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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 218

    Universal, A very fine, rare and attractive 18K pink gold wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and cloisonné enamel dial


    Price Realised  


    Universal, A very fine, rare and attractive 18K pink gold wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and cloisonné enamel dial
    Signed Universal, Genève, Serial no. 1’412’779, Case no. 10’750A, manufactured in 1949
    MOVEMENT: manual, cal. UG 263, 17 jewels
    DIAL: polychrome cloisonné enamel depicting a Viking ship in full sail, applied gold dagger and baton numerals, sweep centre seconds
    CASE: 18K pink gold, flat bezel, fancy lugs, snap on back, 36 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: case, dial and movement
    ACCOMPANIED BY: Universal Genève Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with polychrome cloisonné enamel dial in 1949

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    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.

    Special Notice

    On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.
    Many of the watches offered for sale in this catalogue are pictured with straps made of endangered or protected animal materials such as alligator or crocodile. These lots are marked with the symbol ~ in the catalogue. These endangered species straps are shown for display purposes only and are not for sale. Christie’s will remove and retain the strap prior to shipment from the sale site. At some sale sites, Christie’s may, at its discretion, make the displayed endangered species strap available to the buyer of the lot free of charge if collected in person from the sale site within 1 year of the date of the sale. Please check with the department for details on a particular lot.

    Pre-Lot Text