Universal - Game Changers New York Tuesday, December 10, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: 1971
    Reference No: 885.108
    Case No: 2'893'023
    Model Name: Compax, “Exotic Nina Rindt”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Universal Genève link bracelet
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp, signed JB Champion, stamped 5-78
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

  • 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. In 1936, Universal Genève released their first Aero Compax model and it is from this beginning that collectors today appreciate their timepieces, with names such as Uni-Compax, Tri-Compax, and the famed Polerouter designed by Gerald Genta. Today, Universal’s chronograph wristwatches are highly sought after both for their modern mid-20th century aesthetic, fascinating dial variations, and superb quality.

    The “Exotic Nina Rindt” Compax, like the present watch, has become one of the most desirable of the brand’s vintage chronographs. Worn by the wife of famed Formula One driver Jochen Rindt, the model was offered with a variety of dial configurations, similar to the present watch with the rare dark and light blue background and the more traditional silvered background with black subsidiary dials. The watch in time became known as the “Nina Rindt” for its cool and classic looks similar to the supermodel.

    This striking Universal Genève Compax is fresh to the market consigned by its original owner. While it is now nearly fifty years old, the chronograph remains in remarkably original condition with an unpolished case and well-preserved rare dial variation, which over time has developed a purplish hue with golden overtones. A long time sailor, the owner bought the timepiece as a tool watch for use during his sailing endeavors. Fully serviced in the recent past, it is a lovely example fitted with its original JB Champion link bracelet, and a rare opportunity to own a stunning and rare vintage chronograph timepiece.

  • 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. 885.108
An attractive and extremely well preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tachymeter and JB Champion bracelet

36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

$10,000 - 20,000 

Sold for $27,500

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293

Game Changers

New York Auction 10 December 2019