Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

Thread: Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

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  1. #1
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    Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

    I'm interested in the Universal Geneve Compax Watches of the 60s and 70s and bought the (not cheap) Sala Book but was very disapointed because it ends before that period. There are very good and nearly complete sites and books about Heuer, Breitling and other watch brands but not about Universal. Is there no one, who has a collection that is so elaborate, that one could use it as a reference? When you see a good one out there it's always so troublesome to search reference material. Is there no one with old catalogues, booklets, advertizing, reference pictures of 100% genuine watches? There where collectors, who made books out of this for other brands.
    So please there must be someone.

  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

    I am having the same problem. I have two amazing UG watches, one of which is a Compax, and can find out nothing about them. You can't even get the company to answer the phone or an email.....There has to be someone who is knowledgeable enough on these watches. They are quality, high end timepieces, so there has to info out there somewhere.....

  3. #3
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    Re: Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

    Absolutely. The big manufacturers have the archives, they have all the material, the files, when they assembled what etc. They could easily separate the fakes from the real ones, with making it public. But a watchdealer once told me, that they have no interest in that, because all the fakes are good for the business...
    So, who has the knowledge?

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  5. #4
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    Re: Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

    I agree. I have a 160/1970s Universal and want to learn more about it. I also bought the Sala book and was very disappointed. He is particularly disdainful of post 1960s Universals, declaring them not worth collecting. I tried to email him to get advice but (just like contacting Universal) no reply. Lets hope someone turns up.

  6. #5
    Member Mr Rick's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

    If you are a Facebook member, post a few pictures and ask your questions here. Several members are UG aficionados.

    Aanmelden | Facebook
    Rick

    Incoming: Heuer Autavia 'Siffert'


  7. #6
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    Re: Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

    The current UG is under Chinese ownership, I believe, and has only the most tenuous link to the historical UG. I'm not surprised that you are receiving no anser. Plainly, the archival records exists, as Mr. Sala has mined them heavily for his book, but it is not clear to me where they rest. The 1960s & 1970s model chronographs are indeed often regarded as second-rate UGs as they do not house UG's own movements, and Sala clearly limits his book to the echt UG chronographs, not even addressing the three hand watches. Within that sphere, though, the Sala book is superb.

    Sometimes in vintage watch collecting, you have to do your own prospecting. UG is definitely one of those cases

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouS
    The current UG is under Chinese ownership, I believe, and
    has only the most tenuous link to the historical UG.
    I'm not surprised that you are receiving no anser. Plainly, the archival records exists, as Mr. Sala has mined them heavily for his book, but it is not clear to me where they rest. The 1960s & 1970s model chronographs are indeed often regarded as second-rate UGs as they do not house UG's own movements, and Sala clearly limits his book to the echt UG chronographs, not even addressing the three hand watches. Within that sphere, though, the Sala book is superb.

    Sometimes in vintage watch collecting, you have to do your own prospecting. UG is definitely one of those cases
    It's the same old company, taken over by Stelux (Hong Kong optical goods conglomerate and Seiko distribution partner) in 1987. The takeover by Stelux of the shares in UG was announced in 1986. UG is a wholly owned Swiss-headquartered subsidiary of Stelux. Therefore of course the archival records exist, and in fact they still have lots of old parts stowed away but uncatalogued.

    I am curious, LouS, how that, constitutes "only the most tenuous link to the historical UG". Is your assertion based on incorrect assumption, or on opinion?

    If opinion, then you will also - by your same logic - have to declare the current JLC, or Vacheron Constantin, for example, to have "only the most tenuous link" to the historical JLC or VC.

    I think it is very important that we do not peddle opinion or assumptions as facts.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouS
    Plainly, the archival records exists, as Mr. Sala has mined them heavily for his book, but it is not clear to me where they rest.
    The archival records remain in Geneva with UG, as does everything else :)

  10. #9
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for the real Universal Geneve Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Ovalteenie View Post

    I think it is very important that we do not peddle opinion or assumptions as facts.

    I agree, but you should stay away from the internet as you'll quickly go insane.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by archi67
    I'm interested in the Universal Geneve Compax Watches of the 60s and 70s and bought the (not cheap) Sala Book but was very disapointed because it ends before that period. There are very good and nearly complete sites and books about Heuer, Breitling and other watch brands but not about Universal. Is there no one, who has a collection that is so elaborate, that one could use it as a reference? When you see a good one out there it's always so troublesome to search reference material. Is there no one with old catalogues, booklets, advertizing, reference pictures of 100% genuine watches? There where collectors, who made books out of this for other brands.
    So please there must be someone.
    I do have some old as well as modern catalogues from a long interest in UG. There are very few fans of the brand on Internet forums but Bokonon and Stophmaster on Timezone are notable collectors. There is also a very good Polerouter site.

    I have mused about putting up some webpages as a knowledge resource, particularly of more modern UG about which there is virtually no knowledge resource on the Internet. I just don't have the time or willpower. :)

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