For sale we have a circa 1951 18ct pink gold Universal Geneve fancy lug textured dial watch, with the reference 18519. The watch has been recently serviced by us.
The reference was manufactured in the early 1950s. There is no scholarship as to when the reference was introduced, or how many were made. One other similar example has appeared on the market in the last couple of years. This was a Ref 18520 example produced in 1950. It has the same dial, hands and movement, with differing lug design.
The case is formed of 18ct pink gold and measures 26mm x 33mm, with a lug-to-lug measurement of 36mm. The rectangular base shape of the case has a unique lug design of a triangular, hooded form. These are beautifully designed, creating an intriguing side profile and front view. The front almost appears as if the case is holding and presenting the dial to you. It also appears as if you could open or close the lugs to hide the dial. To the side of the case is the original crown with Universal Geneve signing, in a pink gold tone.
The case back is flat with a brushed finish and polished bevelled edges. The serial number 1,425,654 is clear, along with the reference number 18519. The inside of the case back is signed Universal Geneve and has Swiss Hallmarking for 18ct gold.
The dial is another impressive aspect to the watches design. It has a pink gold tone dial which has a knurled textured finish, reminiscent of that of Boucheron in the 1960s. This is a complex dial which plays with the light beautifully, whilst having a great texture. There are applied gold tone arrow hour markers with Arabic 9,12,3,6 which adds balance to the dial layout. It is signed Universal to the centre, with Swiss to the base. The dial does have signs of ageing, but these are easy to ignore with the quality of the texture and case design.
The original hands are of a Facetted Dauphine style in a rose gold tone which shines in the light.
The dial and hands are shielded behind the complex cut glass. It is thick and has a bevelled edge which are clear signs of quality which add to the texture of this complex watch.
The watch is on a 1960s Favre-Leuba Geneve strap, which is a top-quality crocodile leather, which is a perfect fit for the watch.
The movement is a Universal calibre 240. It has a jewel count of 17 and is manual wind. It is a high-grade movement and is a neat Tonneau shape. It has a daily gain of +22 seconds a day.
Mirroring the geometric eccentricities seen in art forms by Picasso and Matisse, watch makers in the mid 20th century were exploring varied case designs. The post war era in the 1950s was marked by a boom in economies across the USA and Europe. A renewed optimism and faith in mankind’s abilities to strive for better, led to expressions in art, architecture and science. Combined with the beginnings of space travel, the future provided endless creativity.
This watch was clearly a contemporary of the lug and case designs of Vachron and Patek from the 1950s to the 1960s. The watch has clean geometry, with carefully considered lines and sharp angles. It very much reflects the case design of Markowski, who created the Patek Philippe Top Hat. He was known to transform tonneau or rectangular shaped cases, into provocative works of art.
A mid-century modern piece of art, this Triangular lug dress watch is a rare and beautiful collectors piece.
Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
A further condition report is below.
The dial is original and has signs of ageing. There is some loss of colour to the overall gold tone of the dial by the crown and below the Swiss signing at the bottom of the dial. There is a light spot on the dial to the left of the universal signing, with another spot above the inbetween of 5 and 6 O’clock.
The hands are original. They are of a Facetted Dauphine style in a rose gold tone. They are in good condition with some scratching.
The complex cut glass is original. It has a couple of scratches to the centre but these only notice in some lights.
The crown is original and has the Universal Geneve signing. It is in very good original condition. It is a rose gold tone with a neat coin edge finish.
The unusual case is formed of 18ct gold and is in very good original condition. It has light surface scratching.
The case back is formed of 18ct gold and is in very good original condition. It has a brushed finish which has light surface scratching. The serial number and reference number are clear.
The watch is on a 1960s Favre-Leuba Geneve strap, which is a top-quality crocodile leather. It is a perfect fit for the watch. It will fit up to an 8” wrist.
The movement is a Universal calibre 240. It has a jewel count of 17 and is manual wind. It is a high-grade movement and is a neat Tonneau shape.
The watch has been recently serviced by us. It has a daily gain of +22 seconds, with an amplitude of 275 degrees and a beat error of 0.4 m/s.
Case width: 26mm
Case width with crown: 23.5mm
Case length: 33mm
Case length lug to lug: 36mm
Case Depth: 7.5mm
Lug depth: 8.25mm
Lug width: 16mm
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