Universal Genève was founded as 'Universal Watch' in 1894 by Numa Descombes and Ulysse Perret to create watch cases, parts, dials and movements. Throughout the early 20th century and through many iterations of names to include 'Perret et Berthoud' following a partnership between Ulysse Perret and Louis Berthoud, 'Perret & Berthoud SA,' 'Universal Watch Co. Geneve,' 'Universal Watch U.W,' 'Universal Watch Contax,' 'UWECO,' and finally Universal Genève in 1937.
Famed for their exceptional movements and complications, Universal Genève watches continue to sell well at auction, particularly for earlier models in good condition. Sought after models include:
Universal Watch Co. Genève Compur: Exhibited at Baselworld in 1934, the Compur was the first ever two-pusher chronograph with a double column wheel system. Signed to the dial and rarely seen at auction with both steel and gold case options, the Compur commands high prices at auction.
Universal Genève Compax: Introduced in 1936, the Uni-Compax was designed as an update to the Compur. Featuring a two-register and 45 minute counter, this chronograph wristwatch was updated by the brand over many years, including models such as the Aero-Compax, Tri-Compax, Medico-Compax, Dato-Compax, Uni-Compax, Space-Compax, Aero-Compax and many more. Following the acquisition by Zenith in 1963, Compax's were equipped with Valjoux movements.
Universal Genève Polerouter: Designed by Gérald Genta at 22 years old, the Polarouter and subsequent Polerouter was designed for the Scandinavian Airline System for their transatlantic flights in 1954.
Universal Genève Golden Shadow, Universal Genève White Shadow: Another creation by Gerald Genta, the Golden and White Shadow wristwatches were the world's thinnest watch, with a 2.5mm calibre 66 movement.
High prices are commanded for complicated, early and clean Universal Genève wristwatches from the Mid 20th Century. Pieces in original condition, even with expected patina to the dial appeal strongly to collectors at auction and command a high price. Contact us for a free, confidential and up-to-date auction valuation of any of your unworn timepieces - it is worth having them checked over by our specialist team.
Our specialist Fine Jewellery & Watch auctions are held quarterly and include the whole spectrum of jewellery and wristwatches, including pocket watches, fob watches and wristwatches from the 18th century onwards. Our department is headed by Liz Bailey who is FGA, DGA and CPAA qualified, with many years experience in the industry. We offer a free watch valuations service both via our online valuations form and through in-person appointments at the saleroom.
Contact our qualified specialist Liz Bailey to find out more.
A Mid 20th century Universal Genève Dato-Compax Chronograph dial, showcasing a date subdial at 12, 30 minute counter to 3, seconds dial to 6, and 12 hour counter to 6. Together with outer seconds and tachymeter tracks and pushers to 2 and 4. It is easy to see Universal Genève's prowess in chronograph and calendar wristwatches from as early as the 1930s.
The knowledge and passion of our experienced team enables us to achieve top prices for our vendors. For a free, no-obligation valuation complete the form below or click to find out how to sell in our auctions.