Decide what it is you are looking for
The beauty of the Polerouter family is that the models are so diverse, from an elegant tuxedo dial in a gold case to a 42mm super compressor and everything in between. Even just within the Polerouters, there are different case sizes and lug widths. You need to be clear about what it is you are looking for.
Do your research
Polerouter case references denote a unique combination of movement, case, dial, hands etc. Establish the case reference of the model that you are searching for, perhaps from a watch that you’ve seen that appeals, and then learn everything that you can about that particular case reference. A Google search for that case reference is normally quite revealing and this new website should also prove to be a useful reference guide https://universalgenevepolerouter.com
It’s all in the details
When considering a potential purchase, first establish the case reference of the watch in question. The case reference number is usually on the outside of the case back but can be stamped between the lugs on some models. If the case reference number is not present, don’t necessarily dismiss the watch but it is a warning sign that it has, at best, been polished and the absence of the case reference makes your research more difficult. Now check each and every detail against what you know about that reference; case, case back (inside and out), dial, dial printing, logo, date window, lume, hands, crown, crystal, movement etc.
How important are the details to you?
Once you’ve established whether your potential purchase is entirely correct, you then need to decide how important that is to you, as you are likely to have to pay a premium for that authenticity. For example, could you live with a replacement crown? How much do you value having the original signed crystal? Those details are incredibly important to me and I strive for each of my watches to be complete and original however I can understand that not everybody feels the same about each and every watch that they buy.
Don’t forget what’s on the inside
When buying a vintage watch, you should nearly always assume that you’ll need to get the watch serviced. However there are warning signs that may indicate that the watch has not been well cared for and that it may need more than a regular service. Compare the movement against pictures of others. Check that it is signed in the same way and has the same markings. There are some obvious warning signs like the presence of rust or parts that are missing altogether but also some less obvious things to look out for such as wear on the microtor or evidence of rubbing on the inside of the case back.
Enjoy the hunt!