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Universal Geneve watches

Many watch brands from Switzerland are looking back on a long history rich in tradition. Universal Genève has probably one of the most exciting. You've never heard of Universal Genève before? The company and its watches are a kind of an insider's tip on the vintage luxury watch market.  More

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Invest in used watches from Universal Genève

For more than a hundred years, the name Universal Genève has been standing for innovative and tasteful timepieces. The list of personalities who have chosen a watch from the Swiss company is long and illustrious. For the case you also want to be a member of this circle, you can look at Watchmaster for your dream watch. Besides payment by credit card and immediate bank transfer, we also offer you flexible financing for your Universal Genève watch. So, you can already call your personal luxury watch with vintage charm your own and keep the investment within a manageable framework.

4 Reasons to Buy a Vintage watch from Universal Genève

  • Despite its good reputation, the company is relatively unknown. Therefore, vintage watches from Universal Genève are comparatively cheap to acquire.

  • The vintage boom will increase the value of the watch models.

  • Since the Universal Genève is more well known among experts, wearing such a watch is a real understatement.

  • Universal Genève used its own manufactory calibres and focused besides elegance on the functionality of its timepieces. The watches were crafted with a high level of craftsmanship.

Universal Genève watch models and their prices

To get your hands on models from Universal Genève is quite a challenge. And then there is still the question of whether the watch you receive will work at all. At Watchmaster, our in-house watchmaker’s workshop guarantees that every timepiece you buy from us has undergone a complete inspection and functionality check. So, if you choose one of the following models and buy a Universal Genève from our online shop, you will be on the safe side.

  • Universal Genève Compax (ref. 12491): This model has a yellow gold case, a silver dial and three totalizers at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. This Compax model is from 1955 and is available at a price of €2,440.

  • The Universal Genève Vintage (ref. CAL 69) is an elegant, yellow gold unisex watch. In terms of colour, the champagne dial matches the warm golden appearance of the timepiece very well. Box and papers are included and the price for the used vintage watch from Universal Genève is only 1.990 €.

  • A touch of the past: The history of Universal Genève

    In 1894, Georges Perret and Numa-Emile Descombes, who worked together in the watch industry, joined forces and founded a company called Universal Watch. At that time, their core business was the distribution of watches and the maintenance of an establishment workshop. In this workshop, cases, crowns, dials and movements of other manufacturers were assembled and then distributed. However, this should only have lasted three years. Descombes died in 1897 at the age of 34. He was replaced by Louis Edouard Berthoud. The company also shifted its activities to wristwatches, in addition to pocket watches, which were popular by that time. During the First World War, the company supplied both the troops of the German Empire and the armies of the Entente.

    The move to Genève and again the war drums stir in Europe

    In 1919 Universal moved to Genève to promote itself as a Genève watch brand. At that time the company changed its name to Universal Genève. Already six years later the "Auto Rem" was presented there. It attracted attention with its octagonal shape and a movement developed by the company, in which the oscillating weight oscillates between two buffer springs. When Georges Perret also died in 1933, his son inherited the business and Universal Genève remained in family ownership for the next thirty years. The focus was now more on the development of wristwatches, which had prevailed during the First World War. In 1933 the Compur was published and three years later, in 1936, the Aero Compax. Through a brief collaboration with Hermès, the company also positioned itself in Haute Couture. Especially the Couture Diamond became an extremely popular watch model among women. You could see the noble watch model on the wrists of actresses, politician's wives and ladies of fine society. However, the upcoming World War II also created demand for other functions. The Aero Compax series was extended by the possibility of a start and stop function. It was thus suitable -again- for use in combat situations. The Dutch royal family made Universal Genève a royal warrant of equipment for their army. In accordance with Swiss neutrality, the company continued to supply its watches to every buyer, no matter which side they were on. This way a Compax of the company came into the possession of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. One day before his execution by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, he gave away his watch to the guard of Lt. Jack Wheelis.

    A genius designed for Universal Genève

    In the fifties, Universal Genève should again come up with a bestseller. And who would be better suited for designing such a watch than Gérald Genta? The Swiss watch designer created the Poleroute. The Cal 215 movement with microtor made the watch particularly popular among Scandinavian pilots who appreciated the watch's high resistance to fluctuating altitudes and extreme temperatures.

    Crisis, adjustment and reorientation

    The history of a Swiss watch manufacturer would be an incomplete one without reporting on how that very company acted in the so-called "Quartz Crisis". Universal Genève was among only a few watchmakers from Switzerland to adopt the "innovation". From now on, Universal used quartz movements in its watches. In terms of design, however, the company remained true to its original line. The cases, bracelets and dials were made of silver, gold or platinum. With this synthesis of foreign and domestic influences, the focus of the business was shifted to the Asian market. In 1989 Universal Genève was acquired by the Stelux Group. Since then it has been quiet around the company. Although new watch models are still being produced, it is the vintage and pre-owned watches from Universal Genève that are achieving ever better prices on the second-hand market.
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