Universal Geneve Uni-Compax Chronograph Cal.283 18ct 1943
100% Genuine & All Original
All Functions Working Perfectly
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Very Well Cared For & Completely Original Example
A Truly Important Watch in Absolutely Wonderful Condition
Simply Stunning, Fully Original Universal Geneve Uni-Compax
Very High Grade Calibre 283, Chronograph Movement, in Sparkling Condition
Beautifull Previously Restored Gold-Honey Dial and Double Register Chronograph
Oversize 32mm, 18ct Yellow Gold Case, Excluding the Correct Crown
High Quality Burgundy Leather Strap and Plain Gold Plated Buckle
High-Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included
*VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
It is often a surprise to people outside the watch community that Universal Genève was once one of the biggest players in the Swiss watch industry. Since its early beginnings in 1894, Universal was always highly respected for being one of a few true Swiss watch ‘Manufacturers’, meaning ‘in-house’, producing complete watches with in-house movements. The company continued throughout the 20th century to deliver numerous important ‘firsts’ in watchmaking. Along with Audemars Piguet, Girard Perregaux, Patek Philippe and Rolex, the company also became world renowned for its innovation, craftsmanship and quality. This is impressive in itself, but when one considers the company produced mainly advanced chronograph movements and other ‘complications’, this makes Universal almost unique.
Some Universal firsts include:- It was the first company to produce a wrist-worn chronograph in 1917, when the notion of a timepiece worn on a wrist was still a novelty among gentlemen of a certain standing. In 1925 the company submitted some of the first patents for the self-winding watch, called the Auto Rem. In 1934: The creation of the double push-button Compur chronograph wristwatch, which was the first movement equipped with two column wheels and in 1944, the company presented the Tri-Compax. an hour-counter chronograph, with triple-date calendar and moon-phase display, which went on to become one of watchmaking’s greatest 20th-century achievements.
During the 1950s, Universal also became famous for its ‘Polerouter’, which was one of the first great designs created by the Swiss-born watch genius, Gerald Genta, at the tender age of 23. Genta later went on to huge success, working with most of the big names in the Swiss watch industry, including Omega, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.
The Polerouter family of watches was launched in 1954 to coincide with the first commercial flights from Europe to the US over the North Pole. SAS’s (Scandinavian Airlines Systems) direct flights to New York and Los Angeles were big news and marked huge advance for the aviation industry.
The Uni-Compax model was part of the Compax series, which featured chronograph functions and various dial configurations. The Uni-Compax Chronograph features subdials on the watch face that track seconds, minutes, and hours, allowing for precise timing and measurement. The layout of the subdials may vary depending on the specific model and era of production.
The incredible example of the Universal Geneve Uni-Compax you see here is simply stunning and has been previously restored to a very high standard. This watch carries the super high grade calibre 283 chronograph movement along with a 32mm, 18ct yellow gold case which is also, in outstanding condition.
At 32mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned crown, this would have been a smaller sized watch for this period. However today, given the popularity among ladies to wear gent’s watches, this could equally be considered a suitable watch for a lady.
The dial is beautifully previously restored, and in terms of condition, it is one of the very best we have seen on this model. In terms of design, it is beautifully symmetrical and well-balanced, and proportioned. The dial itself, in honey, contrasts wonderfully with the yellow gold case and original gilt ‘index’ hands and ‘baton’ hour indices with standard Arabic numersls at 6 & 12.
The dial may initially look quite complicated, but this is because it conveys a great deal of information. In actual fact, it successfully conveys a lot of information in a very simple manner once you become familiar with the layout. The dial carries the classic double register design, to which most of the top watch houses adhere. We are great admirers of this dial design as it is symmetrical, neat and attractive, yet it manages to convey so much!
The dial you see at 3, indicates the elapsed time while the chronograph function is running – in minutes up to forty five minutes and the dial at 9 indicates the constant running seconds, irrespective of the operation of the chronograph.
The dial carries a black outer tachymeter scale and a black seconds scale divided into fifths of a second. The tachymeter scale measures speed based on time travelled over a fixed distance, i.e. as a rangefinder – typically in a military application; especially naval gunnery and anti-aircraft artillery – or to measure how far away a storm is, by using the difference in time between the arrival of a flash of light and its associated sound.
It is signed with the correct period Universal Geneve signature at the very top of the dial along with ‘Uni-Compax’ at the very bottom of the dial.
This dial has been previously restored to a very high standard yet remains in remarkable condition.
The Caliber 283 movement is highly regarded for its precision and reliability. It features a chronograph function, allowing the watch to measure elapsed time with the use of additional pushers and subdials on the watch face. The calibre 283 chronograph movement you see here is in sparkling condition and has just been freshly serviced.
The movement has been thoroughly overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This means fully dismantling the watch and movement, ultrasonic cleaning of all parts, close inspection of the critical surfaces under high magnification and replacement as required only with genuine original parts, then careful reassembly and oiling, using all the correct lubricants to manufacturer’s specification, before final testing and careful calibration. This watch is therefore now running perfectly having been calibrated, tested and timed at +10 seconds per day! Please note, this timing is outstanding for any watch of this age and one of the best results we have seen this year and the power reserve is also excellent at 45 hours when fully wound.
The movement is signed ‘Universal Geneve’ and ‘Automatic’ with the Calibre No. 287, ‘17 Jewels’, ‘Swiss’ and the movement serial number 200245.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The high quality original Universal Swiss made, 18ct yellow gold case is of a sleek design with a thin bezel, sweeping lugs and a strong, press fit case-back. The case measures 32mm, not including the original unsigned Universal crown.
The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. Cleaned, carefully inspected and lightly hand-polished by our case-maker, it shows every sign it has been lightly used and well cared for and has no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye.
The inside of the case-back is all correctly signed ‘Universal Genève’ and ‘Swiss’ with the Universal brand and along with 18ct hallmarks. Externally, the case-back carries the serial number 1046201 and the case reference number 12323.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
A high-quality burgundy leather strap is fitted with a plain gold-plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain, padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1943.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
The high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included.
Payment and Delivery
If you would like to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and, unfortunately, out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges; however, attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those who happen to visit London on occasion, we are, of course, more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and hand your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no-quibble sale or return policy.
A unique example of a fascinating timepiece which will undoubtedly make an excellent financial investment, as well as be something wonderful to wear, treasure and enjoy! It could make a practical watch for regular or occasional use, as you wish and if it continues to be well cared for and regularly serviced, it will provide dependable service for many decades to come.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We, therefore, consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.