Universal - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: 1942
    Reference No: 22531
    Case No: 878'097
    Model Name: Compax
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 292, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 46mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    While today's taste is oriented toward timepieces measuring at least 38mm, the situation was very different for most of the past century. Most notably, during the first half of the 1900s the standard size for men hovered between 31 and 35mm. The present wristwatch, however, features a 46mm diameter, a size which at the time must have been considered simply outlandish. In virtue of this size, the utilization of the piece was certainly professional. Compounding to its remarkable size, the construction of the lugs - straight with a triple facet - is extremely unusual as well. This is in strong contrast with what was normally seen in the early 1940s. In fact, such a style is decades ahead of its time, much closer to the 1960s and 1970s design, characterized indeed by geometric, angular case shapes.

    Last, but most definitely not least, such an unusual case construction can truly be appreciated at its fullest thanks to the astoundingly well preserved condition of the watch. Most probably it is unpolished, showcasing sharp edges and absolutely intact proportions. The collector of fine vintage timepieces will be thrilled to know that the dial too is in a similar state, absolutely devoid of any kind of cosmetic enhancement or restoration and preserved in excellent condition.

  • 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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Lot offered with No Reserve

Ref. 22531
A highly rare, attractive and oversized stainless steel chronograph wristwatch

46mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF10,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF24,130

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection

Geneva Auction 11 - 12 May 2024