fedex account to avail of their remote pick up request service. But since it was heading towards Christmas, Fedex couldn't assure me when it will get delivered to me. Fedex wasn't sure since our country's customs office might have an erratic sched during those dates. Besides, if I used Fedex, I would surely be taxed an arm and a leg by customs. I wouldn't want that to happen to me....again.

    I finally found out a friend had a friend in Italy who was scheduled for a trip here to Manila sometime early January. I asked if he would pick up the watch and just bring the watch with him back to Manila for the price of whatever I would have paid Fedex.

    Finally, earlier today, 27 days after I paid for it (and 141 days since I first saw that example with the fake hands in Tokyo), I finally got my own Polrouter Sub!

    Here it is:
    2.jpg

    1.jpg

    2.5.jpg

    The dial lumes are still beige / cream, while the hand lumes are still green. The lugs are sharp, the bezel is in great condition. I'm very happy for sure!

    And as a bonus, as I was waiting for the watch, knowing that I had a "messenger" from Europe flying home in January, I ended up buying another UG :whistling: :
    3.jpg

    Thanks for indulging me with my story. And thanks again for all the forum members who helped me :)
     
    Edited Jan 6, 2016
  2. Severin Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    607
    Likes
    2,078
    Holy smokes! What a ride! Sincere congratulations to you - both are beautiful pieces. You must me over the moon. Well done, great write up and thanks for sharing.

    A real testament to perseverance and to the excellent insight and helpfulness of folks on this forum. I'lll be looking forward to a UG "family pic" soon!

    Congrats again and all the best.

    P.s. Dare I ask...what do you have in mind for next steps? :thumbsup:
     
    glennberger and aap like this.
  3. jud Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    613
    Likes
    324
    Thanks for the write up, I really enjoy these types of stories.
     
    aap likes this.
  4. aap Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    2,997
    Likes
    22,589
    Thanks @Severin! Yes, I AM over the moon!

    Agree! I am very thankful for the collective wisdom found here in our forum. I will try to take a family pic soon, when better lighting conditions are available.

    Uhm...I kinda promised my wife that I was going to slow down with the purchases. That said, I'm in the process of getting a UG for my wife from someone here in the forum. I'll post about that when I get the watch :)
     
  5. aap Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    2,997
    Likes
    22,589
    Glad you liked it!
     
  6. sliceoftime_ Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    2,155
    Likes
    28,842
    Thanks for the read.

    I think we're quite similar, as Jakarta has really bad customs rate, so I almost never can send watches straight here. As a result, I have to wait longer days for my watches to arrive.
     
    aap and valjoux72 like this.
  7. Hijak Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    7,209
    Likes
    24,030
    Great story!:thumbsup: And congratulations on an outstanding addition to your collection.
     
    aap likes this.
  8. kevin5 Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    19
    Likes
    8
    Congrats on your new acquisition! Definitely a cool watch.

    I did want to point this out though since no one else has. The luminous on the dial is beige and the hands green because the hands have been relumed at some point. I'm not sure if this was disclosed to you when you purchased it but I'm surprised no one here has said anything yet.
     
    aap likes this.
  9. x3no Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    891
    Likes
    2,432
    Awesome story, great pickup, and lastly ... DIBS :thumbsup: :D
     
    aap likes this.
  10. Severin Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    607
    Likes
    2,078
    ha! My Spidey senses told me there might be a "kinda" and/or "that said" in there somewhere! ;) Congrats once again.
     
    aap likes this.
  11. Jonatan Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    1,920
    Likes
    4,063
    Great motivating story! I had stopped looking for the a compax but you've just motivated me to start hunting again. Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. bazamu wincer, not a bidder Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    1,667
    Likes
    7,087
    Congrats! Was glad to hear that you finally landed on one after I was too selfish to let go of one of mine!

    Cheers,
    CF
     
    aap likes this.
  13. aap Jan 6, 2016

    Posts
    2,997
    Likes
    22,589
    I think the hands are legit. Seller said so, and I've seen other examples with the same hands. Admittedly, I enhanced the pic posted here, thereby making the green stand out more.
     
  14. kevin5 Jan 7, 2016

    Posts
    19
    Likes
    8
    The issue is tritium would never have had that greenish of a hue to begin with. It would've started its life more eggshel white in color and overtime darkened to an beige or even yellow. I'm not saying the hands and dial should match perfectly but there shouldn't be tha drastic of a difference and they certainly shouldn't be green. I'm also not saying the hands aren't legit just that they appear to be relumed.

    The easy test is to see if they glow in the dark without any light to charge them. Then check after being placed under light.

    You could always post a non enhanced picture and ask others opinions on the forum. I just noticed you said "the hands are STILL green" which doesn't make sense and felt you may have been mislead so I wanted to be honest with my opinion.

    Regardless nice watch Congrats again!
     
    Benbradstock likes this.
  15. aap Jan 7, 2016

    Posts
    2,997
    Likes
    22,589
    Here's an untouched photo
    Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 6.23.57 PM.png
    It looks a lot like the ones posted here: https://omegaforums.net/threads/polerouter-sub-a-typology.3624/

    As for the test you were suggesting, what should I look for?
     
  16. jordn Wants to be called Frank for some odd reason Jan 7, 2016

    Posts
    752
    Likes
    2,039
    Yes, there were times that watchmakers relumed hands green during service, but overexposure to humidity and condensation can sometimes turn both radium and tritium greenish. It is a common misconception that we can use aesthetics alone to determine the originality of the lume on hands and dials. Certainly there are times when it is obvious, but a more accurate way to go about it is to use a UV light and Geiger counter. I'm not saying that you're necessarily wrong, but there is no visual evidence to support your claim.
     
    aap likes this.
  17. kevin5 Jan 7, 2016

    Posts
    19
    Likes
    8
    Do the hands glow in the dark after being charged by light? If the hands glow and the dial does not the answer is obvious. Also you can use a blacklight a Geiger counter will be useless in this situation since we are talking about tritium not radium and even if it could pick up the small traces of radioactivity there would be no way of telling of that were from the dial or hands.

    The picture you posted now is very dark and appears much different than your initial photo. I would like to see an unfiltered photo in natural light(outdoors).

    Again only if you care. My intent was was not to put your watch on trial. My initial thought after seeing your post was that the hands appeared to be relumed It felt wrong not saying anything.
     
  18. jordn Wants to be called Frank for some odd reason Jan 7, 2016

    Posts
    752
    Likes
    2,039
    Agreed. However, the fact that it doesn't glow would not suggest that it hasn't been relumed either. There are plenty of competent watchmakers who can relume a watch and make it not glow.

    I would argue that the point of forums like this IS to put any given watch on trial - that at least would be more helpful for potential buyers and advice seekers. What I am getting at is that you jumped to the conclusion that it is a relume job without all of the necessary information.
     
    Benbradstock likes this.
  19. kevin5 Jan 7, 2016

    Posts
    19
    Likes
    8
    When I see bright green luminous on a vintage watch I am immediately suspicious. I've been collecting for many years and have a lot of experience in this and to me my best judgement based on his initial pics and description was suspicition that they were relumed. Of course I can't be 100% based on these photos alone that's why I asked.
     
  20. wristpirate Jan 7, 2016

    Posts
    1,160
    Likes
    3,404
    aapalileo thanks for spending the time to write up your story. Great to hear about your watch buying experiences, I love stories like this.