WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw a picture in a book of a vintage Tudor watch (from the late 50s?) & it immediately struck me, to my surprise, how VERY similar it was to the famous UG Polerouter. Right down to the characteristic twisted lugs.

(Just like the one linked to below, it was the only such one I could google up.
I've also linked to a pic of a Polerouter (which of course came in many variations but this design is a well known classic).




You could say one appears to be a homage (...or dare I say rip-off?) of the other!

Does anyone know who came up first with the design?

I thought the Polerouter was designed by the young Gerald Genta in the mid-50s. Did he also design for Rolex/Tudor hence the similarity? :-s
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
21,244 Posts
The two tone dial was quite common from the 1940's and forward.
Who was first? Not a clue!
Omega?
 

·
Moderator Public Forum
Joined
·
23,342 Posts
I saw a picture in a book of a vintage Tudor watch (from the late 50s?) & it immediately struck me, to my surprise, how VERY similar it was to the famous UG Polerouter. Right down to the characteristic twisted lugs.

(Just like the one linked to below, it was the only such one I could google up.
I've also linked to a pic of a Polerouter (which of course came in many variations but this design is a well known classic).




You could say one appears to be a homage (...or dare I say rip-off?) of the other!

Does anyone know who came up first with the design?

I thought the Polerouter was designed by the young Gerald Genta in the mid-50s. Did he also design for Rolex/Tudor hence the similarity? :-s
That basic design including twisted lugs was very popular from the 1950's through mid-1960's. It should be no surprise that watchmakers like makers of other fashion goods copy one-another.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That basic design including twisted lugs was very popular from the 1950's through mid-1960's. It should be no surprise that watchmakers like makers of other fashion goods copy one-another.
I see...

But... if it is merely a basic, or generic, pre-existent design... why is Gerald Genta credited with designing the Polerouter? That would be giving him undue credit for an unoriginal design. :-s

If you blank out the name on the Tudor, & play guess-that-watch, I should think that most watch enthusiasts would say Polerouter?
 

·
Moderator Public Forum
Joined
·
23,342 Posts
I see...

But... if it is merely a basic, or generic, pre-existent design... why is Gerald Genta credited with designing the Polerouter? That would be giving him undue credit for an unoriginal design. :-s

If you blank out the name on the Tudor, & play guess-that-watch, I should think that most watch enthusiasts would say Polerouter?

First off there is not a generic design that is being copied. There are similarities but there are differences between those watches too. The cross hais and flared lugs were seen on many many watches. If you blnk out the name, remove the logo and other makers marks I think that it would be difficult to assign makers to many watches.

The Polerouter is simply an interesting model that was widely marketed as watch for Pilots. Sure there was a designer that pulled together all of the features of the polerouter, just as there was for many other watches that shared some of the design features. If you look carefully at the lugs there is a significant difference in design.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
First off there is not a generic design that is being copied. There are similarities but there are differences between those watches too. The cross hais and flared lugs were seen on many many watches. If you blnk out the name, remove the logo and other makers marks I think that it would be difficult to assign makers to many watches.

The Polerouter is simply an interesting model that was widely marketed as watch for Pilots. Sure there was a designer that pulled together all of the features of the polerouter, just as there was for many other watches that shared some of the design features. If you look carefully at the lugs there is a significant difference in design.
i've had a look at the Polerouter collectors website & those lugs look mighty similar to me. What are the significant differences?:-s

I am still not sure of your explanation. In effect that Genta is being given undue credit for designing the Polerouter? Or could one also say, for example, the Rolex sub is a basic design as many other watches from other brands share a similar look & design features?:-s

I've had a quick lookaround, & while there are watches with a similar look, I can't find one with such startlingly specific similarities in design features as a whole. Some also have twisted lugs but markedly different forms. Can you post any examples that can compare so closely in similarity?

I am very intrigued as to whether the Polerouter pre-dates that Tudor or vice versa.
 

·
Moderator Public Forum
Joined
·
23,342 Posts
i've had a look at the Polerouter collectors website & those lugs look mighty similar to me. What are the significant differences?:-s

I am still not sure of your explanation. In effect that Genta is being given undue credit for designing the Polerouter? Or could one also say, for example, the Rolex sub is a basic design as many other watches from other brands share a similar look & design features?:-s

I've had a quick lookaround, & while there are watches with a similar look, I can't find one with such startlingly specific similarities in design features as a whole. Some also have twisted lugs but markedly different forms. Can you post any examples that can compare so closely in similarity?

I am very intrigued as to whether the Polerouter pre-dates that Tudor or vice versa.
Look carefully at the design, including the ends. But that is really beside the point. There are "startling" similarities between many watches. Look at the classic cases of Omega, Rolex, Seiko, Citizen and so many others. It is literally impossible to say who developed a style first because it is so difficult to pin down it's definition with any precision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Look carefully at the design, including the ends. But that is really beside the point. There are "startling" similarities between many watches. Look at the classic cases of Omega, Rolex, Seiko, Citizen and so many others. It is literally impossible to say who developed a style first because it is so difficult to pin down it's definition with any precision.
I've indeed looked carefully, including at clearer pictures of such Tudors in the books. They are practically identical to that of the typical Polerouter, with the sharper definition. The Polerouter I linked to I suspect has been restored to some degree & possibly overpolished to some degree.

I am still not convinced that one musn't have ripped off the other's design, depending on which predated the other. I still don't understand why, if the design is a common generic, why Genta is being credited for what is presumably an undistinctive, unoriginal look. :think:

I do see where you are coming from though, & I respect your viewpoint. I am beginning to see why the likes of Invicta seem to get away with what they do, presumably by employing the same sort of explanation.
 

·
Moderator Public Forum
Joined
·
23,342 Posts
I've indeed looked carefully, including at clearer pictures of such Tudors in the books. They are practically identical to that of the typical Polerouter, with the sharper definition. The Polerouter I linked to I suspect has been restored to some degree & possibly overpolished to some degree.

I am still not convinced that one musn't have ripped off the other's design, depending on which predated the other. I still don't understand why, if the design is a common generic, why Genta is being credited for what is presumably an undistinctive, unoriginal look. :think:

I do see where you are coming from though, & I respect your viewpoint. I am beginning to see why the likes of Invicta seem to get away with what they do, presumably by employing the same sort of explanation.
To show that an design or idea was stolen you will need a few things. Is it unique enough to protected, like a trade name, logo or specific feature.
Also we need to determine whether someone else came up with the idea beforehand.

For example one watch company is at times credited with having invented the rotating bezel dive watch, mercedes style hands and the automatic winding rotor. It takes little research to determine that those features have a longer history. Going one step further, it is very difficult to show authorship of something as complicated as watch, clothing or automotive design simply because there are so many specific features that come together to create a design.

Actually a lot of companies get away with borrowing one anothers ideas. Consider the simple and elegant calatrava style that has been used by a wide number of watch makers for decades. Look at older Omega Constellations for watches that are similar to the ones you listed. Or look at automotive design - car makers are quick to copy and adapt ideas that sell well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi Ovalteenie!

From the outset I must admit that I am about to dive in and currently I'm in the market for a UG Polerouter. Weather a 138SS Bumper or a Micro, I haven't decided yet, but you raise a very interesting point! There is a bit of cachet that comes with the UG being a Genta design (and at such an early age). You could of course accuse even Genta of rehashing his ideas between the Royal Oak and the Nautilus if you wanted to take it that far. So how do these comparisons fare? The tudor and the Poler both seem to have styling cues that are closely matched... to what extent is one derivative of the other? Well (pardon the lawyer in me) you would have to prove that the designer was truly exposed to and in fact has chosen to copy the design. The dial is one thing of course and what lies beneath are different matters altogether. How the movements compare is a separate question. I think some aspects of the design are at times telling of the age in which they were born... period watches at times do resemble each other and I think having exact dates on the Tudor might be of assistance. That said I purchased ages ago a Fossil (yeah I admit it) dress watch which is almost ludicrously close to the UG / Tudor. Despite it being a bijoux watch it got a lot of compliments, and although an idiotic attempt by me to swap the battery resulted in the hands being ripped off (there's a lesson in that), whether it planted the seed for me to adore the UG Polerouter, whether it was a lazy generic derivative design knock off of the Poler, I will never know... I still have it, in a bag, waiting to be fixed. Will it be fixed and resume duties as a daily wearer before I buy a Poler? Nope.
So here's to the dig... the bug... and the search! You lifted a very interesting stone, I hope you find some answers, and when you do please share the knowledge ;)
What I do know is I am gagging for a beautiful Polerouter to start my collection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thank you for your thoughts biglebowski55.

I think there are so many similar permutations out there it's a bit of a can of worms. Often people assume the most well known version of a design feature is the original. For example i once took a Polerouter to a watchmaker who remarked that the lugs were 'Omega lugs' - simply because Omega is today the brand best known for twisted lugs. I didn't want to say that UG/Genta made it a feature of the Polerouter which came out several years before Omega made it a regular feature of their watches such as the Seamaster etc. Although, of course, twisted lugs were seen before that.

I find vntage Tudor and Rolex quite interesting (i mean their watches in the first half of the 20th century) by which I mean the design of their early era watches are a different world from the Oyster Professional range that everyone know them for nowadays.

Good luck :) The Polerouter is a subtle understated watch. Perhaps the watch that most reminds me of it today, in terms of the dial, is the Omega Deville Hour Vision with the track dial. I find Omega and UG to be rather kindred spirits in a number of regard but that's just my own personal vibe. Genta worked extensively for Omega in the late 50s-early 60s too.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top