Universal Geneve Cal.263 18ct 1946


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Beautiful Original and Lightly Used Example

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

Outstanding 18ct Yellow Gold with Wonderful Straight Lugs

Small Size 32mm Case, Excluding the Correct Unsigned Crown

Pristine Universal Geneve Cal.263, 17 Jewel High Grade Hand-Wound Movement

Beautiful Previously Restored White Dial with 1 – 12 Standard Arabic Numerals

High Quality Brown Leather Strap & Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee Included

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

Sold 31st Aug '23
VGW Reference: UG1726
Price £2,450 Sold


Out of stock

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Universal Geneve

It is a surprise to most people outside the watch community that Universal Geneve was once one of the biggest players in the watch industry. Since its early beginnings in 1894, Universal has been highly respected for producing complete watches with in-house movements, and the company continued throughout most of the 20th century to deliver numerous important ‘firsts’ in watchmaking. Along with Audemars Piguet, Girard Perregaux, Patek Philippe and Rolex, Universal Geneve is world-renowned, not only for its innovation, craftsmanship and quality, but for its true Swiss manufacture status. This is impressive in itself, but when one considers the company mainly produced advanced chronograph movements, this makes Universal almost unique.

Some Universal firsts: The company was the first company to produce a 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, the brand 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 and in 1944, the company presented the Tri-Compax, an hour-counter chronograph, with the triple-date calendar and moon-phase display, which went on to become one of watchmakings greatest 20th-century commercial successes.


Here we have a wonderful, previously restored Universal Geneve dress watch in 18ct yellow gold. This watch is in beautiful condition and carries a beautiful, stand out dial. This watch also carries the high grade Calibre 263 movement in absolutely wonderful condition. At 32mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned crown, this would have been a smaller sized watch for this period. However today, given the popularity among ladies to wear gent’s watches, this could equally be considered a suitable watch for a lady.

The Dial

This beautiful dial is very clean, simple and elegant. The previously restored white dial with 1 – 12 standard Arabic numerals are all swept perfectly by the original, ‘dauphine’ hands. The contrast of the yellow gold hands and case with the 1 – 12 numerals is particularly pleasing. The seconds are sub-divided into fifths giving the dial a slightly technical appearance.

This dial is simply signed with ‘Universal Geneve’ at the very top of the dial below 12 along with ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom of the dial below 6

This dial has been previously restored to a very high standard, yet remains in simply stunning condition.

The Movement

The original and pristine Universal Calibre 263, 17 jewel, Hand-Wound movement is surely the star of the show. These watch movements are very robust, accurate and reliable. making this watch perfectly suitable for both evening wear and everyday use.

The movement has just 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 all the correct lubricants to manufacturers specification, before final testing and careful calibration. The movement here has a micro regulator allowing for very fine calibration of the movement. This watch is therefore now running perfectly, having been calibrated, tested and timed at +10 seconds per day! This timing is outstanding for any watch of this age and one of the best results we have seen this year. The power reserve is also excellent at 42 hours when fully wound.

The movement is signed ‘Universal Geneve’ and carries the Calibre number 263.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only included if the list price is paid.

The Watch Case

The high-quality Universal Swiss made, heavy 18ct yellow gold case is of a sturdy design with wonderful straight lugs. The case measures 32mm, not including the original unsigned Universal crown. As mentioned above, at 32mm in diameter, this would have been a smaller sized watch for this period. However today, given the popularity among ladies to wear gent’s watches, this could equally be considered a suitable watch for a lady.

The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. Cleaned, carefully inspected and lightly hand-polished by our case-maker, it shows every sign it has been lightly used and well cared for and has no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye.

The inside of the case-back is all correctly signed ‘Universal Geneve’ and ‘Swiss’ with the Universal brand and 18ct hallmarks. On the exterior of this case back it is signed with the case serial numbers 10751 and 1260834.

As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap and Buckle

A high-quality brown leather strap is fitted with a plain gold-plated buckle. 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.

Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1946.

Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. 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 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.

The high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included.

Payment and Delivery

If you would like to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.

Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and, unfortunately, out of our control.

We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges; however, attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.

For those who happen to visit London on occasion, we are, of course, more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and hand your watch directly to you there.

As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no-quibble sale or return policy.

In Conclusion

This is a very impressive and very rare vintage Universal gentleman’s dress watch with a very high-quality movement, which is ready to wear and very practical for everyday 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 in the past. With the enormous rise in the interest of vintage watches in the past five years, this disparity is becoming more evident and 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 restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these 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.

Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.

We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.

If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.

Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.

Thank you.