The rich history of

The rich history of

Universal Genève


The origins

Talented watch makers Numa Emile Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret, found a company specializing in making complicated watches. Foreign trade develops rapidly and products are enthusiastically received.


Early successes

Descombes dies and Perret associates with Louis Edouard Berthoud in making complete pocket-watches. In 1898 they present a chronograph with 30-counter, the Universal Watch Extra, and subsequently release their first wristwom chronograph in 1917.


A legend in the making

The company is renamed Universal Watch, relocates to Geneva and enjoys impressive and international growth. A succession of elegant and complicated models — the Compax, Aero-Compax and Tri-Compax (1930-40), Polerouter (1954) and Microtor UG66 (1966) — leave and indelible imprint on their area.


A brand on the move

In keeping with its taste for innovation, Universal Genève launches the world’s thinnest quartz calibre in 1975. During the 1980s and 90s, the brand enjoys an impressive international reputation and its represented in South-East Asia, the Middle East and Italy.



While the 2005 and 2006 models reinterpret the house design in harmony with the Universal Genève spirit, the arrival of the Microtor UG100 and the series-production launched in 2007 of the Calibre UG101 provide powerful confirmation on the brand renewal.


Another bold next release

On the occasion of Baseworld 2008, and 80 years after the launch of its first reversible watch, the Cabriolet, Universal Genève presents the Microtor Cabriolet, the first shaped timepiece (since the brand’s renewal) distinguished by a daring and contemporary spirit.



January 18th, creation in Le Locle of the Decombes & Perret watch company headed by Numa Emile Descombes (1863-1897) and Ulysse Georges Perret (1868-1933).


Two international patents (N° 91051 and 91463) are registered for the Auto-Rem, the first self-winding wristwatch by Univesral (a mechanism equipped with buffers).


Presentation of the Cabriolet model and of watches endowed with an 8-day power reserve.


Creation of the double push-button Compur chronograph wristwatch (a trademark registered under patent N°83340); the first movement used is equipped with two column wheels.


Launch of the Compax chronograph wristwatch with 12 hour and 30 minute counters.


Presentation of the Uni Compax chronograph wristwatch with 45 minute counter.


Universal Watch Co. Ltd is renamed Universal Genève. Creation of the smallest ladies chronograph wristwatch of the era, equipped with a 19 1/2” movement.


Launch of the Aero-Compax (patent N° 235608). This is a Compax chronograph equipped with a fourth subdial featuring hour and minute hands at 12 o’clock and enabling the user to memorise the start of an operation by means of an additional crown at 9 o’clock.


Universal Genève presents the calendar watch, with or without moon-phase display, showing the small seconds at 9 o’clock, the day at 12 o’clock and the months and moon phases at 6 o’clock.


Manufacture des Montres Universal, Perret & Berthould SA Genève. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the company presents its latest launch: the Tri-Compax. This hour counter chronograph with triple-date calendar and moon-phase display is to become one of watchmakings’s greatest.


Introduction, within the Compax range, of the Medico-Compax, a chronograph featuring an hour counter bearing a pulsometric scale; and of the Dato-Compax, a chronograph with our counter fitted with a 4th subdial at 12 o’clock indicating the date from 1 to 31.


Launch of the Polerouter or Polarouter. SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) makes the inaugural flight along the first air route between Europe and the United Stats to accross the North pole. The crew is equipped with a high-precision self winding watch (Cal. 138) capable of withstanding the powerful magnetic fields around the Pole.


Creation of the Microtor (patent N°329805), a new type of self-winding movement with oscillating weight integrated within the movement (Calibre 215).


Presentation at the Basel Fair of the Universal Genève Railrouter and Polerouter Electric models.


Launch of the Golden Shadow, the world’s thinnest self-winding watch, driven by Calibre 66 and Calibre 67 with date display (2.5 mm thick).


Introduction of the Tuning Unisonic, a watch with a tuning-fork type frequency regulator.


At the Basel Fair the brand presents the Calibre 74, the world’s thinnest analog-display quartz driven movement (just 3.45mm).


To celebrates its centenary year, Universal Genève launches a world first (UG Calibre 42-83/4”): the Janus watch, inspired by the Cabriolet model. Its reversible dial features a single movement allowing one to read off the time on two dials, including one with jumping hours.


Universal Genève launches two new collection: Okeanos (for men) and Anthea (for ladies).


Presentation at Baselworld of four new moels: the Microtor UG 100, the Okeanos Compax, the Okeanos Aero-Compax and the Okeanos Moon Chronograph.


Presentation at the Baselworld of three new steel men’s watches: the Microtor UG 101 (self winding proprietary movement), now produced in series; the Uni-Timer, with two counter chronograph Calibre UG 71.5; and the Timer Chronograph, with three-counter Calibre UG 71.6, the two latter being equipped with and openworked oscillating weight. For ladies, the Anthea steel watch is available in two new jewelry versions: one set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds and the other with 132 brilliant cut diamonds.


Universal Genève presents the Microtor Cabriolet, a new timepiece inspired by the Cabriolet, the first reversible watch launched by the brand in 1928. A daringly shaped model in a decidedly masculine spirit and a marvel of mechanical ingenuity, the Microtor Cabriolet is driven by the signature Microtor UG 101 movement and is distinguished by its impressively understand design. Meanwhile, another new release sees the Microtor UG 101 welcoming a new dial and an exclusive steel bracelet.

… today

Universal Genève continues to offer chronographs and keep a quality after-sales service. Our watches are, in particular, available for order on City Chain Hong-Kong. Universal Genève watches are also available in Singapore, Thailand, China and Malaysia.