Universal - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: 1942
    Reference No: 22’430
    Case No: 904’869
    Model Name: Compax
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 292, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Nylon
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle
    Dimensions: 46mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming the present watch was manufactured in 1942.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Universal introduced its famous “Compax” chronograph family in 1935, the world’s first chronograph wristwatch made in series with minute and hour registers. Universal successfully modernized its chronograph production over the next 40 years, and introduced a number of variants with specific additional functions considering market needs (for example - pilots, doctors, and engineers).

    This oversized Compax boasts an impressive 46mm diameter, most likely intended for pilots. The large dial size allows for easy legibility of the luminous hour markers and hands.

    Most often seen with silver dials, the present lot’s black dial is extremely rare. It has developed a lovely and uniform “tropical” color, resembling an attractive dark espresso shade of brown. These large Compax models were fitted with caliber 292, and usually paired with an adjustable strap to fit over a pilot’s jacket while flying.

    With its captivating “tropical” dial, but also its superb ability to be worn daily, the present Compax has the timeless aesthetics of a 1940s chronograph. Paired with a very high degree of rarity, it is an extraordinary example of a Universal chronograph for the discerning collector.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1894

    Universal Genève was founded in Le Locle, Switzerland in 1894 and was originally known as "Universal Watch." Since its inception, Universal Genève has produced watches with unusually high quality for their price point. Universal was among the first brands to introduce a chronograph wristwatch.

    Today, the firm's vintage models are highly sought-after and desired for their oversized cases and interesting dial designs. Key models include a variety of "Compax" models such as the "Nina Rindt" or "Evil Nina," the Uni-Compax, the Space-Compax, the Aero-Compax and the Film-Compax.

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Ref. 22’430
A very rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with outer blue tachometer scale and memory subsidiary dial.

46mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF30,000

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016