Universal Genève was founded by Numa Emile Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret in 1894 in the small Swiss town of Le Locle, where the two men were born. Initially a producer of pocket watches, the firm introduced its first chronograph pocket watch in 1898 and its first hand-wound chronograph wristwatch in 1917. A self-winding wristwatch, the Auto-Re, arrived in 1925, and by the 1930s, the company had relocated to Geneva, where it produced complicated wristwatches with names like the Compur and Compax. Universal Genève released the Tri-Compax in 1944, and Polerouter followed in 1954.

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