Universal Uni-Compax chronograph from 1950. Original silvered dial with blue steel hands. Full steel case is in very good condition. Universal cal. 285 manual wind chronograph movement is fully serviced. Hand-made Rally-style leather strap. Case diameter is 35 mm.
The watch has a 12-month service guarantee.
Universal Watch was founded by the Swiss Ulysse Georges Perret and Numa-Emile Descombes in 1894. The company moved from Le Locle to Geneva in 1919. Universal Watch changed its name to Universal Genève in the 1960s.
Universal was known as a manufacturer of high-quality chronographs in gold and steel case. Largest production numbers were in 1940-1950’s. The most famous UG models were made in the 1960s. That was when UG made their most advanced Compax, Uni-Compax and Tri-Compax models. These models were expensive compared to similar models from other manufacturers. Also marketing was low and in the end those watches were not a commercial success.
In the 1970s, the oil crisis and Japanese quartz watches caused major problems for the Swiss watch industry, and UG, like many other manufacturers, was left behind in the competition. Universal Genève was sold to an investment firm based in Hong Kong in the 1980s. While Universal Genève is still an active watch brand, collectors appreciate their mid-1960s watches the most by far. Features that UG models made in the 1960s share include strong design, high-quality structure and, most importantly, rarity.