Universal Geneve Cal.240 18ct Pink Gold 1939
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautiful Original and Lightly Used Example
Spectacular Original Unrestored 18ct Pink Gold Guilloche Dial
Wonderfully Ornate 18ct Pink Gold UG Swiss Fully Signed Case
Good Sized 22mm Across x 30mm Tall and 41mm Including the Lugs
Pristine Cal.240, 17 Jewel, High Grade Hand-Wound Movement
New Navy Blue Crocodile Leather Strap & Gold Plated Buckle
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Hardwood Presentation Box Included
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
It is a surprise to many people that Universal Genève was once one of the biggest players in the watch industry. Since its early beginnings in 1894, the company was always very highly regarded for producing high-quality watches with completely in-house made movements. This was unusual because traditionally, companies would buy in many watch parts or even complete movements.
Throughout most of the 20th century, Universal Genève also delivered many important ‘firsts’ in watchmaking. Along with its neighbours, Audemars Piguet, Girard Perregaux, Patek Philippe and Rolex, Universal is world renown, not only for its innovation, craftsmanship and quality but for its true ‘Swiss ‘manufacture’ status. This is very impressive in itself, but when one considers the company specialised in the manufacture of advanced chronograph movements, this makes Universal almost unique.
Some Universal Genève firsts include: The first wrist-worn chronograph, in 1917, when the notion of a timepiece worn on a wrist was still a novelty amongst gentlemen of a certain standing. In 1925 it submitted some of the first patents for the self-winding watch, called the Auto Rem. In 1934: The creation of the double push-button Compur chronograph wristwatch, which was the first movement equipped with two column wheels. In 1944: The company presented the Tri-Compax. an hour-counter chronograph, with triple-date calendar and moon-phase display, which went on to become one of watchmaking’s greatest 20th-century commercial successes.
Universal also became famous in the latter half of the century for its ‘Polerouter’. Initially created for Scandinavian Air Services, this watch was created by the famous watch designer Gerald Genta. It was worn by airline pilots making flights to California via the Arctic Circle for the first time. The Polerouter Cal.215 micro-rotor movement was another first, taking up much less space than an external rotor. This design has been adopted by many high-end manufacturers such as Patek Philippe and Lange & Söhne.
Universal is often considered the regular person’s Patek Philippe, such is the quality of its movements. Although this is a dress watch, it was still produced to the same exacting standards as its higher-end pieces, therefore it will remain just as accurate and reliable. Although originally designed and produced as a gent’s dress watch, this watch will be equally suitable as a ladies watch today.
The Watch Case
The heavy Rococo style 18ct Pink gold case with bold oversize lugs is immediately eye-catching on the wrist. This along with the amazing solid pink gold dial gives the watch a level of exuberance and fun which makes this comparatively small watch perfect for someone with a big personality. The case is very pink and we have paired it with a shiny navy blue crocodile strap which we think looks sensational, although you are of course free to choose. For evening wear the watch looks a million dollars and for daily use it can easily be dressed down with smart casual.
The case alone measures 22mm across, or 25mm across if we include the lugs. Top to bottom the case alone measures 30mm. However, if we include the lugs these increase the overall length of the watch to 41mm. And corner to corner including the lugs the watch measures 45mm.
Note, although this was originally produced as a gent’s watch, it will be suitable both as a mid-size gents watch, or large size ladies watch today.
This watch has been exceptionally well cared for and so the case has simply required a clean and gentle polish to bring it back to its current ‘as new’ condition. The outside of the case-back has a high polish and has its full thickness, meaning it has never carried an inscription. There are no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
This is a Swiss-made, Universal Geneve signed case, which carries Geneva Swiss 18ct Hallmarks.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The solid pink gold dial carries a guilloche effect finish which catches the light beautifully. Applied 3, 6, 9, 12 numerals are interspersed with Arrowhead hour indices and matched with the original Dauphine hands.
The dial is completely original and untouched. It has been affected by a little light staining but is otherwise perfect. The dial is remarkable for its age and far too good to restore. We have therefore left it completely alone to retain its character and originality.
In fact, the dial looks much better in real life, as a high definition digital camera, high power macro lens and photographer’s artificial lights can be very unkind at times. In daylight, the dial simply shines, as it catches the light beautifully. One would need to hold the watch around six inches from one’s eye and have 20:20 vision to find anything to detract from the sheer beauty of this dial. And of course, you are very welcome to buy this watch and return it within 14 days if you do not completely agree.
The original Universal Genève Cal.240, 15 Jewel movement is in excellent condition and has been thoroughly overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This means fully dismantling the watch and movement, ultrasonic cleaning of all parts, close inspection of the critical surfaces under high magnification and replacement as required only with genuine original parts, then careful reassembly and oiling, using only the correct lubricants to manufacturer’s specification, before final testing and careful calibration. This watch is therefore now running perfectly having been calibrated, tested and timed at +9 seconds per day! The power reserve is also excellent at 43 hours when fully wound. The watch movement is signed Universal Genève, Swiss, and carries the Calibre number 820.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is fitted with a new Dark Blue Hirsch leather strap with a pink gold plated buckle. We feel this suits the watch well. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain, padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to 1939.
Detailed particulars will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months’ warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The watch also comes complete with a hardwood presentation box as shown in the photographs.
This is a very impressive and very rare vintage Universal dress watch, with a very high-quality movement, which is ready to wear and practical for regular use. If treated with care, this watch will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Universal has always benefitted from a first class reputation for the superb quality of their watch movements, just as in the case of Longines, which have been undervalued until recently. With the enormous rise in the interest of vintage watches in the past five years, this disparity is becoming more evident and it is beginning to result in a well deserved increasing value of Universal watches.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before we then restore them to the highest possible standards. We then offer our watches at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept payment via PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving in transaction charges to you.
*Note – our 12 months’ warranty is only included if the list price is paid.
If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas: +44 207 727 7095.
Please note, we welcome part exchanges and repairs, service and restoration work.
Please take a look at our other vintage gold watches.