Universal Genève Unisonic 852100

The word quartz might be enough to make one skip to the next article. I understand that. If that’s you, move along. However, if you’re seeking a complete understanding of watchmaking, you cannot ignore the bear caged in the corner. Quartz was and is significant to the history of wristwatches. And, due to the general mechanical snobbery we’ve all adopted, they represent a bit of value today.

Universal Genève, in my view, was the greatest casuality of the quartz crisis. They turned down the road of electronics and walked far enough down it that they couldn’t turn back without bankrupting themselves. This Unisonic is an early (1968) quartz range from UG’s transition to the technology. The Unisonic name was meant to gently hint at the tuning fork-based quartz movement. The movement is a Bulova-based 2181F, a thinner caliber than the Accutrons of the time. That movement is housed in a 33.5mm case with a unique period lug design that I adore. Its dial is a cream bauhaus affair with an updated UG logo featuring a tuning fork. While it may not be as sexy as something like a Tri-Compax or Polerouter, this Unisonic is a distinct marker of UG’s ultimate demise. Perhaps a bit sorrowful, but no less important to their history.


This example is clean. It sports a dial with no discoloration, evenly yellow tiny lume plots and tritium hands, and an case that has retained original shape. The movement is not pictured, but there’s not a lot to go wrong there. It is priced very reasonably and comes from a respected retailer. On the whole, if you can stand a ticking seconds hand, there are far worse options.

Find this Universal Genève Unisonic here from Kibble Watches for 695 GBP.