Universal Genève

    Universal Genève

    — clocks —

    ……………………………………

    Universal Genève

    1894

    Numa-Emile Descombes and Ulysee Georges Perret registered the name Universal at a Swiss watch-making center, the Rue du College, in Le Locle.

    1917

    The first Universal chronograph made.

    1918-9

    The company moves to rue de l’Arquebuse, Geneva (Genève).

    1932

    The “Compur” chronograph debuts – the first two-pusher system (allowing the wearer to start and stop the seconds hand, avoiding an automatic return to zero).

    1933

    The world’s first hour counter sub-dial, allowing timing on longer events, debuts. Previously timed periods could be no longer than forty-five minutes.

    1934

    The company was renamed Universal Genève.

    1936

    The “Compax” debuts – the first to combine two pushers and a 12-hour counter sub-dial.

    1937

    The “Medico Compax” assists doctors to measure patients’ pulse rates more accurately.

    1940

    The “Aero Compax” – for pilots – displays two time zones.

    1944

    In the company’s golden anniversary year the “Tri-Compax” is introduced.

    My chronology ends here because that’s the end of my intense interest in the company. They do several beautiful skeletonized wristwatches, but the very early Tri-Compax is the object of my affection. (You will see an 1960s model, but only to demonstrate why I focus on the earlier ones 🙂

    The Tri-Compax is a tripledate moonphase chronograph. It’s the moonphase dial that’s the most distinctive part of the Tri-Compax face. The disc therein, sporting a painted facsimile of the moon, makes one revolution each 29 days; a lunar month.

    What could be more attractive and powerful than having the entire cosmos on one’s wrist?

    The Tri-Compax has a 17-jewel signed manual wind calendar/chronograph movement (cal. 287), round snap back case (the watch comes in a variety of widths), a satin painted numeral dial, and four registers; constant seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour recorders, date, apertures for month, day, and phases of the moon, chronograph sweep seconds, dial calibrated for tachymetre.

    Here are some variants on the Tri-Compax:

    Stainless Steel, English

    Stainless Steel, luminescent hands

    Stainless Steel, Spanish

    Black face, Spanish

    Pink Gold, Thai

    18 K, Thai

    18 K

    18 K, movement

    In comparison, here are some predecessor (and one ancestor) watches:

    Compax

    Aero-Compax

    Aero-Compax, Roman numerals

    Aero-Compax, 1960s

    Some date information gratefully taken from the company web site.

    Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me . Thanks!

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