Universal Geneve Compax "Nina Rindt"
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Universal Geneve Compax "Nina Rindt"

Why We Love It

If you’ve been sniffing about the watch space the last five years or so, chances are you saw the meteoric rise of the Universal Genève Compax “Nina Rindt.”  You’ve most likely heard the story behind the watch — donned by the Finnish model Nina Rindt, who wore it trackside whilst her husband, Jochen Rindt raced — and seen the black and white pictures of Mrs. Rindt and her panda-dial chronograph on a leather Bund-style strap.

But at the end of the day, one of the things least discussed is the merits of the watch itself.  To begin, the 36mm steel case, which while weighing in on the smaller side by contemporary standards, wears like a dream, its twisted lug design and black tachymetre bezel calling to mind the iconic look of the Omega Speedmaster.  Under the hood, beats the Valjoux 72, likely one of the most venerated movement outside of the Caliber .321 by Lemania.

To top it all off, you have the stunning aesthetics: the soft eggshell white dial is punctuated with three black sub-dials and a shining applied logo at 12:00; the luminous Dauphine minute and hour hands provide balance and stability, allowing the blued-steel chronograph sweep hand to stand out without feeling overblown. 

The best part is that piece is, well, broken in.  While pristine examples are knee-buckleingly beautiful, they have grown so valuable that they’re hard to enjoy.  This piece shows some honest wear — the dial and sub-dials have some wear and the luminous material on the hour markers has been removed (likely to stem flaking or degrading lume), and the bezel is missing some paint — but wears it well.  It’s the kind of watch you could wear trackside without feeling bad about it.   

We think Nina would want it that way.

The Story

This Universal Genève chronograph originally known simply as a Compax, is now referred to as the "Nina Rindt" among collectors. Already a stunning vintage sports watch, this model was catapulted into the collector's periphery after being worn by the famous model Nina Rindt, nee' Nina Lincoln, who was married to the legendary Formula One driver Joachim Rindt in 1967. Although Joachim died in a crash during a practice run for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Italy in 1970, he went on to win the Formula One World Driver's Championship posthumously, which has never happened before or since. 

These spectacular chronographs are exceptionally rare (one for every 100 Paul Newman Daytonas is probably a reasonable guess) and the few that have come to market in the recent past are well known.

Details

SKU: AS02691

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown and pushers). Reference 885103/02. Valjoux 72 Manually-Winding Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: The watch is in good condition over all, with some wear and signs of aging evident. Stainless steel case is in good condition, showing some signs of previous polishing. The panda dial shows various spots of degradation and the luminous material has been professionally removed. Handset is in good condition but show some wear. Aluminum tachymetre bezel insert has a few chips in the paint. Screw back still bears case number and reference. UG-signed crown.

Includes one 19mm blue leather strap with blue stitching.

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