This is an extremely rare and fine example of the Universal Genève Aero-Compax model in stainless steel from 1945. The watch measures 38mm in diameter and 14mm thick, which is a very large case for the period in which it was produced. By comparison, Patek Philippe chronographs from the 1940s measured 33.3mm in diameter. These generous dimensions and the screw-in waterproof back give the watch a contemporary tool-watch feel with the charm of a 75-year-old timepiece. The incorporation of the Arabic numbers and luminous dial make this example all the more collectible.
The watch features a manual Caliber 285, 17 jewel movement, 18,000 beats per hour. The unique feature of the Aero-Compax model is an extra dial at 12 o’clock, which can be operated via the crown at 9. An unfamiliar observer might guess the dial at 12 is a second time zone; but in reality, that indicator displays a fixed time, intended to serve as a reminder to the wearer of the time of an important appointment such as airplane or train departure. The presence of the less common Aero dial gives the watch an exceptionally balanced layout.
Universal Genève was originally founded as the “Universal Watch” company in Le Locle, Switzerland in 1894. Since its inception, Universal Genève has produced watches of unusually high quality for their price point, and was particularly known for their eccentric chronograph wristwatches. The most collectible models today are the “Compax” variants such as the “Nina Rindt” or “Evil Nina,” the Uni-Compax, the Space-Compax, the Aero-Compax and the Film-Compax.
This timepiece is in excellent condition with a clean and sharp case, a beautifully aged dial, and a strong running movement. It is further accompanied by a Universal Genève Extract from the Archives, with matching serial numbers confirming production in 1945.
Manufacturer: Universal Geneve
Reference No: 224’114
Model Name: Aero-Compax
Material: Stainless steel
Calibre: Manual, cal. 285, 17 jewels
Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
Dimensions: 38mm Diameter