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  • Condition Report

  • Description

    View our Conditions of Sale.

  • Manufacturer: Universal
    Year: 1981
    Reference No: 885.105
    Case No: 3’755’301
    Model Name: Universal Compax
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Valijoux 72, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Gay Frères bracelet, endlinks stamped UW, max overall length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel folding clasp, stamped 4.68
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp 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 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.

    This spectacular Compax chronograph features a "Panda"-style dial white background and black subsidiary dials, a design similar to the legendary Rolex Daytona. The watch has an immaculate case, and shows no signs of polishing with the scroll twisted lugs completing the case design. The acrylic crystal is the original featuring the inlaid "U" symbol for Universal Genève typically found on the crystals at this time. The chronograph is powered by the Valjoux 72 movement, which is marked as the Universal Genève calibre 85. The chronograph is further enhanced by the lovely, original Gay Frères stainless steel link bracelet.

    Part of the “Ride the Wave” collection, it is preserved in superb condition with strong case proportions, crisp engraved numbers on the caseback and a flawless dial - presenting a rare opportunity to obtain an exceptional example of an iconic vintage chronograph.

  • Artist Biography

    Universal

    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. 885.105
A rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Gay Frères bracelet

1981
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
$12,000 - 18,000 
CHF11,200-16,800
€10,700-16,000
HK$93,600-140,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021