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Latest Pick-Up - 71301 Triple Calendar In WHITE GOLD (Yes, White Gold!)

  1. BenClymer Editor of Hodinkee.com Feb 27, 2014

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    As many of you know, I'm a bit of a Universal Geneve geek (this being one of the only forums on which I actually spend considerable time). I'm always digging around for uncommon references, case designs, and dial configurations. I told you all about my climate-proof chronograph, in the past, as well as the Medico-Compax I found with stepped lugs (that one has since gone on to a better home), and today I thought I'd show you my latest pick-up.

    The watch is a triple calendar dating to 1945 with a few cool traits. Of course, it's just a calendar watch, not a tri-compax, which I think is cool. It's actually my first UG that is NOT a chronograph. You have the day of the week at 12 o'clock in a single aperture, and then a gorgeous moon phase at 6 o'clock. Here is a pic:

    [​IMG]

    The month indicator hand is a bright red as you can see here:

    [​IMG]

    Then you have the lugs. These are some of the most insane "spider" lugs i've seen on not only a Universal but on any watch of this period:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The watch is about 35mm in diameter and wears just beautifully. The dial is a lovely rich silver with a great patina on it. But, what I think elevates this watch to something even more special is seen in that last photo, if you look carefully. Zoom in and what do you see?

    [​IMG]

    Yup, that's a hallmark. This watch is solid gold! White gold! This is the very UG i've come across in my travels that is cased in white gold from this period and and gives the piece a totally different feel on the wrist from my steel UG and a totally different look from all the calendars you may have seen in yellow or rose gold.

    Here is the inner case back to see the additional markings:

    [​IMG]

    So, this is a 1940s Universal Geneve Triple Calendar in white gold, and to me, that is very cool. You just do not see Universals from this time period (or any time period, really) made in white gold.

    The watch is quite rare based on my research. An example is shown in Sala's book on page 412 but it has a very poor re-dial:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The only other such example I've been able to find of this watch in white gold was sold at Sotheby's in NY back in 2008 for $7500, and it was very badly damaged.

    I couldn't be more pleased with this 71301 in white gold and it sits beside another rare triple calendar in my collection, actually from the very same year. This is a 4240 Vacheron cased in stainless steel, actually the only known (authentic) example. The two watches compliment each other wonderfully, and I find it interesting that both feature a dash of red.

    [​IMG]

    I'm told from the archivist at VC that they only used red on stainless steel watches back then…I'm curious if UG used red on their white gold models in the same time period. Just an idea, because I can't remember seeing another red hand on a watch from the 1940s. Would love to hear more input on this idea from anyone who might know more.

    Anyway, hope you like the watch. A few more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    fizz, Woops, B.Frost and 33 others like this.
  2. billfactor Feb 27, 2014

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    Ben, that's a killer find. I love it! I particularly love the numerals on the dial, and how subtle they are (applied? embossed?) and give this great sort of faded-glow look. Incredible. I'll get my hands on a tri-compax one day... in the meantime I'll have this to come and look at from time to time.

    Nice one!

    Bill
     
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  3. 123Cowboy Feb 27, 2014

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    Very nice indeed. Curious what the UG numeral is for white gold?
     
    BenClymer likes this.
  4. Modest_Proposal Trying too hard to be one of the cool kids Feb 27, 2014

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    That is an incredible watch. That UG has nothing to be ashamed of to be sitting next to your VC.

    ,David
     
  5. dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Feb 27, 2014

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    You really don't get much of anything at all in white gold from that period, let alone a triple-date with sharp lugs and a clean dial like that
     
  6. cristos71 Feb 27, 2014

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    What a watch! Beautiful, and I just love those lugs ::love::
     
  7. Darlinboy Pratts! Will I B******S!!! Feb 27, 2014

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    Great find, and a real stunner!

    Dish.... Where'd you turn it up?
     
  8. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 27, 2014

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    "7" evidently -- Sala has it as well.

    Spectacular find, Ben. A really fine rarity - a connoisseur's feast
     
  9. ELV web Feb 27, 2014

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    I just saw a platinum, starts with "9". Not sure whether it is really what it is....
     
    Mark020 likes this.
  10. BenClymer Editor of Hodinkee.com Feb 28, 2014

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    I agree! Though, looking at the finishing on the movements, you can tell there is a little bit of difference between the two :)
     
  11. BenClymer Editor of Hodinkee.com Feb 28, 2014

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    Sincerest thanks, Lou. We're due for a catch-up very soon. Hope all is well in your part of town.
     
  12. BenClymer Editor of Hodinkee.com Feb 28, 2014

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    Always happy to reveal sources. I found this one at the Miami Antiques show, which is arguably the largest antiques show in North America. I try to make it down every year because it's one of the few shows well attended by just about every major vintage watch dealer in the world.

    Here is a little recap on hodinkee: http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/photo-...spotting-at-the-2014-miami-beach-antique-show

    and last year's: http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/vintage-watch-spotting-the-miami-antiques-show
     
    LaurentBxl and Darlinboy like this.
  13. CdnWatchDoc Feb 28, 2014

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    Ben, that is a hell of a find! And in lovely shape too!! Thanks for sharing it with us...just be careful of where you step...there's lots of drool on the floor here!:thumbsup:
     
  14. eustace Feb 28, 2014

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    Ben, on another note, those are gorgeous photos. Do you mind sharing what lens/settings you used to take those shots? Do you use any software like Lightroom for post-processing?

    Thanks much.
     
  15. haga888 Mar 3, 2014

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    Very nice!
     
  16. Oyster1108 Jan 22, 2018

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    Hi Ben, I have read your story with interest.
    I have a similar Calender in WG, with no.1230284, and I have had it for approx. 30 years along with 2 others with the same movement. When I bought it, at an auction of an estate, I left to my usual repairman, who send it to Universal, a brand that was widely distributed in Denmark.
    They serviced the watch, and faxed back that they would like to buy it !
    It was apprearantly not in their collection, but I declined because I like the model.
    In the following correspondence, they made it clear that very, very few was made, 12-20 pieces, making it extremely rare.
     
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    Edited Jan 22, 2018
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  17. Oyster1108 Jan 22, 2018

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    The collection of calenders
     
    image.jpg
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  18. CajunTiger Cajuns and Gators can't read newspapers! Jan 22, 2018

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    just amazing!

    DIBS
     
  19. Oyster1108 Jan 22, 2018

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    Back image.jpg
     
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  20. timjohn Jan 22, 2018

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    Fabulous watch, and extremely rare to find a smiley moon phase that hasn't faded to the copper colour in @Oyster1108's pics and my avatar. Also interesting to see the logo above the day window in @Oyster1108's version.