Universal Genève Compax "Nina Rindt" 885105/02

Universal Genève Compax "Nina Rindt" 885105/02

When it comes to vintage chronographs, "Panda Dials" have been getting lots of attention on the collector market as of late. The nickname refers to a white dial with black subsidiary registers, and is a simple aesthetic choice which has become extremely sought after in the collector community, with variants (like "reverse panda"--that is, white-on-black) often being more desirable. Of course, a timepiece need not have an association with a famous historical figure to have the same great looks, but when they do it makes the story all the sweeter.

This particular watch, a 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.

His wife, Nina, was unquestionably the better looking of the pair, and one look at period photographs of her wearing the watch makes most men go weak in the knees...whether the cause was her honey-colored hair and high cheekbones or the chronograph strapped to her wrist on a wide leather strap is indeterminate...

We're not going to mince words. The triple-register "Nina Rindt" Chronograph by Universal Genève is the single most in-demand timepiece we have ever had pleasure to deal with. 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.

This steel chronograph is sized at 36mm, and wears similarly to early references of the Daytona. And the comparisons to Rolex's iconic motorsports chronograph don't end there. Like the most popular versions of the Daytona, the Universal Geneve features an absolutely lovely Panda Dial with triple subsidiary register layout, featuring registers for 30-minute and 12-hour counters along with sweeping subsidiary seconds. Like the early Daytonas, the power for this gorgeous timepiece comes from the legendary Calibre 72 manually-winding chronograph movement by Valjoux, a movement renowned for its robust and accurate performance. Only a handful of these special chronographs were made to begin with, and even fewer remain in existence today.

This particular example is in incredibly clean original condition, with an unmolested case, flawless dial, late glossy black hand set, signed crown, and an insanely rare original outer Pulsations bezel. This is the only example with a Pulsations bezel that we've ever had the pleasure to offer.

It goes without saying that this is a truly rare opportunity to get your hands on one of the most desirable chronographs from the golden age of sporting timers, at a price roughly equivalent to a "starter" Daytona.


Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown and pushers). Universal Genève Reference 885105/02. Valjoux 72 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition, with sharp bevels on the lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Case does show signs of use and wear, including slight scratches and tool marks throughout. Pulsations bezel is in very good condition with some minor wear at 12 o'clock. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and no major signs of discoloration or hand drag. Dial does show signs of age, including even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour plots and hands. Universal Genève crown. Universal Genève case back has some scratches and tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one JB Champion bracelet with Universal Genève-signed clasp and 18mm end links. Bracelet has some "desk-diving" scratches and scuffs but is in otherwise very good condition. Also includes two 19mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle

SKU: AS01666

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