Chronograph Universal Geneve Italian Royal Air Force, circa 1939

Chronograph Universal Geneve Italian Royal Air Force, circa 1939

Chronograph produced by the very prestigious Universal Genève A. Cairelli Roma (Italian supplier for the Italian Royal Air Force), built entirely in aluminum and Bakelite around 1939, installed on the bridge of fighter planes such as Reggiane, Caproni and Macchi as well as bombers such as Savoia Marchetti, Fiat P. 08 etc etc.

It is a chronograph of exceptional mechanical and aesthetic quality. It was used both to time distance, to calculate the timing of routes and to time the release of bombs or torpedoes.

On the dial, in addition to the manufacturer's mark and "A. Cairelli - Roma" , there is the very important number "2-783" which refers to assignment to an aircraft. The dial is made up of 2 rows of numbers each showing the 12 hours. The external ring, by rotating it manually, allows you to set the time zone quickly and easily.

It is exceptionally preserved and in perfect working order.

Universal Genève is a Swiss luxury watch company, founded in 1894 as "Universal Watch". Since its inception, the company has produced complete watches with "in-house" movements and throughout the 20th century, it produced many important watches. Together with the nearby Geneva company Audemars Piguet, Girard - Perregaux, Patek Philippe and Rolex, Universal is internationally regarded for its style of craftsmanship and manufacturing. Furthermore, the brand produced, in 1917, the first wrist chronograph. Initially started and briefly with based in Le Locle, co-founder Ulysse Perret moved to Geneva in 1919, consolidating the company's status with the Genève brand. Universal's popularity with chronographs caught the attention of high-level government officials across Europe, including the Dutch royal family, who granted the Swiss brand a royal warrant in 1939 to issue a military watch for the nation's army, with the initials on the Queen Wilhelmina dial. Between the 2nd wars and throughout the 2nd World War, it produced watches, chronographs and instruments for the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force.

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