Movement based on the Swiss invention patent No. 329 805, delivered on May 15, 1958 (application filed on May 27, 1955), to Manufacture des Montres Universal, Perret Frères, Carouge (Genève), for a “Montre à remontoir automatique” (Self-winding watch).
The “Microtor”, patented by Universal Genève since 1955, is a self-winding movement incorporating a micro-rotor, which, embedded in the movement, makes it possible to produce self-winding watches that are much thinner than those previously made.
This revolutionary calibre will be developed with various improvements that will be patented in the late 1950’s and early 160’s, both in Switzerland, France and the United States of America.
This movement (generally centre-seconds) will therefore have various declinations: Cal. 215, Cal. 215-1 with date of the month, Cal. 215-9 with 21 600 v / h, etc.; Cal. 218, Cal. 218-2 with date of the month, Cal. 218-9 with 21 600 v / h, etc.; Cal. 69, Cal. 1-69, Cal. 66 without centre-seconds, Cal. 67 without centre-seconds but with date of the month; Cal. 71, extra-thin; Cal. 72 with date of the month and day of the week; etc.
The “Microtor” was presented at several major Swiss and international exhibitions, such as the Basel Fair and the Comptoir Suisse in Lausanne in 1958, then the Vienna Exhibition in 1960, etc.
A probably unique large demonstration movement, Cal. 258 (electrically powered), skeleton and glass, on an electric rotating support, built circa 1957-1958, designed to show the functions and latest developments of the “Microtor” self-winding system, was auctioned by Antiquorum, Geneva, thematic auction, April 9, 1994, 100 years Universal Watch, Important Watches and Wristwatches, lot 130, sold for the amount of CHF 37 950.-
Universal’s micro-rotor calibres were manufactured ahead of their time and in particular preceded Patek Philippe’s Cal. 240 by about ten years. In 2006, Universal presents his new “Microtor”, the Cal. UG 100, then in 2007, the Cal. UG 101. In recent years, a few watch manufacturers have started to produce this type of movement (Bulgari, Chopard, Roger Dubuis, Laurent Ferrier, A. Lange & Söhne, Armin Ström, etc.).