Tag Archives: UNIVERSAL GENÈVE

UNIVERSAL GENÈVE Watches – Models with Technical Specifications, Price, Brand Details, History, News and Archives

UNIVERSAL GENÈVE

The Universal Genève Swiss watch brand was founded in 1894. Present on European markets from its early days, the company was originally known as Descombes & Perret.

In the course of its long and eventful history, Universal Genève developed a considerable quantity of movements to equip its collections, each representing a further step on the path to innovation. Within the space of a few years, several models that are still highly sought-after among collectors to this day were introduced: the Uni-Compax, the Compax, the MedicoCompax, the Aero-Compax and the Tri-Compax (also referred to as “le glorieux”), as well as the famous Polerouter. Nicknamed the “watch couturier”, Universal Genève also designed subtle and refined ladies’ collections featuring uniquely personalised models.

Much in favour in the literary and artistic “salons” of post-war Paris, Universal Genève timepieces established themselves as a watchmaking reference. After revolutionising the chronograph by introducing a second push-button and a chronograph hour counter, the Universal Genève design-engineers presented a patented automatic winding system with 360° oscillating weight, integrated within the movement and significantly enhancing its precision: the Microtor. This invention resulted in the world’s thinnest (a mere 2.5 mm) self-winding movement, Calibre UG 66, which was to equip the Golden Shadow launched in 1966.

Timeline

1894 January 18th: Creation in Le Locle of the Descombes & Perret watch company headed by Numa Emile Descombes (1863-1897) and Ulysse Georges Perret (1868-1933).

Universal Wrist chronograph watch, 1920s

1925: Two international patents (nos 91051 and 91463) are registered for the Auto-Rem, the first self-winding wristwatch by Universal (a mechanism equipped with buffers).

1927-1929: Presentation of the Cabriolet model and of watches endowed with an 8-day power reserve.

Cabriolet – 1928

1934: Creation of the double push-button Compur chronograph wristwatch (a trademark registered under patent n°83340); the first movement used is equipped with two column wheels.

1935: Launch of the Compax chronograph wristwatch with 12-hour and 30-minute counters.

1936: Presentation of the Uni Compax chronograph wristwatch with 45-minute counter.

Uni Compax chronograph

1937: Universal Watch Co. Ltd is renamed Universal Genève. Creation of the smallest ladies’ chronograph wristwatch of the era, equipped with a 19 ½’’’ movement.

1940: Launch of the Aero-Compax (patent n° 235608). This is a Compax chronograph equipped with a fourth subdial featuring hour and minute hands at 12 o’clock and enabling the user to memorise the start of an operation by means of an additional crown at 9 o’clock.

1943: Universal Genève presents the calendar watch, with or without moon-phase display, showing the small seconds at 9 o’clock, the date at 3 o’clock, the day at 12 o’clock and the months and moon phases at 6 o’clock.

1944: Manufacture des Montres Universal, Perret et Berthoud SA à Genève. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the company presents its latest launch: the TriCompax. This hour-counter chronograph with triple-date calendar and moon-phase display is to become one of watchmaking’s greatest 20th century commercial successes.

TriCompax

1948: UG launches Calibre 138, a 12 ½’’’ self-winding movement with small seconds and subsequently central seconds.

1954-1955: Launch of the Polerouter or Polarouter. SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) makes the inaugural flight along the first air route between Europe and the United States to cross the North Pole. The crew is equipped with a high-precision self-winding watch (Cal. 138) capable of withstanding the powerful magnetic fields around the Pole.

Polarouter

1955: Creation of the Microrotor (patent n°329805), a new type of self-winding movement with oscillating weight integrated within the movement (Calibre 215).

1963: Presentation at the Basel Fair of the Universal Genève Railrouter and Polerouter Electric models.

1966: Launch of the Golden Shadow, “the world’s thinnest self-winding watch”, driven by Calibre 66 and Calibre 67 with date display (2.5 mm thick).

Golden Shadow

1968: Introduction of the Tuning Unisonic, a watch with a tuning-fork type frequency regulator.

Tuning Unisonic

1975: At the Basel Fair the brand presents Calibre 74, the world’s thinnest analog-display quartz driven movement (just 3.45 mm).1994 To celebrate its centenary year, Universal launches a world first (UG Calibre 42-83/4’’): the Janus watch, inspired by the Cabriolet model. Its reversible dial features a single movement allowing one to read off the time on two dials, including one with jumping hours.

2005: Universal Genève launches two new collections, Okeanos (for men) and Anthea (for ladies).

2006: Presentation at Baselworld of four new models: the Microtor UG 100, the Okeanos Compax, the Okeanos Aero-Compax and the Okeanos Moon Chronograph.

2007: Presentation at Baselworld of three new steel men’s watches: the Microtor UG 101 (self-winding proprietary movement), now produced in series; the Uni-Timer, with two-counter chronograph Calibre UG 71.5; and the Timer Chronograph, with three-counter Calibre UG 71.6, the two latter being equipped with an open-worked oscillating weight. For ladies, the Anthea steel watch is available in two new jewellery versions: one set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds and the other with 132 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Microtor Cabriolet

2008: Universal Genève presents the Microtor Cabriolet, a new timepiece inspired by the Cabriolet, the first reversible watch launched by the brand in 1928. A daringly shaped model in a decidedly masculine spirit and a marvel of mechanical ingenuity, the Microtor Cabriolet is driven by the signature Microtor UG 101 movement, and is distinguished by its impressively understated design. Meanwhile, another new release sees the Microtor UG 101 welcoming a new dial and an exclusive steel bracelet.

Universal Genève Microtor Cabriolet New Dial Versions

First launched at Baselworld 2008, the Microtor Cabriolet is now graced with two new dials enriching a range already comprising six different versions.

In response to the ongoing success of its new model, Universal Genève has decided to treat it to two new resolutely “UG” dial versions – meaning understated and stylish. The galvanic anthracite version features grey-painted and white-rimmed Arabic numerals, while the white-painted version has grey-rimmed blue Arabic numerals.

The typography of the numerals has been stretched out to blend in harmoniously with the shape of the model. While the hour and minute hands are diamond polished and solid on both models, the seconds hand is blued on the white-dial version.

These two new references are available on a black genuine crocodile leather strap as well as on a black Barenia leather strap featuring a folding-buckle clasp.

Technical details

Model: MICROTOR CABRIOLET

Movement
Proprietary Calibre 11 ½ lines Microtor UG 101 movement with automatic winding by an off-centred micro-oscillating weight
Rhodium-plated bridges decorated with circular “Côtes de Genève”
Power reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 28,800 v/h (4Hz)
Jewels: 30 jewels

Time display
Central hour, minute and seconds hands, date at 6 o’clock

Case
Stainless steel 316L, shaped sapphire crystal
Water resistant: 50 meters (5 ATM)
Reversible rectangular case
Case carrier fitted to the case with a 12 o’clock axis allowing a 360° rotation of the case, in both directions
Case lock/opening system on the case-back with an integrated pushbutton at 6 o’clock
Correct positioning of the case before closing ensured by 2 ball awls
Case-back: Vertical guilloche with “Microtor Cabriolet” inscription; “8” shaped apertures enable to admire the micro-rotor and the escapement

Reference model: 8101.129/308.BA

Dial
White lacquered dial, hour-markers and numerals transferred, painted in black and grey-rimmed

Hands
HM: dauphine type, faceted, diamond-polished and rhodium-plated
SC: parfil-type in blue steel

Strap
Black genuine Barenia calfskin leather edge-to-edge cut strap with exclusive folding clasp
Available also in black crocodile leather strap

Reference model: 8101.129/038.CA

Dial
Sun brushed galvanic anthracite, hour-markers and numerals transferred, painted in white and grey-rimmed

Hands
HM: dauphine type, faceted, diamond-polished and rhodium-plated
SC: parfil-type in flat-polished steel

Strap
Black crocodile leather edge-to-edge cut strap with folding clasp
Available also with black Barenia calfskin strap

Universal Genève Compax Limited Edition

First launched in 1936, the Compax chronograph displayed a revolutionary third counter totalising the hours and minutes that it timed. Building on a rich history that has continued to unfold ever since, Universal Genève is issuing a 10-piece limited edition of a version that is at once luxurious and understated, respectful of tradition and eminently contemporary.

The Compax Limited Edition houses an extremely beautiful movement with a 42-hour power reserve: hand-wound chronograph Calibre UG 84.2. The high-end finishes have been crafted in harmony with the noblest watchmaking traditions: the bridges are rhodium-plated and adorned with straight Côtes de Genève; the rhodium-plated plates are finely sandblasted; and the chronograph mechanism components visible on the bridge side are in hand-drawn and beveled steel. Finally, the chronograph bridge is gilded and engraved with the inscriptions “Universal Genève – UG 84 – 17 jewels”.

Inspired by the modern version of the Aero-Compax 24H launched in 2006, the dial of the Compax Limited Edition is a subtle blend of contemporary and classic features, catching the light with two alternating shades of anthracite. In the centre, the tip of each point of the 12-pointed star touches the Arabic numerals, crossing through the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. The silvery radiance of the 12-hour counter reinforces the overall contrasting effect. The blued steel gleam of the diamond-polished central chronograph hands is elegantly echoed in the 12-hour counter hand and the two pointers at 3 and 9 o’clock.

Available exclusively on a genuine hand-sewn crocodile leather strap with Alzavel calfskin lining, the elegantly understated case is crafted from an exclusive material: 18-carat white gold. The hand-finished pin buckle, also in 18-carat white gold, was designed exclusively for this timepiece. Finally, in addition to the 10-piece limited edition in 18-carat white gold, the new Compax Universal Genève is also available in three other limited series in steel (comprising 190 watches), rose gold (70) and yellow gold (20).

Technical details

Model: COMPAX LIMITED EDITON
REF. 784.122/0375.CA

Movement
Hand-wound chronograph Calibre UG 84.2 with high-end luxury finishing: rhodium-plated, diamond polished bridges adorned with a straight “Côtes de Genève motif; rhodium plated finely sandblasted mainplate, chronograph mechanism component visible on the bridge side featuring hand-drawn and bevelled steel bridges.
Chronograph bridges gilded and engraved with the inscriptions “Universal Genève-UG 84 – 17 Jewels”
Power reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 21,600 v/h (3Hz)
Jewels: 17 jewels

Functions
Time display: Central hour and minute hands, small seconds at 9 o’clock
Chronograph: Central chronograph seconds, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock

Dial
Anthracite, with silver-coloured subdial at 6 o’clock, “twelvepointed star” background motif

Hands
Hours and minutes: dauphine-type faceted, diamond- polished and rhodium-plated Chronograph seconds: parfil-type in blued steel
Counters: diamond-polished and rhodium-plated for the 30-minute counter and small seconds subdial; blued steel on the 12-hour counter

Case
Round in 18K white gold, cambered sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, exclusive crown and transparent case-back revealing movement.
Water-resistant to 50 metres (5 ATM)

Strap
Glossy black crocodile leather strap with exclusive 18K white gold pin buckle

Versions
Limited edition of 10, also available in rose gold (70 watches), yellow gold (20 watches) and steel (190 watches)

Universal Genève New Microtor UG 101 (New Dial Versions)

Representing a logical and highly anticipated follow-up to the Microtor UG 100, launched in 2006, the Microtor UG 101, launched the following year featured three new characteristics: equipped with an even more efficient movement, it was made of steel and series-produced in the spirit of the original Geneva-based “Manufacture”.

Like all Universal Genève timepieces, the Microtor UG 101 is a clever blend of traditional spirit and contemporary technologies. Beneath an exterior that has been subtly redefined in comparison with its predecessor, it houses a movement automatically wound by an extremely high-quality off-centred micro-rotor, crafted in harmony with the tradition of Microtor calibres. Witness in particular the circular Côtes de Genève finish and the raised engraving on the bridges. While the dials evoked vintage timepieces, particularly in the wave shaped stamped guilloché motif in the centre, or the blue minute-circle, they were designed in an unmistakably contemporary spirit.

Until now, the Microtor UG 101 was available up with silver-coloured, anthracite or black dials. From 2009 onwards the watch will be available with white or black-painted and semi-brilliant varnished dials.

These two new faces radiate a sense of airy lightness and purity thanks to longer and slenderer anthracite varnished numerals and hour markers in blue (for the white version) and grey-rimmed white (for the black version).

While the date window is still positioned at 3 o’clock, the minute circle which was centred on the 2007 models now appears around the dial circumference in 4-minute sections interpolated between the main hour-markers. Only the 6 and 12 o’clock numerals emerge, thereby further reinforcing the character of this watch, and a new bracelet.

Stemming from two full years of development, the steel bracelet is making its first appearance in the Microtor UG 101 range this year. Designed exclusively for this timepiece and entirely made in Switzerland using state-of-the-art technologies, it is also intended to equip the other models in the range. This central link features a satin-brushed edge, while the two side links are bevelled and diamond-polished to ensure optimal articulation.

The bracelet is adjusted to the wrist size by means of four screw-fastened extension links and three smaller links enabling fine adjustment. There too, designers were clearly concerned with creating a bracelet radiating both strength (3.75 mm-thick) and comfort, thanks to a harmoniously curved clasp. Contrary to the previous UG 100 and UG 101 models, the buckle is of the folding kind, although these models are also available on black crocodile leather or black Barenia leather straps.

Technical details

Model: MICROTOR UG 101

Movement
Proprietary Calibre 11½ lines Microtor UG 101 movement with automatic winding by an off-centred micro-oscillating weight. Rhodium-plated bridges decorated with circular “Côtes de Genève”
Power reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 28,800 v/h (4Hz)
Jewels: 30 jewels

Displays
Central hour, minute and seconds hands; date at 3 o’clock

Reference model: 8101.126/368.AL

Dials
White lacquered, hour-markers and numerals transferred, painted in blue and grey-rimmed

Hands
HM: dauphine-type, diamond-polished and rhodium-plated
SC: parfil-type in blue steel

Case
Round in 316L stainless steel, cambered sapphire crystal, exclusive crown and transparent case back enable to admire the finishing of the movement.
Water-resistant to 50 meters (5 ATM)

Bracelet
Stainless steel
Available also with black crocodile leather strap or with black calfskin leather strap

Reference model: 8101.126/938.AL

Dial
Black lacquered, hour-markers and numerals transferred, painted in white and grey-rimmed

Hands
HM: dauphine-type, diamond-polished and rhodium-plated
SC: parfil-type in flat-polished steel

Case
Round in 316L stainless steel, cambered sapphire crystal, exclusive crown and transparent case back enable to admire the finishing of the movement.
Water-resistant to 50 meters (5 ATM)

Bracelet
Stainless steel
Available also with black crocodile leather strap or with black calfskin leather strap

Universal Genève Okeanos Traveler

Introduced in 2005, this limited edition automatic watch in steel from the Okeanos collection is dedicated to world travelers. The dial, adorned with a globe, displays a second time zone by means of an original double-disc system. The transparent back of this self-winding Universal Genève watch reveals an automatic movement with a beautiful finish.

Technical details

Movement
Mechanical automatic, rhodium-plated and decorated with Côtes de Genève

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date, 40-hour power-reserve
Dual time zone: 24-hour disc correlated with city disc
Push-piece at 2 o’clock to choose the city
Rapid corrector at 4 o’clock to index the hour disc to the city disc, depending on the place of residence

Case
Steel
Domed antiglare sapphire crystal
Transparent back
Crown with translucent resin cabochon
Water-resistant to 50 m

Dial
Light and dark silvered

Strap
Steel bracelet or crocodile leather strap with folding clasp

Universal Genève Aero Tri-Compax

In 2003, Swiss watch brand Universal Genève introduced a limited edition mechanical chronograph watch that combines the complexity of the Tri-Compax with the signature of the Aero-Compax. Crafted from stainless steel case this timepiece houses the automatic caliber 99, which powers a number of functions such as day, date, month, chronograph, moon-phase and second time-zone. The crown positioned on the left allows the inner bezel to rotate, and a central hand with red U shaped tip indicates the date.

Technical details

Movement
Automatic, Universal Genève 99 calibre
Officially certified chronometer

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, chronograph, moon phase, second time zone

Case
Steel
Double crown
Rotating bezel
Sapphire crystal and back
Water-resistant to 100 m

Dial
Silvered, white, black or blue
Counters for 12 hours at 6 o’clock,
24 hours at 9 o’clock and
30 minutes at 12 o’clock

Strap
Leather

Universal Genève Master Compax Vortex

In 2001, Swiss watch maker Universal Genève introduced a timepiece exclusively for new generation wrist watch enthusiasts. Created with an avant-garde vision, the Master Compax Vortex chronograph boasts a sporty and elegant design. Equipped with a rotating bezel, this stainless steel watch incorporates an ultra-high-performance quartz movement with split-seconds.

Technical details

Movement
Quartz

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Chronograph with split-seconds

Case
Steel
Rotating bezel
Sapphire crystal
Water-resistant to 200 m

Dial
Counters for 12 h, 30 min and small seconds
Date window at 4 o’clock

Strap
Steel

Universal Genève Microtor UG 100 Limited Edition

Introduced in 2006 in limited and numbered series, this timepiece houses the new Microtor UG 100 calibre that marked the grand return of the Universal Genève movements.

At Baselworld 2006, Universal Genève presented its new Microtor UG 100 calibre which has an automatic winding mechanism with an eccentric micro-weight. This anniversary model, which has drawn its inspiration from the mythical UG 66 calibre produced in 1966, is a COSC-certified chronometer.

The watch is available in Pink or yellow gold case.

Technical details

Movement
UG 100, type Microtor automatic, COSC-certified, 28.800 v/h, 23 jewels
44-hour power reserve
Bridges with multi-sun decoration
Engraved off-centre UNIVERSAL GENEVE micro-weight with bidirectional winding

Functions
Automatic, 3 hands, hours, minutes, central seconds, date

Case
Pink or yellow gold (18K), 43 mm
Gold crown (18K) with a stamped logo, covered with a translucent resin
Sapphire crystal, double-sided antiglare
Water-resistant to 50 m

Dial
AG 920 silver, stamped and engine-turned, silvered velvet colour
Appliqué hour-markers and hour/minute hands in pink or yellow gold (18K), set with diamonds and faceted, hand-finished
Centre seconds hand in blued steel
Date window at 3 o’clock

Strap
Shiny brown large-scaled crocodile, pin buckle in pink or yellow gold (18K)

Universal Genève Microtor UG 101

Launched at Baselworld 2007, the refined, high-performance Calibre UG 101 is a worthy descendant of the line of high quality movements conceived and developed by Universal Genève throughout its history.

The Microtor UG 101 is inspired by the key technical characteristics of the Microtor UG 100 issued in 2006 in a limited edition, including a chronometer-quality escapement.

Decorated with circular Côtes de Genève, finely engraved and gilded, the bridges of the new movement are reminiscent of the movements produced by the Manufacture in the 1950s. Specifically adjusted to meet the criteria of industrial production, this new calibre heralds the launch of an infinitely “horological” collection.

Technical details

Movement
11 ½ lines, proprietary Microtor UG 101 movement with automatic winding by an off-centred micro-oscillating weight
Bridges decorated with circular “Côtes de Genève” and rhodium-plated held by 9 blued steel screws
Power reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz)
Jewels: 30

Display
Central hour, minute and seconds hands; date window

Dial
Silver-coloured and stamped with a guilloché pattern; blue minute circle and applied rhodium-plated hour-markers
Hands: facetted, diamond-polished and rhodium-plated dauphine hour and minute hands. Parfil flat-tipped large seconds hand in blued steel.

Case
Round in 316L steel with exclusive and transparent back enabling one to admire the finishing of the movement
Water-resistant to 50 metres

Strap
Brown strap in hand-finished natural brown crocodile leather with exclusive folding clasp echoing the design of the watch case

Universal Genève Microtor Cabriolet

On the occasion of Baselworld 2008, Universal Genève presented the Microtor Cabriolet, the first shaped timepiece (since the brand’s renewal) distinguished by a daring and contemporary spirit.

Inspired by a legendary model invented and patented by the brand in 1928, which enabled the wearer to completely turn over the case of his watch to protect it from shocks, the Microtor Cabriolet houses the Microtor UG 101 movement with automatic winding by an off-centred micro-oscillating weight. Measuring 32.5 mm wide and 52mm long including the lugs, and 11.35 mm thick, its geometrical profile exudes a sense of power finely counter-balanced by the ergonomic design of the carrier and the lugs.

The case is mounted on a rotating arbor fitted with two ball pawls that position it correctly after it has pivoted 180° degrees. This avoids any risk of scratching the inside of the carrier when closing the case. Moreover, it features an integrated pushbutton at 6 o’clock, secured by two side rods that hold the case firmly in place even if it is jarred. The case-back reveals two “8-shaped” transparent apertures enabling one to admire the Microtor and the escapement.

Available in 6 versions, the dials feature a minute circle divided in two separate zones: one from 10 to 2 o’clock featuring a simple style that enhances legibility; and another from 4 to 8 o’clock with a minute indication. At 6 o’clock, the date window reveals three numerals, with the middle one (the current date) indicated by a triangle in a different colour depending on the dial version.

The Microtor Cabriolet is available with two leather strap versions enhanced with varnished edges and hand-finished straight stitching: crocodile or Barenia leather, a quality superior to that of sanded leather. All are fitted with an exclusive steel triple-blade folding clasp topped by a cap incorporating two safety pushbuttons.

Technical details

Movement
Manufactory-made Microtor UG 101 calibre, 11 ½ lignes, automatic winding by off-centre micro-rotor, Côtes de Genève bridges, 28,800 vib/h, 30 jewels, 42-hour power reserve

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds and date

Case
Rectangular, reversible, 316L steel
Anti-reflective, shaped sapphire crystal
Screw-down back with shaped sapphire crystal
Water-resistant to 50 m

Dial
Black galvanized sunray motif
White transfer minute track and Roman numerals
Applied, facetted and diamond-polished hour-markers
Date window showing 3 days at 6 o’clock, with red triangle indicating date of the day

Strap
Genuine crocodile, hand-stitched, steel triple-folding safety clasp

Other versions
With 6 different dials: silvered with black Arabic numerals in the sheet music style or not; silvered with dark-blue Arabic numerals; black with white Arabic numerals; black with white Roman numerals; anthracite with bold aubergine Roman numerals. Also available on a Barenia calfskin strap.