Introduction and a Universal Genève Compax

Thread: Introduction and a Universal Genève Compax

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  1. #1
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    Introduction and a Universal Genève Compax

    Hi, I'm a new subscriber. I have a few vintage watches about which I am gathering
    some information. I hope I can learn from the more experienced members and
    eventually be able to share some new info.

    This is my first example:

    Believed to be a Universal Genève Compax chronograph. The brand letters
    and "Compax" text are extremely faded but you can see them, specially when the
    light is at an angle. It works well, including the chronograph buttons.
    The reset button sometimes doesn't return the hands precisely to zero, but I guess
    may be due to age? Also, it runs out of power before 24 hours (I wonder why), so
    I wind it twice a day. Accuracy is good, far better than any lesser mechanical
    watch I remember in my past.

    Name:  universal_wus_front.jpg
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    At first I thought I might have a replica of some sort, but decided to
    open the case and this is what I found.

    Name:  universal_wus_285.jpg
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    Notice that you can't see the serial number in the movement. Can it be
    somewhere else? I didn't dare going farther disassembling the watch myself and I
    haven't looked for a watch expert yet.

    This is the case cover. It has some numbers on it but I have read that these are not
    of much use.

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    Well, what do you think? Have you seen a black-dial Compax?

    Thanks,
    Gerardo

  2. #2
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction and a Universal Genève Compax

    Hi and welcome.

    That's a terrific watch. The movement is genuine bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Universal 285 Compax and looks to be in nice condition.

    UG sometimes DID put the serial numbers on the case back, rather than the movement. So if the number 665214 is the sn, then its from about 1937 https://forums.watchuseek.com/f295/un...-a-179195.html - but await more educated views on that.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  3. #3
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction and a Universal Genève Compax

    Hi and welcome,

    Looks like a lovely watch..... I too am no expert on these UG's.... so from doing a quick search of the internet, there are a couple of things I would want some advice on.....

    As you ask about 'black dials'.... no... my search did not come up with many... saw a couple of later moonphase compax... but not one like yours! The dial on yours may (IMO) of had some work.... I say that for a few reasons... The dials on these earlier watches seem to show some age... the black on yours looks very vibrant... as do the markings/numerals. Where you can just make out 'compax' in the centre... could it be that is the original text that has be painted over... leaving the impression? I dont see why that text would wear off, but the outer markings (more prone to wear) are so perfect?

    Also, the application of the numbers looks a little off.... that may just be the photos? But looking at '10'.... I dont see why the '0' is lower than the '1'.... some dials would have that design... but I would have thought '11' would follow a similar principal?

    The last thing is the hands... all the ones I saw (9 to 10 pages down on google images) had thin stick hands on all the dials... matching the 12 hour dial on your watch. Eventhough the scallop design of the other 2 dials (seconds and minutes) match the main hands... Im unsure if these are original... I would guess these may be a later replacement?

    Those are my observations and Items that may need more research... like I say, Im not expert on these....

    If the dial has been redone... someone did a good job!

    Congrats again... very nice looking watch!

    Marc




    P.s. found this link... which you may have seen... as stated on this.. the compax was introduced in 1936... so yours may be an early example - if Marrick is right about the dating - which makes sense to me!
    Universal Genève
    Last edited by Sparcster; March 30th, 2012 at 15:22.
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  5. #4
    Member LouS's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction and a Universal Genève Compax

    Quote Originally Posted by gjuarezmondragon View Post

    This is the case cover. It has some numbers on it but I have read that these are not
    of much use.

    Name:  universal_wus_case02.jpg
Views: 760
Size:  94.0 KB

    Well, what do you think? Have you seen a black-dial Compax?

    Thanks,
    Gerardo
    Yes, I have certainly seen a black dial Compax - several black dial variations are documented. I don't know what you mean that the numbers are not of much use. 5124 is the reference, and the other is the case number, which dates the watch to 1936-38. The rest of the watch is all correct except perhaps one or more of the subdial hands. Very nice!
    Last edited by LouS; March 31st, 2012 at 01:05.

  6. #5
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    Re: Introduction and a Universal Genève Compax

    Thank you all for your comments. The idea that the dial might have been restored in
    the past is perfectly possible, since the watch belonged to a late uncle who was
    a jeweler and watch repairman, so he had connections in the trade. I recall he
    usually did not work on the dials himself and had a specialist to do it. This
    seems a likely explanation for the fading of the characters.

    The possibility of a restoration is further supported by the differences in the
    hands of the sub-dials, which I had not noticed so far.

    I thought it was a nice watch, but now with the information on the possible age
    it seems like something to keep in the family for generations.

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