The present watch is a superb example of one of Universal’s exceedingly rare wristwatches featuring a cloisonné enamel dial, as confirmed by the Extract from the Archives. It furthermore impresses with its excellent, close to new overall condition.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the use of cloisonné enamel dials on wristwatches became very popular. The production of these dials was extremely costly as they had to be individually made by a skilled craftsman and not on a production line. The artist created the outline of the desired motif by arranging thin gold wires on a dial. These partitions, called "cloisonné" in French, were filled with small quantities of enamel powder in the desired colour. The dial was then fired in an oven at around 1000 degrees Celsius causing the powder to melt. Finally it was hand-polished until a perfectly flat surface was obtained.
These dials were mainly made by Carlo or Charles Poluzzi (1899-1978) one of Geneva's most renowned enamellers. Poluzzi specialized in the production of dials decorated with cloisonné enamel scenes which he supplied to important watch manufacturers such as Universal, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega.
Cloisonné enamel dial watches were and still are considered the most unusual and attractive watches ever made and thus highly looked after by collectors.
Other example of Universal wristwatches with polychrome enamel dials are illustrated in Universal Watch Genève, Chronographs et Montres à Complications, by Pietro Giuliano Sala, Edit Vallardi 2010, p.29.