Review Universal Geneve 138 series

In this latest movement score chart review we are looking at another Marc Favre creation; The Universal Geneve calibre 138 series. Introduced in 1948 it was UG’S first entry into the automatic watch segment. The industry was plagued with Rolex’s oscillating weight patent, the most popular/easiest way to bypass this patent, was by making a hammer automatic. It’s a little unclear who actually produced the movement for UG; It was either Marc Favre who supplied the movements directly to UG, Martel made them on license for UG or Marc Favre that made the movements and then decorated (engraved) by Martel (any info is welcome). By the time of it’s launch in 1948 this technology was close to being obsolete. Felsa had already bested the Rolex patent and introduced a bidirectional autowinder mechanism with a fully oscillating weight, and Eterna launched their revolutionary ballbearing rotor design. Not to mention the Rolex patent was only two years from running out. Fortunately for UG, Bumpers where still being sold by the big brands way into the 1950’s and it held its ground until UG replaced it in 1955 with a ultra modern micro rotor calibre: 215. The Universal Geneve 138 series is an interesting latecomer of the bumper/hammer automatic age that should be considered by any serious collector. The most desirable model fitted with calibre 138 being the Polerouter series. This model was made to commemorate SAS (Scandinavian airlines systems) Polar flight from Los Angles directly to Copenhagen. The polerouter was designed by non other than Gerald Genta. The Polerouter’s are now going for serious money, but other variations are still to be found at bargain prices (At the time  of writing this article). 

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