Universal Geneva's Hidden Gems: Shadow Series

Universal Genève watches produce many pieces that are especially loved among collectors. Models such as the Compact and Tri-Compax are said to be at the top of collectors' wish lists.


Among these, the ones we will focus on this time are those made in the 1950s and 1960s equipped with the microrotor that made Universal Genève famous.



Hidden gems - Shadow series


Universal Geneva White Shadow

One watch that became synonymous with Universal Geneve after the war was the 1954 Polar Router, designed by famous designer Gerald Genta.

The following year, an improved version was released with a slightly different name: the Polerouter, so named because it was the watch worn during flights over the North Pole.

The Polerouter continued to function normally during flight without being affected by the electromagnetic waves specific to the Arctic Circle, and its high performance attracted attention. Later, Scandinavian Airlines adopted the Polerouter as its official timepiece.


Behind the scenes of the Polerouter's success was a watch series called the Shadow. Compared to Universal Geneva's other series, it is not as flashy in terms of performance or design, but its beautiful design still captivates many collectors.


The White Shadow was first introduced in 1965 .
Universal Genève, which realized the world's thinnest movement at the time, measuring just 2.3mm , designed a new watch to incorporate this movement. Until the 1960s , the Caliber 2-66 was used.


The Shadow series is named after the material of the case. White Shadow is stainless steel, Gold Shadow is solid gold, and Gilt Shadow is gold-plated. Some people refer to these as the Shadow series.




The first watch in the Shadow series – the White Shadow


This photo shows an early version of White Shadow, designed by Gerald Genta.

An early white eyeshadow designed by Gerald Genta


Looking at the face of this watch, you can see that its simplicity is striking.

The hands that indicate the hours are designed to be thin. The dial that indicates the hours is expressed with a simple single line. In addition to the watch's original role of telling time, this watch naturally blends in with any occasion or fashion, and exudes elegance.


And as you can see from the photo, the White Shadow refers to the one with a stainless steel case.

The elegant white shine of this watch gives an elegant impression to the wrist. Its comfort is also one of the important points that supports its popularity. The thin micro-clock, realized by Universal Genève's commitment and high technical capabilities, has brought a new wind to the design of wristwatches.


Universal Genève developed all of its parts in-house. In the mid -20th century, many famous Swiss brands made watches by combining parts manufactured by various watch companies, so it can be said that a watch like Universal Genève was rare.


Like other Universal Geneve watches, the White Shadow is a watch in which all of the automatic mechanical components of the movement are manufactured in-house.

The photo above is of the Gilt Shadow watch.

The photo above is of Gold Shadow.

Gerald Genta: The Picasso of the Watch World


Gerald Genta

The White Shadow design itself is also worth mentioning.
That is the person in this photo.

One of the indispensable figures in the history of Universal Genève watches is designer Gerald Genta.

Just by searching the internet for his masterpieces, the names of many famous masterpieces come up.


Omega Constellation C

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Girard-Perregaux Laureato


A more widely known design is the Mickey Mouse series.


Born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1931 , Genta began his training as a jeweler as a teenager , but later discovered his passion for watch design and worked for a variety of watchmakers before founding his own company, Gérald Genta SA.


The defining feature of his watch designs can be summed up in one word: originality. Unconstrained by conventional notions of wristwatch design, he created freely and produced many masterpieces.

He is also the one who came up with the idea for the Polerouter design. Refined design is one of his characteristics, and many of his fans also talk about the Universal Genève White Shadow as a masterpiece.