Universal - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: Circa 1938
    Reference No: 685’306
    Case No: 7065
    Model Name: Uni-Compax
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 385, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle
    Dimensions: 38mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming the present watch was manufactured in 1938.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1917, Universal Genève created its first ever chronograph wristwatch. Subsequently, the manufacturer launched its famous “Compax” chronograph family in 1935, the world’s first chronograph wristwatch made with minute and hour registers.

    The present Uni-Compax stands out with an exquisite black dial – a highly unusual configuration as most examples of the model are found with silver dials. Highly attractive and masculine, the oversized snap-back case is equipped with Universal’s manual caliber 385. It features two registers at 3 and 9 o’clock indicating timekeeping seconds and a 45-minute counter, respectively. Encased in stainless steel, the luminous sword hands nicely complement the highly charismatic black dial.

    It is a sporty, yet elegant example from the golden era of wristwatch chronographs that is certain to delight any enthusiast of vintage watches.

  • 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. 685’306
A fine, rare and oversized stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and luminous Arabic hour markers.

Circa 1938
38mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF33,750

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016