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Rare Compax model? Chrono made for Cartier

  1. Bernd Jun 10, 2014

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    Hello everyone,

    my name is Bernd, I live in the Black Forest in Germany. I recently purchased the
    watch you can see in the pictures at the end of my posting.

    When I saw this watch I immedeately had to buy it, it looks great. Now I try to find any
    information about this wristwatch. Personally I don't doubt the authenticity of the dial, to
    me it looks all original. Being on the search I found this forum.

    Here a the few facts I can provide:

    - UG Reference 12494
    - case number 1445902 (so it should be manufactured around the year 1950)
    - 18k pink gold
    - additional Cartier logo print on the dial
    - Cal. 285

    It would be great if you know anything. For example is this dial original? Is this a
    rare model? I really couldn't find a second one like this neither on the internet nor
    in my literature. How many were produced? Where might it have been sold?

    Thanks a lot in advance!!! :)

    Bernd

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Bernd Jun 26, 2014

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    No thoughts on this one?

    In the meantime Cartier told me they need the watch for verification in Geneva. It would
    cost at least 1000 Euro and take several months. They can't say anything about the watch
    and pictures are not sufficiant.

    I don't have to mention, that I will not spend this money, do I? ;)
     
  3. rolokr Jun 26, 2014

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    From the pictures It looks pretty legit. Cartier in the early days did use other companies to produce their watches. I would have to see a close up, probably authentic. Value would be maybe a little higher, but still mainly a Universal Geneve compax value.
     
  4. woodwkr2 Jun 26, 2014

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    I've never seen a Cartier signed Universal. Doesn't mean it wasn't possible, but I am skeptical. The question for me is whether the Cartier signature was a recent addition to an original dial, particularly with the premium that the genuine Hermes co-signed pieces bring.
     
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  5. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Jun 26, 2014

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    Fully agree. The burden of proof is on the claimant of the Cartier connection. The Hermes connection is amply documented in advertising, and there are numerous examples. I have yet to see a single UG-Cartier ad, or see another similar model.

    A piece like this is a gamble. It might pay off, it might not.
     
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  6. Bernd Jul 1, 2014

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm sorry for the delay. Here are some better pictures. At "6 o'clock" the dial is also "SWISS" signed,
    but the shape of the crystal hides this detail more or less.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In this picture I tried to show you, that the way the UG and the C print reflect the light seem
    absolutely identic. At last to the eye of a viewer. I know, it's hard to identify on this picture.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Jul 1, 2014

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    The Cartier name seems to be done by a shaky hand, especially the last two letters. Not what I would expect from a name of that stature.
     
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  8. Bernd Jul 1, 2014

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    Well, it's the late 1940s and to the naked eye this print looks excellent. I would think,
    if the dial is genuine, they took some dials and gave them an additional print. I don't
    know how much effort they might have spent for a few dials. I guess that a "Cliché"
    today is made with higher quality very easy (laser engraving, wafer, and so on). As
    today we find the "30-cm-rule" all the way through the watch industry, meaning that
    anything the naked eye can't see from a 30cm distance is fine. This probably wasn't
    different at all at the time this watch was made.
     
  9. citizenrich Metal Mixer! Jul 24, 2014

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    Does it cost a thousand bucks for Cartier to confirm whether or not they contracted UG to do any work for them at all during that time period? I would think if they have anyone working in anything resembling a records dept., that this would be readily available information. I agree about the gambling but is it even worth the thousand dollar cover charge?


     
  10. gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Jul 24, 2014

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    No, it costs $1,000 for Cartier to search their own sales records to see if a watch with the same reference and serial number was sold by them. I doubt they would contact UG at all. Even if they did, we already have the answer that UG would give.

    At this time Cartier sold many Jaeger-LeCoultre branded chronographs that had UG movements. So IMO, it is possible that a Cartier/UG connection existed.

    However, Cartier dials are so widely faked, the only way to have any confidence about the provenance of this piece is to gamble the money to see if this watch was actually sold by Cartier. If this can be proven, the fee paid is easily recovered on sale. If not, Bernd will be $1,000 poorer.

    You pays your money and takes your chances...
    gatorcpa
     
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  11. Argtv7 Jul 30, 2014

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    My watchmaker is an old dude from Switzerland. He was brought to the US many years ago by Universal Geneve, and he stayed. He told me that Universal was making watches for Cartier at the time. He is traveling right now, but when he returns, I'll ask him for more detail.
     
  12. woodwkr2 Jul 30, 2014

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    If you get to talk to him, and if he says that Universal made watches for Cartier, be sure to ask him where those Cartier co-signed watches were sold. Was there a Cartier location in the US at that time, or would any Cartier pieces have been retailed at the flagship store on Avenue des Champs-Élysées?
     
  13. Bernd Jul 31, 2014

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    This is great! Looking for news from your watchmaker ;)
     
  14. Argtv7 Jul 31, 2014

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    It's going to be about a month. But I'll see what he knows.
     
  15. woodwkr2 Aug 3, 2014

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  16. ELV web Aug 3, 2014

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  17. Bernd Aug 4, 2014

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    I also think, the printing on the three-hands "Cartier" looks strange.
    Personally I bought my chronograph from a friend, he owned it for many years.
    Himself he only saw one watch like this, years ago on chrono24.com for
    an absolutley unrealistic price. But the price is not from interest ;)
     
  18. Argtv7 Aug 4, 2014

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    Bernd, are there any unusual markings on the back of your watch? Any unusual numbers?
     
  19. Bernd Aug 5, 2014

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    No, it looks quite ususal:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. woodwkr2 Aug 5, 2014

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    Take a loupe to the back and sides of the lugs.

    As Wayne suggested in the parallel posting about a Cartier/UG, Cartier seemed to have a knack for adding a serial number to everything they sold, even down to the tiniest necklace clasp. With such a number, it would increase your likelihood of finding a document with Cartier.