Sell Universal Genève

Ancienne Vintage Gallery

Do you have an Universal Geneve watch and want to get the maximum price for its sale? At Ancienne, a company with over 25 years of experience in the luxury watch sector, we offer comprehensive service for selling your Universal Geneve in the international market.

If you want to sell or exchange your watch, please fill out the form.


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    About Universal Genève

    Universal Genève watches is one of the best luxury watch brands of the 20th century. Its constant technical advances in the field of wristwatches, and its ease of adaptation to the demands of the sector, have made it one of the most desired watch houses by collectors.


    Universal Gèneve watches was founded in 1894 by Georges Perret and Emile Descombes in the small Swiss town of Le Locle. Three years later, when Descombes died, Perret had to find another partner to run the business. Here is when Louis-Edouard Berthoud appeared to consolidated the company as Descombes & Perret (which years later will become Perret & Berthoud). The young watchmaking company was responsible for the production of boxes, spheres and their own movements.


    In 1898, “Universal Watch” was heard for the first time as a company name. During that first stage, the firm focused on the production of pocket watches, but little by little and due to the new demands of the changing market, Universal began to experiment with wristwatches.


    In 1919, the company moved its headquarters to the city of Geneva, although it would not be until 1934 that “Genève” will merge with “Universal”. At that time the brand was specialized in ingauges and chronographs, such as the “Compur” model (the first with two push buttons that incorporated the Universal 281 caliber). In 1936, they launched the “Uni Compax” model with a 60 seconds counter and another of 45 minutes. It has a caliber 285.


    This same model, with some small graphic modifications in the sphere, stayed in the market destined to the medical profession. The sphere was graduated to measure the beats per minute of the heart rate. That is why it’s known as the “Medico-Compax”. Despite the global economic depression of the early 1940s, the “Compur” and “Compax” models were so successful that the factory in Geneva could barely meet the demand.


    For this reason, in 1941 they opened another chronograph factory in the district of Le Locle. From this new production center came all the chronometer models for pilots: “Aero-Compax” (caliber 287). In 1944 they presented the famous model “Tri-Compax” (nicknamed “Le Glorieux”), equipped with caliber 281. We could consider it as the flagship of the Swiss company. Its movement offered new functions, such as of triple calendar and chronograph. Because it has been produced for more than two decades, today we can find different types of boxes and materials (references 12285, 12551 or 12554) as well as more classical style in gold or sporty steel (222100-2, 881101/01 or 881101/02 with Black bezel and tachymeter scale). In 1952, Universal Geneve patented an oscillating mass system capable of recharging the clock in both directions of oscillation.


    Two years leter, the iconic model “Polerouter” (initially called “Polarouter”) was launched. The name derives from commercial flights between northern Europe and the United States via the North Pole, made at the end of the 50s by the Scandinavian airlines SAS (Denmark, Norwegian and Sweden). These flights required watches with antimagnetic properties and high precision. Universal Geneve gave the solution with its new collection. They initially used the automatic caliber 138SS with hammer rotor, athough later they changed to the caliber 215. After a success test, the company SAS and Universal signed an agreement whereby the pilots of this aerial consortium,would be endowed with this watch. It is so that custom watches were made with their commercial acronym “SAS”. Subsequently, more sporting versions appeared, such as the “Polerouter Sub” and the “Polerouter Date” (both with caliber 218-2). In 1966, the models “Golden Shadow” (in gold), “White Shadow” (steel) and “Gilt Shadow” (gold plated) were presented. It has also been during the mid-60s when the references of the “Compax” model, most coveted by collectors today, went into production: 885103/01, 885103/02 and 885103/03.


    They had the same caliber Valjoux 72 that rode Rolex with the well-known Daytona. This model is now known as Nina Rindt (version with white dial) due to photographs published about rally driver Johen Rindt wife and the watch on her wrist. On the other hand, its nickname in based on the fact that it has black dial and red needles, like Evil Nina as well as its similarity to the colors of the devil. In 1968, the first electronic watch appeared with the “Tuning Unisonic” system (caliber 51), produced in collaboration with Bulova.


    A year later,the Universal model “Space Compax” was launched, again equipped with the famous Valjoux 72 movement and very characteristic for its rubber coating on its chronograph buttons. At the end of the 80s, Universal moved to its headquarters on the East side of Geneva (6 Route des Acacias). A few years later, to celebrate its centenary, Universal Geneve launched an exclusive model inspired by the 1928 Cabriolet model: the “Golden Janus” (caliber 42).


    Seeing that most of the Universal Geneve watches had been sold around the world for many years, it cames to be considered synonymous of quality, reliability and good taste. There is no doubt that the high quality of their movements had made them one of the most desired brands for vintage watch collectors.

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