A watch ahead of its time.
The Compax series of Universal Geneve are watches which every vintage watch collector should consider for his/her collection. The first chronograph patent by Universal dates back to 1894. Conventional early chronographs had a dial with two subdials keeping track of timed measurements. Due to developments in watch making, 2 subregisters became 3. Universal was a little ahead of its time and around 1940, when the dato-compax and aero-compax emerged on the market. These watches had a fourth subregister on the 12 o’clock index, for the aero-compax this meant that a secondary timezone was displayed with two hands, which could be adjusted by the crown which was added at 9 o’clock. However, the fourth register on top, on this watch still is a ‘dummy’. The functional movement was still under development but the watch was already sold without a functioning fourth register… What a crazy special gimmick for 1940.
Appart from the technique within this watch, the looks must be mentioned as well. This watch is simply beautiful. The gold watch case is in great condition and this makes the blue hands come out a lot more. The dial has a silver glossy colour which is still in full glory. We believe the printing on the dial has been refinished because the black paint of the numerals seems a little too thick for 1940 However, we do think the refinishing was done over a decade ago and very professionally, in a time when repainting dials was done regularly. Everything just looks and feels right.
Come and see this beautiful piece for yourself in our store. We are located in the Reestraat, Amsterdam.