Universal - The Geneva Watch Auction: X Geneva Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: 1966
    Reference No: 881'101/02
    Case No: 2'471'980
    Model Name: Tri-Compax "Evil Clapton"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 281, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Universal Genève bracelet signed Gay Frères, stamped 1.68, max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Universal Genève presentation box, original guarantee certificate dated August 27, 1968 and product literature. Further accompanied by Universal Genève Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1966.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Tri-Compax is probably one of the most complicated watches made by the Geneva based watch company. Named after its three complications: triple calendar (day, date and month), chronograph and moon phases, the first generation was launched in 1944 to commemorate the manufacture’s 50th anniversary. The ground breaking design of the dial matches the quality and the complexity of the antimagnetic chronograph movement. Here Universal succeeded in the challenge of featuring multiple indications on the dial whilst maintaining a perfect balance and harmony between the sub dials making the use and the legibility of the watch extremely easy and enjoyable. The model soon became the ultimate utility watch for the businessman as the man of science, the aviator and the technician. A second version was launched in the late 60s with a radically sportier design.
    Like with other iconic Universal Genève models, the Tri-Compax reference 881101 has been nicknamed after the famous person who wore it — none other than celebrated guitarist Eric Clapton dubbed by the adjective “Evil” that refers to the black dial. The present Tri-Compax, made in 1966 and confirmed by the manufacturer, is from the second series of the legendary reference, featuring a bright red chronograph hand and the tachymeter on the bezel. Most notably, the watch is also complimented by a vintage Universal Genève presentation box, the original guarantee from 1968, and comes with a stainless steel bracelet manufactured by Gay Frères stamped from the first quarter of 1968. In this complete condition, this watch is an excellent example of the brand’s iconic model.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 881'101/02
A very attractive stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases, tachymeter scale, box and original guarantee

36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF15,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019