Universal Genève Compax – “Nina Rindt” circa 1968


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Universal Genève Compax – “Nina Rindt”

This is a Universal Genève chronograph, originally known as a Compax when it debuted in 1962, is now referred to as the “Nina Rindt” among collectors. The model was already a stunning sports watch, sought after by auto-sport enthusiasts, when it catapulted into a collector’s grail piece after it was photographed on the wrist of the famous model Nina Rindt, wife of Formula One driver Joachim Rindt. Nina and Joachim were married from 1967 until his death in a crash during a practice run in Italy in 1970. Joachim is the only driver to ever win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship posthumously. Nina was a Finnish model who was a style icon in the 1960s and 70s, in part because of her exotic looks.

This watch features a “Panda Dial,” in reference to its white dial with black subsidiary registers. It has a simple aesthetic which is sought after by collectors of vintage Rolex Daytonas, Heuers and UG. This particular example is one of the second executions produced, indicated by its printed-logo dial (as opposed to the applied raised logo) and blackened luminescent hands. Also in the later models, the sub-dials were executed with skinny counter hands. Nina’s personal watch from the late 60s was similar to this series.

In addition to the Panda dial, there are many of similarities between this Compax and the early Rolex 6239/6241 Daytonas with pump pushers and exotic dials. The steel case is just over 36mm, the dial features a triple subsidiary register layout, with registers for 30-minute and 12-hour counters, along with sweeping subsidiary seconds. The power for this timepiece comes from the legendary Caliber 72 manual wound chronograph by Valjoux, a movement renowned for its robust and accurate performance. The Valjoux 72 features a column-wheel with lateral clutch, 17 jewels, 18,000 bph and 40 hours of power reserve.  This movement was in production between 1938 and 1974 and powers million-dollar Paul Newman Rolex Daytonas. The watch was recently serviced in Switzerland and it runs well.

This timepiece features a strong unpolished steel case, an excellent unblemished dial, signed crown and original “Dot Over 90” Tachymètre bezel with wear consistent with its age and use as a tool watch. The black sub-dials are what really make this model pop: they are circular grained and set slightly into the dial. While they were black when the watch was originally made, they are turning “tropical” with an even gray-brown hue. The serial number on the case back is clearly legible. Everything is as it should be with this true classic.

We sell this watch with a new exotic, honey-brown alligator strap from ABP Paris. The custom strap features a rubber lining to keep the wearer comfortable from perspiration in hot weather. This is a great opportunity to own a rare collectible watch with an interesting story.


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