Universal - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: Circa 1965
    Reference No: 885103/01
    Case No: 2'411'883
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72, 17 jewels, stamped HOX
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel JB Champion for Universal bracelet stamped "55" to the endlinks, max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel JB Champion for Universal deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed by maker, clasp further signed by bracelet maker

  • Catalogue Essay

    The series of timepieces bearing reference number 88510x was Universal’s answer to the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, as eminently evident by the striking resemblance between the two watches. The two better known representatives of the model are arguably those bearing reference 885103/01 and /02, perfectly mimicking the color scheme and overall looks of their main competitor the Daytona (case in point: the bezel with black insert and tachymeter scale). This model is a first generation example, evidenced by the applied Universal logo at 12 o’clock. Later examples instead feature a printed logo.

    Very successful at the time of its introduction, the model found its way on more than one notable wrist, the best known of them being that of Nina Rindt, wife of F1 driver Jochen Rindt. More than one picture portray the supermodel at the side of the track wearing a /02 version (with cream dial and black counters: the inverse of /01), timing her husband's laps.

    The present specimen is distinguished by its excellent condition. The dial displays luminous accents that have aged with warm patina, giving the watch an unmistakably sporty and vintage appearance. The bezel, with a "dot over 90", is correct for the period. The curved, sculpted lugs are wide in proportion, and feature perfectly preserved ridges to the middle. Most notably, the light engravings to the outside of the caseback are absolutely unmolested and perfectly legible. A truly captivating and extremely well-preservative alternative to, for example, a Rolex Cosmograph ref. 6241: the competition, apparently, is not over more than half a century after the introduction of the two models.

  • 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. 885103/01
A rare, very attractive and extremely well-preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and bracelet

Circa 1965
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed by maker, clasp further signed by bracelet maker

CHF15,000 - 30,000 

Sold for CHF22,500

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020