Universal Genève, 18k Yellow Gold Chronograph, Retailed by Henrique Pfeffer, Caracas
Case No: 104xxxx
Dial: Gold-tone dial, applied dot numerals with Arabic 12, fine baton hands, outer tachometer scale, three large engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 12 hour and 30 minute registers. Dial is spotless
Case: Circular case 18Kt yellow goldcase, two rectangular chronograph buttons in the band, snap on case back. Case is New Old stock and has retained its original finish. Bezel is highly polished while case is brushed. Notice the brushed chronograph buttons with finely brush finish and a little patina at the tip. Caseback has immaculate brush finish including on the lugs . Serial and case number are very crisp.
Movement: Cal. 285, gilt brass, 17 jewels, lever escapement, monometallic balance, self-compensating Breguet balance-spring. Movement and chronograph behave properly.
Please Note: The watch has a regular lugs with removable pins but we fitted it with a Vesper & Co. open end Saffiano strap for a 1950s casual look.
More about Universal Genève:
With the success of their first chronograph in 1927, Universal Geneve built up a brand recognition that allowed them to introduce a number of new models in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The Compax model was launched in 1935 as the world’s first chronograph with an hour dial as well as minute one.
All chronographs at the time were produced with movements designed and manufactured entirely in-house, and the versatility of their chronograph movements allowed them to create a wide range of models. By 1940, Universal Geneve began assigning reference numbers that followed a system. The first number would indicate the case material used (in this case, 1 refers to 18k gold). The second number indicates the type of movement (1 for time-only, 2 for chronograph). The third number indicated the size of the base plate that housed the movement (2 refers to a caliber 281, 283, or 481). The last two numbers indicate the case design, in this instance a case that featured shorter curved and faceted lugs.
By the 1950’s, the Universal Geneve brand was represented in over 40 countries, including Venezuela, where the present watch was retailed. Universal Geneve’s presence in South America started in the 1930’s, having been affiliated with motor sports including the Mille Miglia, which brought car racers from South American countries to the Italian event. Although Universal Geneve watches were advertised by their retailers, it is rare to find an example that is actually stamped on the dial with the retailer’s name. Such pieces are sought after by collectors, and with the present watch being in NOS condition, it is an opportunity not to be missed.
Source: Universal Geneve Watch by Pietro Giuliano Sala