A rare and unusual pink gold wristwatch with cloisonné enamel dial depicting the Arabian peninsula

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  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: Circa 1952
    Reference No: 10232 1
    Case No: 1'629'306
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 138 SS, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case and dial signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Universal Genève Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1952 and the cloisonné enamel dial depicting the map of Saudi Arabia and the Arabia peninsula.

  • Catalogue Essay

    With its royal provenance, this fascinating, time-only Universal Genève, cased in pink gold, features partial hour indicators in Arabic script, with the inscriptions 'Saoud Ibn Abdul Aziz', (the King of Saudi Arabia from 1953 to 1964) at twelve o'clock and 'Jezira el Arabia' at six o'clock (Jezira meaning 'island' in Arabic). Likely presented as a gift from the King, it was part of a limited release of cloisonné enamel Universal Genève wristwatches depicting the Arabic peninsula and celebrating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The enamel scene is beautiful and brightly colored; the Arabian peninsula rendered in a deep emerald polychrome enamel contrasting with the realistic turquoise blue waters of the surrounding Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden. The hour markers and celebratory inscriptions are set on a pink gold ring surrounding the enamel scene. Two small enamel motifs represent Saudi Arabia; one, the palm tree and crossed swords that is the national emblem of Saudi Arabia adopted in 1950, and the other a mosque, most likely one of the three oldest and most historically important mosques located in Medina.

  • Maker Bio

    Universal

    Swiss • 1894

    Universal Genève was founded in Le Locle, Switzerland in 1894 and was originally known as "Universal Watch." Since its inception, Universal Genève has produced watches with unusually high quality for their price point. Universal was among the first brands to introduce a chronograph wristwatch.

    Today, the firm's vintage models are highly sought-after and desired for their oversized cases and interesting dial designs. Key models include a variety of "Compax" models such as the "Nina Rindt" or "Evil Nina," the Uni-Compax, the Space-Compax, the Aero-Compax and the Film-Compax.

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Universal

Ref. 10232 1
A rare and unusual pink gold wristwatch with cloisonné enamel dial depicting the Arabian peninsula

Circa 1952
35.5mm Diameter
Case and dial signed

Estimate
CHF8,000 - 12,000 
€6,900-10,300
$8,500-12,700

sold for CHF10,625

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018