Universal Geneve was responsible for some of the most beautiful chronographs of the last century, and the Gerald Genta-designed Polerouter is perhaps one of the most iconic watch designs of all time. Though the last few years has seen price on vintage models skyrocket (thanks, HODINKEE), there are still some accessibly priced models out there. There are also some very much not-acessibly priced models out there, that are just plain fun to look at. Here are three very different UGs for your horological entertainment:
Universal Geneve Cal. 138SS automatic
What we like: Though UG is perhaps best-known for its chronographs and the famous Polerouter, this time-only piece is proof positive that the Swiss firm could produce simple watches that required little to no adornment. With its eggshell dial, flat bezel and dauphine handset, this 35mm watch appears slightly larger than it is, making for a timeless watch in a very wearable size.
From the seller: Overall very good. The dial is great with only a small blemish around 5. The case is clean with no large dents or scratches, only superficial scratches. No signs of polishing. Movement runs well keeping accurate time.
Universal Geneve Polerouter
What we like: Ahh, the Polerouter, that Genta-designed work of art we all love (actually, I used to hate these, but I’ve since come around). Though this particular example is a no-date version featuring a bumper movement (and not the famed micro-rotor movement found in many Polerouters), you still get that beautiful tuxedo dial, dauphine hands and perfectly proportioned case.
From the seller: The watch is in very good condition overall, with normal signs of wear consistent with age and use. Black gloss quadrant dial is in excellent condition; luminous dauphine hands and dial have faded to a dark, even color throughout. Unsigned crown. Screw case back featuring the UG Crest logo in very deep printing.
Universal Genève Compax 885 103/01 “Evil Nina”
What we like: An incredible execution of the “Compax” layout, modern-looking and striking. The panda-dialed “Evil Nina” incorporates a triple-register layout with an outer tachymeter scale on the bezel in a 36mm case with pump pushers for a look that’s both utilitarian and undeniably hip. This particular reference never comes cheap, and when you find one whose dial is in condition like this, you can expect to pay a premium.
From the seller: Excellent unpolished case that shows light wear from use. Comes with an excellent black bezel insert. Outer case back has some markings from where rust was removed. Excellent and clean black dial with warm sandy markers that are all present and intact. Hands have aged a few shades lighter than the dial. All lume glows brightly when exposed to UV then falls off gradually.