Universal Watch was founded in 1894 by Ulysse Georges Perret and Numa-Emile Descombes in Le Locle. Unfortunately, Descombes died a few years later so Perret partnered up with Louis Edouard Berthoud and soon the brand operated as one of the biggest producers and retailers of watches. Even more, in 1917 – two years before the company moved to Geneva – the manufacture launched the first chronograph wristwatch. In 1933 Perret died and his son took over management. Under his wing Universal’s most famous watches were created, which are the Tri-Compax and Uni-Compax. The first is a wristwatch with a chronograph function, calendar and moonphase, and the latter is just a chronograph wristwatch. Both watches were introduced in the ’30s and ’40s. Only in 1937, the company name was changed to Universal Genève.
Universal Genève Uni-Compax 124103
In 1936 Universal Genève launched the Uni-Compax: a chronograph wristwatch.
The Uni-Compax is actually one of Universal’s most important watches ever made because it’s such a good example of what the brand did so well; creating complicated wristwatches with high-quality, in-house movements and beautiful but simple designs. The case of this 1950’s reference 124103 is made from 18k rose gold, measures 34.5 mm and houses the calibre 287. A very cool and distinctive feature are the squared pushers. The dial has two registers: one that tracks the seconds and a 45-minute register. The nice thing about this dial is that it has not been refinished, which is more than often the case for the Tri- and Uni-Compax as it wasn’t water resistant.