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This is a rare and beautiful Universal Geneve (UN) vintage chronograph reference 22278 Calibre 281 made in 1942. Founded in 1894, UN would become synonymous with very high quality chronographs used by aviators, the military, and others. Through affiliations with Zenith and Martel, the latter being a relatively unknown but significant player in the early days of wristwatch chronographs, UN became a major force featuring their own in-house movements. In 1938, at the suggestion of Hermes in Paris, UN began incorporating an hour counter in their chronographs. This chronograph, made in 1942, is one of the earliest examples.
While all UN models are highly valued and sought-after for their outstanding chronograph movements, this rare model is distinguished by the outstanding quality of its early water resistant case design. Watches with screw backs and integrated chronograph pushers were relatively rare in the early 1940's. As is the case for the great majority of watches from this era, it is no longer water resistant. As you have probably already gathered from the ClockSavant website and Instagram page, we won't sell a vintage watch unless it can fulfill its original purpose as a mission-critical timekeeper and timer, and this watch is no exception. This well-maintained watch was partially serviced by ClockSavant and is running superbly. As is the case with all vintage chronographs we sell, the chronograph functions flawlessly. We matched the watch with a beautiful brown leather strap. This watch looks great on all size wrists even though its diameter, at 33.6mm, is slightly smaller than some other chronographs of the era. This is because the substantial water resistant case has a good deal of presence at 12.6mm thick, 19mm lug width, and its overall classic styling. The dial is beautiful on the watch as you can see. We believe the dial on the watch may have been professionally refinished many years ago (probably more than 50 years +.)
This watch was partially serviced by ClockSavant. The watch has been very well cared-for and we focused on our efforts on optimizing its chronograph operation, setting works, and overall performance. We performed a number of operations including cleaning the case and pushers; replacing the stem with a correct new old stock part from our parts inventory; replaced both chronograph bridge jewels; cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted the balance, pallet, and hairspring; restored the original hands; and invested hours perfecting chronograph operation through fine levels of adjustment.
Type: Chronograph, Manual Wind
Calibre: Universal Geneve 281
Size: See Description
Strap: New brown leather strap
Age: We estimate this watch to have been made in approximately 1942
Service History: This watch was partially serviced by ClockSavant, see the description. Comprehensive testing and performance measurement.
Condition: See Description
Returns: 14-day inspection period provided that watch is returned in condition received.
Warranty: This watch carries carry a 2 month warranty-- customer misuse, neglect, accidental, intentional, or unintentional damage are excluded from the warranty. See the Support page of our website for detailed warranty terms and conditions.
Care and Use: All mechanical watches, and especially vintage watches, require special consideration in handling, care, and use. In order to obtain warranty support or to return an item, it is necessary that the customer did not cause damage to the watch. See the Support page to learn more about how to protect and care for your investment.
Sales tax: Virginia residents will pay sales tax
CLOCKSAVANT WATCHMAKER TESTING, CERTIFICATION, AND PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT
All the watches we sell go through a comprehensive series of ClockSavant-developed functional, stability, and performance tests and are only approved for sale if they meet or exceed the criteria we have established. Performance measurements for this watch are provided below. See the Support page of our website for an explanation of watch performance measurements and guidance on interpretation. The watch performance values provided do not necessarily reflect the accuracy you will experience based on your unique watch wearing habits. You may experience a gain or loss by as much as approximately 1 minute per day with vintage watches. Legend: Rate, Amplitude (Amp), and Beat Error (BE) are provided for Dial-Up (CH) and Dial-Down (FH) positions. Averages (Avg) are also provided. These represent the average performance of the watch across all 6 traditionally measured watch positions which, in addition to dial-up and dial-down, are the vertical positions of Crown-Up, Crown-Down, Crown-Left, and Crown-Right. Rate is expressed in seconds gained or lost during a 24 hour period. Amplitude is in degrees. Beat Error is in milliseconds. Lift Angle used in measurement is unique to the particular watch calibre.
(52 was used for standardized measurement, the actual lift angle on this watch is likely slightly less)