The rich history of

The rich history of

Universal Geneva


Numa Emile Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret created Universal Genève in 1894 in Locle (Neuchâtel, Switzerland).
During the 1930s-1960s, the company took the name Universal Watch Co. Ltd. and experienced great growth under the direction of Raoul Perret, son of the founder. The watches are signed “Universal Genève” and are distinguished by their elegance and technicality. A style was born and with it appeared legendary models: Compax, Aero-Compax and Tri-Compax (1930-40), Polerouter (1954) and Microtor UG 66 (1966).
During the 2005 edition of Baselworld, Universal Genève presented its two new collections, Okeanos (men) and Anthea (ladies), which intelligently revisit the house design while respecting the spirit of the brand. The 2006 models follow the same approach and Universal Genève marks its comeback with its own manufactured movement: the MICROTOR UG 100.


The origins

The talented Numa watchmakers Emile Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret created a company specializing in the manufacture of complicated watches. Sales are growing quickly and each creation is received with enthusiasm.


The first successes

When Descombes died, Perret joined forces with Louis Edouard Berthoud to manufacture pocket watches. In 1898, they presented a chronograph with a 30-minute counter — the Universal Watch Extra — then created their first wrist chronograph in 1917.


A legend in the making

The company is renamed Universal Watch, moves to Geneva and experiences impressive international growth. A succession of elegant and complex models – Compax, Aero-Compax and Tri-Compax (1930-40), Polerouter (1954) and Microtor UG66 (1966) – forever mark their era.


A brand on the move

Faithful to its taste for innovation, in 1975 Universal Genève launched the thinnest quartz caliber in the world. During the 1980s and 90s, the brand enjoyed an impressive international reputation and began to be represented in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Italy.



While the 2005 and 2006 models reinterpret the design of the house in harmony with the Universal Genève spirit, the arrival of the Microtor UG100 and the mass production of the UG101 caliber launched in 2007 strongly confirm the renewal of the brand.


Another daring creation

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 in the shape of a watch keeper (since the revival of the brand) distinguished by a spirit bold and contemporary.



On January 18, creation in Locle of the watchmaking house Decombes & Perret managed by Numa Emile Descombes (1863-1897) and Ulysse Georges Perret (1868-1933).


Two international patents (No. 91051 and 91463) are registered for the Auto-Rem, Universal’s first self-winding wristwatch (a mechanism equipped with buffers).


Presentation of the Cabriolet model, one of the first reversible watches.


Creation of the Compur double push-button chronograph wristwatch (registered trademark registered under patent No. 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 Geneva. Creation of the smallest chronograph wristwatch of the time for women, equipped with a 19 1/2” movement.


Launch of the Aero-Compax (patent No. 235608). This is a Compax chronograph equipped with a fourth sub-dial with hour and minute hands at 12 o’clock and allowing the user to memorize 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, indicating 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, Geneva. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the company presents its latest creation: the Tri-Compax. This counter chronograph with three-date calendar and moon phase display is fast becoming one of the best in watchmaking.


Introduction, within the Compax range, of the Medico-Compax chronograph with pulsometer scale hour counter and the Dato-Compax, a chronograph whose counter is equipped with a 4th counter at 12 o’clock indicating the date from 1 to 31 .


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


Creation of the Microtor (patent No. 329805), a new type of automatic winding movement with oscillating weight integrated into the movement (Caliber 215).


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


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


Introducing Tuning Unisonic, a watch with a tuning fork type frequency regulator.


At the Basel Fair, the brand is presenting the Caliber 74, the thinnest analog display quartz movement in the world (only 3.45 mm).


To celebrate its centenary, Universal Genève is launching a world first (caliber UG 42-83/4”): the Janus watch, inspired by the Cabriolet model. Its reversible dial has a single movement allowing you to read the time on two dials, one of which has jumping hours.


Universal Genève is launching two new collections: Okeanos (for men) and Anthea (for women).


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


Presentation at Baselworld of three new men’s watches in steel: the Microtor UG 101 (exclusive self-winding movement), now produced in series, the Uni-Timer, with two chronograph counters of caliber UG 71.5 and the Timer Chronograph, with the caliber UG 71.6 with three counters, the latter two being equipped with a perforated oscillating weight. For women, the Anthea Steel watch is available in two new jewelry versions: one set with 46 chiseled diamonds and the other with 132 chiseled diamonds.


Universal Genève presents the Microtor Cabriolet, a new watch inspired by the Cabriolet, the first reversible watch launched by the brand in 1928. A model with bold shapes in a resolutely masculine spirit and a marvel of mechanical ingenuity, the Microtor Cabriolet bears the Microtor UG signature 101 and stands out for its impressive design. Meanwhile, another new release sees the Microtor UG 101 welcome a new dial and exclusive steel bracelet.