Universal - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV Hong Kong Friday, May 27, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: Circa 1945
    Reference No: 22541
    Case No: 1’217’520
    Model Name: Tri-Compax
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 287, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied with Universal presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The history of Universal Genève mirrors that of the history of the chronograph wristwatch. Founded in 1894 in Le Locle as Universal Watch, the brand initially began as a workshop assembling watch parts. However, by the early 20th-century the founders patented their first 24-hour timepiece. During World War I, they manufactured pocket watches and wristwatches for both sides of the war effort.

    Universal Genève’s Tri-Compax wristwatch was released in 1944 as a celebration of the firms 50th anniversary, as well as a successor to their first release of the iconic Aero-Compax introduced in 1936. Today, vintage wristwatches by the firm are highly sought after for their modern mid-century aesthetics and superb quality with offerings such as the Uni-Compax, the famed Polerouter designed by young Gerald Genta, and last but not least the present model, the Tri-Compax. Considered to be one of the most complicated timepiece made by the Geneva based watch company, the timepiece is named after its three complications: triple calendar (day, date and month), chronograph and moon phases.

    Absolutely well-preserved with a steel case that retains its strong factory finishes, the present ref . 22541 features razor sharp lugs that are unusually more elongated amongst its siblings. Still retaining its polished and brushed finishing, even the facets to the inside of the lugs are kept in crisp condition. Fitted with a French calendar, the Tri-Compax dial is not only attractive with crisp printing with blue accents, the dial has also aged into a delightful warm ivory hue that heighten its vintage appeal. This is a particularly fine example of a watch with a long and distinguished history, and fitting for all collectors who appreciate its horological past.

  • 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. 22541
A highly attractive and well-preserved stainless steel triple calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and elongated lugs and presentation box

Circa 1945
37mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for HK$327,600

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022