Review Universal Geneve calibre 138

Universal Geneve calibre 138 was developed by Marc Favre and manufactured exclusively for Universal Geneve as their first automatic watch. The design utilises a hammer automatic weight. The calibre 138 family:
138: sub second
138C: sub second, date
138SS, 139: sweep second

It does exist some Marc Favre watches with the 138, but these movements are completely unmarked. 

Universal Geneve calibre: 138

  • Made approximately: 1948-1955
  • Made in Switzerland
  • Power reserve 36h
  • 17 Jewels 
  • 18000 B/A
  • Lift angle 52°
  • DM 28.20mm
  • H 4.8mm

Surface finish is of high quality. All screws are polished to a very good mirror finish. The bridges are nicely finished with angled edges. The movement is Rhodium plated with gilt letter infill. Ratchet and crown wheel have a utilitarian finish. Jewel count of 17 is a little low for a automatic. 

Top surface finish on plates: 7 Points

Surface finish on screws: 8 Points

Surface finish on ratchet and ratchet wheel: 6 Points

Movement Jeweling: 5 Points

Movement is advanced for 1948 all models being shock protected, but the bumper technology was soon outdated

Movement design innovation (for 1948):  7 points

The Universal Geneve base plate is nicely decorated and has an overall good finish. Winding, date and setting mechanisms are nicely finished, with a high finish on the screws. Gear train has a good finish. Setting the time feels balanced and smooth. Date mechanism is a little basic, but robust. 

Base plate finish: 7 Points

Setting and winding mechanism: 7 Points

Date change snappiness: 5 Points

Gear-train finish: 8 Points

Movement durability: 7 Points

The autowinder is characteristic for a bumper and not very subtle , it will wind the movement and is pretty robust.  

Autowinder: 7 Points 

These Universal Geneve movements in good condition keeps decent time, but seem to wanter a little when in different positions. 

Accuracy: 7 points

Power reserve of 36 hours is on the lower end.

Power reserve: 6 Points

Universal Geneve calibre 138-139

Surface finish on bridges and top side of base plate: 7

Surface finish screws: 8

Surface finish on ratchet and ratchet wheel: 6

Movement Jeweling: 5

Movement innovative design for ca 1948: 7 

Base plate finish: 7

Setting and winding mechanism: 7

Date change snappiness: 5

Gear-train finish: 8

Movement durability: 7

Total bonus points: 0

Autowinder: 7

Accuracy: 7

Power reserve: 7

Grand total: 83-88

*Bonus points, date version 

Movement weak points are : Sweep second pinion tension spring (On centre second variant) Barrel arbour bush upper and lower can wear.