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There is fire sweeping through the inner circles of the New York City collector community that can be summed up in two words: Universal Genève.
Until recently, this high end Swiss brand was little-known outside of their Polerouter models (designed by a young Gerald Genta), but recently, intense interest among collectors and enthusiasts has pulled the largely defunct manufacture into the limelight - a light that has long been overdue.
Universal Genève was once responsible for some of the most beautiful dress watches and chronographs from the mid-20th century. From the purpose-driven to the ornate, UG had a touch all its own and breathed incredible beauty and craftsmanship into every piece they produced. While there has been some contemporary stirring from the brand (they released a manually-wound limited edition Compax at Basel World in 2009), it is Universal Genève's sumptuous vintage stylings that have the Big Apple all abuzz.
The piece we have for you here is a shining example of just how capable the brand once was at producing stunning high quality gentlemen's wrist wear. A simple but elegant 35mm steel case wraps a textured two piece dial with luminescent markers and sword hands. Internally, the watch houses a Calibre 138SS bumper-wind automatic movement, the same found in early iterations of the aforementioned Polerouter. The best part? This gorgeous piece comes complete with its original box and papers from the famous Henri Stern Watch Agency at Rockefeller Center in New York City - the very same company that brought Patek Philippe to the United States and sold Universal Geneve alongside.
In nearly flawless original condition, the only signs of aging are the creamy luminescent elements on the dial and hands - and a subtle radiation burn on the dial, caused by the hands remaining stationary for decades! This is really a time capsule watch, and an absolutely brilliant one at that.
Eat your heart out, Don Draper.
Stainless steel case is approximately 35mm in diameter (excluding crown). Calibre 138SS Bumper Wind Automatic Movement. Circa 1950s.
Overall condition: Case is in excellent, nearly NOS (New Old Stock) condition throughout, with only the faintest blemishes from handling. Dial is in similarly excellent condition overall, with a brilliant creamy patination to the luminescent markers and hands. Very small mark of unknown original between 4:00 and 5:00. Radiation burns from stationary hands are lightly visible to the left of the center post. Original case back and unsigned crown.
Includes brown leather strap by Crown & Buckle. Also includes original box and warranty card from The Henri Stern Watch Agency in New York City.