The Universal Geneve brand dates their history all the way back to 1894 and, through various names, have been producing some of the finest watches in the world ever since. In their golden years, they were best known for their chronograph watches such as the Compur, Compax, and Tri-Compax. In 1966, Universal Geneve joined together with Bulova. While partners, the companies remained mostly separate in terms of product development and sales. However, the partnership was not in name only as it gave Universal access to Bulova’s tuning fork movement technology, the result of which would be the Unisonic line of watches.
Tuning fork movements, like those found in the Accutron and Unisonic watches, were some of the earliest forms of electronic watches; they run off of a battery rather than mechanical force. Tuning forks vibrate at a specific frequency and the movement uses that frequency to accurately measure the passage of time. At the time, the movement was a breakthrough in watch technology. There were two problems, however. First, the movements were not the cheapest or easiest to produce. Second, the quartz watch was right around the corner and it would deliver electronic watches to the masses cheaper and more accurately.
When people think of electronic watches they very rarely think of luxury. This wasn’t the case in the early days of electronic watches. The Swiss brands couldn’t really compete with the quartz watches coming out of Asia on price so they did what they knew best, use the technology to create luxury items. This Unisonic D reference 152100 is a great example of their luxury meets tech strategy with its solid 18k gold case (remember, in the ’70s, a brown dialed solid gold electronic watch was pretty much the definition of cool).
The 33mm, 18k gold case is in good condition with signs that it has been over polished at some point in its lifetime. As a result, it has lost some of its crispness on the edges of the case. The case back also shows signs of polish as the reference number, which should be etched into the case, has faded. Additionally, there is a hallmark on the left side of the case.
The Dial and Hands
This dial is all about its reddish-brown, almost granite-like finish. It is a great compliment to the warm, golden glow of the case and screams 1970s luxury. That said, brown seems to be one of the “in colors” this season so maybe what was old is new again. The dial and hands are in very good to excellent condition with no major flaws to speak of. It should also be noted that the watch retains its original signed acrylic crystal.
This watch is powered by the electronic tuning fork Universal Genève calibre 1-52 movement. The watch is running and keeping time. The service history is unknown.
|Movement||Tuning Fork, Calibre 1-52|
|Case Material||18k Yellow Gold|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|