Universal Geneve Microtor Automatic 18ct c1961
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautiful Original and Lightly Used Example
Wonderful 18ct Yellow Gold UG Swiss Fully Signed Case
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
Large Size Case, 34mm, Excluding the Original Universal Crown
Previously Restored White Cross-Hair Dial with Original ‘Index’ Hands
Pristine UG Calibre 69, 28 Jewel, Microtor Automatic Movement
High Quality Brown Croco-Calf 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
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 moonphase display, which went on to become one of watchmakings greatest 20th-century commercial successes.
In 1955, Universal Geneve created and patented the Microtor Automatic, a new type of self-winding movement with an oscillating weight, integrated within the movement. This was first used in the Universal Cal.215, which was a forerunner of the watch you see here. Until then, all automatic watches used a large rotor with a central pivot. Later in 1966, Universal created the world’s thinnest self-winding movement at a mere 2.5mm, the Cal.UG66, which was fitted to the Universal ‘Golden Shadow’.
Here we have a wonderful, previously restored Universal Geneve dress watch in 18ct yellow gold. This watch is in beautiful condition and has a good-sized 34mm diameter case, excluding the correct unsigned crown. This watch also carries the high grade Calibre 69 microtor automatic movement which is in absolutely wonderful condition.
This watch carries an outstanding previously restored white cross-hair dial which shows next to no signs of ageing. Gilt ‘baton’ hour indices are swept perfectly by ‘dauphine’ hands and the dial also carries a perfectly placed date window at 3.
This dial is simple and beautiful with the Universal Geneve brand and signature just below the 12, along with ‘Automatic’ above 6 and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom, below 6.
This dial has been previously restored to the highest standard and as can be seen, remains in outstanding condition.
The original, Universal Calibre 69, 28 jewel Microtor automatic movement is surely the star of the show. The Geneva Stripes and highly polished surfaces are always a good indication of quality, along with the number of jewels, to a degree, and the large escapement wheel with Girocap shock protected cap jewels. As you can see, it is all beautifully finished and is evidence of very high quality.
As can be seen, this highly advanced movement uses a much smaller rotor than usual which is integrated as part of the movement. This saved a great deal of space and made possible a thinner watch case. It also enabled the full case height to be exploited by the movement drive train. This is the reason Patek Philippe uses this system in their leading high-end movements, as do most automatic chronographs.
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 manufacturer’s 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 57 hours when fully wound.
The watch movement is signed ‘Universal Geneve Swiss’, ‘Microtor’, and carries the Calibre number 69.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only included if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The high quality Swiss made, 18ct yellow gold case is of a sturdy design with beautiful straight lugs. The case measures 34mm, not including the original unsigned crown.
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 shows no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye.
The inside of the case-back carries the Universal brand and is correctly signed Universal Geneve, along with 18ct hallmarks.
Please note – as ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is fitted with a high quality brown croco-calf strap and plain gold-plated buckle, which we feel suits the watch perfectly. However, if a different colour or different style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to provide your choice, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin and can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of straps if you wish here.
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 c1961.
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”.
This watch comes complete with a high quality hardwood presentation box 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.
This is a very impressive and very rare vintage Universal gent’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 steel watches.