UTI watches

vicwiljo

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May 10, 2021
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I recently inherited a number of pocket watches from my father who bought and sold watches. Am truly an amateur (apologies). The watch in question has a UTI marking in the case (UTINAM) which I have learned was a French company on the Swiss border. The case is a beautiful filigree triple hunter case marked 18K gold in excellent condition. The movement, however, has no markings whatsoever - no brand and no serial number, which makes me think this may be a watch from another company or a fake and only the case is truly a UTI genuine piece. However, I have encountered a similar situation with an Omega pocket watch and the only way to get the serial number is to take the watch apart, which I am not about to do at this stage of the game.

There is very little information on the company UTI on the internet other than it was a high-end watchmaker from the late 1800s-early 1900s. Today there is another company with the same name, but it was founded in the 1980s so it is not the same company. I would be grateful for any information that a member can provide me on the original UTI company and whether it is realistic to further pursue the origins of this movement. Thanks.
 

eri231

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""
The central engineer Georges Meyer built in 1905-1906 a factory of precision watches known as "Fabrique Utinam" at the corner of the rue des Villas Besancon . It seems that the factory ceased its activity around 1911. A new company, the SA des Ets Georges Meyer, was founded on December 23, 1918.
Still domiciled at 139 boulevard de Sébastopol in Paris, it is managed by Henri Blum and its purpose is "the manufacture and sale of small mechanical parts, watches and clocks". From this date, the company has a commercial address at n ° 14 ter rue des Villas. It is a house built in 1912-1913 on behalf of M. Sauzay, according to a project dated 1911 by the bisontin architect Alphonse Burcey. According to this plan, a large workshop is placed on the first floor, on the rear facade. Georges Meyer retired from the company in 1936 and passed it on to his son Gilles, who employed Eugène Blum (Henri's brother) as technical director.
In 1937, the company turned to the clock market. It was renamed Etablissements Uti SA in 1940, and kept its Parisian head office, but the building on rue des Villas was sold that same year. Jacques Meyer took over the management of Ets Uti following the death of his father Gilles in 1950. Until his death in 1984, absorbed by Matra, the company works for prestigious brands and luxury jewelry.


regards enrico
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Vicwiljo, please post photos of your watch. We may not be able to tell you more about it, but many of us will enjoy seeing what I expect to be a rather striking watch. I only have one UTI in my collection, a very lovely 18k hunter with an unsigned gilt movement. See post #2 in https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/art-deco-pocket-watches.171644/#post-1391646.

A frequent poster to these forums, Jeff Hess, once said this about UTI.

“The movements on these UTI watches are almost always mundane. But the design on UTI watches is often, simply put ‘over the top.’ Every time I get one of these, I wonder why more study has not been done [on UTI] and why a book of some kind has not been done on [it]. . . . .I do not know who was behind this company, but [it] seem to epitomize the ‘mid-century modern’ mindset. Some of these Paris-based watches look very ‘Cartier-esque’ and some very much like they are ‘Gilbert Albert’ influenced, great combos of gemstones, swirls, and swoops and exaggerated lines.”
 

vicwiljo

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Thank you for your replies and I apologize for the delay. It has taken me a few days to figure out how to take good pictures of this pocket watch. Hopefully this will help. Certainly am interested in any opinions out there or if there is anything I have neglected to include. Victoria

DSC_9838 UTI #4.jpg DSC_9840 UTI #4.jpg DSC_9842 UTI#4.jpg DSC_9843 UTI#4.jpg DSC_9845 UTI #4.jpg
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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I cannot tell you anything more about your watch, except that it is a minute repeater. Push the slide on the rim and the watch should chime the time, with a single ring for each hour, a ding-dong for each quarter hour, and a single ring for each minute. For example, 2:17 would be ring, ring, ding-dong, ring ring. Minute repeaters are highly prized watches.
 

vicwiljo

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May 10, 2021
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I cannot tell you anything more about your watch, except that it is a minute repeater. Push the slide on the rim and the watch should chime the time, with a single ring for each hour, a ding-dong for each quarter hour, and a single ring for each minute. For example, 2:17 would be ring, ring, ding-dong, ring ring. Minute repeaters are highly prized watches.
Thanks. I will check this out.
 

MrRoundel

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That's a beautiful watch! Nice inheritance indeed. My only exposure to the brand UTI was in handling a very intricately woven 18K gold ladies watch. We were once at an NAWCC regional in Del Mar, CA, and a seller who appeared to specialize in ladies watches said that UTI was "like a Tiffany", FWIW. I probably posted something here about that watch a few years ago. I am unsure of who made the actual movement. I may have a few images floating around in my hard-drive. Oh, here they are...

DSC05536.JPG DSC05538.JPG DSC05539.JPG DSC05540.JPG
 

vicwiljo

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May 10, 2021
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That's a beautiful watch! Nice inheritance indeed. My only exposure to the brand UTI was in handling a very intricately woven 18K gold ladies watch. We were once at an NAWCC regional in Del Mar, CA, and a seller who appeared to specialize in ladies watches said that UTI was "like a Tiffany", FWIW. I probably posted something here about that watch a few years ago. I am unsure of who made the actual movement. I may have a few images floating around in my hard-drive. Oh, here they are...

View attachment 659347 View attachment 659348 View attachment 659349 View attachment 659350
Wow! Thank you so much. I suspect the movement maker, hopefully UTI, and a serial number are somewhere within the movement. However, I am not about to take this watch apart to find it! There is so little on the internet about UTI that I truly doubt there is a listing of serial numbers anyway. Everyone's advice clearly tells me not to get rid of this one! Thank you again.
 
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MrRoundel

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That's a keeper. The most important thing to us collectors, as opposed to dealers and scrappers, is to keep the watch whole, case and all. So many cases have been melted over the years that relatively few whole watches are extant. The fact that yours is a repeater, where there is a special slide incorporated into the case, makes it even more important to keep the entire watch together. And the beautifully engraved case is quite unique. There's not much unique about the gob of gold that it would make when melted.

FWIW, it seems to me that most of the complicated movements I see are in plain polish cases. If true, the package is even more important. I'm just pulling that one out of hazy memories though. Cheers.
 
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