Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
The watch industry is one of many brand names. Whether derived from Latin or Greek (Omega or DOXA), or pulled from mythology (Vulcain); the name of a place (Longines), or something entirely made up (Rolex), each name tells a story. But many are family names, stemming from the industry’s genesis in the households of Switzerland.
Berthoud is a name that might not be familiar on its own, but it’s connected to one that should be quite familiar to collectors of vintage chronographs: Universal Genève.
In 1894, watchmaking schoolmates Numa-Emile Descombes and Ulysse George Perret established Universal Watch. But three years later, Descombes died at the young age of 34. Perret—bereft of his friend and with a burgeoning watch company to run—took in a young movement designer by the name of Louis Eduoard Berthoud.
Descombes and Perret had already established themselves as noted producers of complicated pocket watches, even making a foray into early wristwatches. The addition of a talented designer proved invaluable in securing the fledgling manufacture’s success. They sold watches under Berthoud & Perret or under the Universal marque, and became the first manufacture to release a wrist chronograph during the First World War.
In the 1930s, shortly after Perret’s death, the manufacture moved from Le Locle to Geneva. It was during this period in Geneva that the trademark of Universal Genève was registered, along with a new logo. Business was booming, despite the worldwide depression that engulfed the world’s economies—so much so that Universal Genève (now under the leadership of Perret’s son Georges) bought out the old Martel èbauche manufacture in Pont-de-Martel.
Watches were sold under Berthoud’s name from the 1920s until his death in 1947, in countries such as the Netherlands, New Zealand, France, South Africa—even Iraq.
This chronograph is a brilliant exercise in minimalism, reminiscent of those that adorned the wrists of soldiers and pilots in the Dutch military. With a glossy black dial, bold Arabic numerals, and wide-open twin registers, it exudes a kind of thoughtful elegance that—regardless of what name is printed on the dial—is hard to surpass.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.