It seems like it happened longer prior, however truth be told it was just a year prior this past February that one of our opponents, though a well disposed adversary, distributed an article that appeared to send shockwaves all through the vintage watch gathering side interest. Maybe, however maybe not, I’m exaggerating things and it just influenced a tight cut of the market, yet it unquestionably grabbed my eye. The article I’m alluding to is the story on the Universal Geneve Compax “Nina Rindt” distributed by in February 2014. It was an enthralling article since it united incredible exploration, lovely photographs, a compelling story and, above all, a staggering vintage watch.
When I say that the article brought upon a craze, I imply that it provoked a flood in interest for the watch that is nicknamed the “Nina Rindt”. I sincerely think it exposed a watch that was so gorgeous yet so ignored or obscure to the overall community. Besides, in such a stream down style, the sister models like the opposite panda and the intriguing blue/dark dial in the family likewise acquired marvelously in notoriety and worth. As to last point, values shot up between 5-20x inside merely 10 months! The proprietor of the watch in the article, William Bright otherwise known as , even gave the sister, switch panda release, the epithet of “Malicious Nina” and it has everlastingly become some portion of vintage watch lexicon.
By now, you should wonder why I am giving recognition to another distribution’s composition. All things considered, most importantly, I discover the article an awesome illustration of the impact that online distributions, otherwise known as blogs, presently have on the watch gathering diversion/industry and how rapidly data courses. Indeed, people, the present scene exchanges data, and money, at light speed surely! Second, and more fitting to the upcoming writing, I’m a watch authority and the previously mentioned article really drove me to make a move. Along these lines, right away, how about we get to it and hop into the current week’s version of #TBT with some unequivocally now unreasonably expensive vintage: the Universal Geneve Compax “Detestable Nina”.
After perusing the article on the Universal Geneve Compax, I did what the vast majority do subsequent to perusing such data and combed through eBay to check whether any were available to be purchased. I can’t recollect precisely, however I appear to review an extraordinary dialed rendition in blue/dim yet it just didn’t have a similar allure as the included panda form. Notwithstanding, I was not to be prevented. As I am somebody who much of the time awakens in terrain Europe, I chose to utilize the initial 5-10 minutes of my every day present morning timer dimness on check eBay to check whether my kindred Americans had recorded anything new. All things considered, under about fourteen days subsequent to perusing the article, my initial daytime looking through paid dividends.
The UG Compax I discovered one morning had been recorded for under 40 minutes when I unearthed it and was a truly decent looking, later execution, invert panda. I did around 10 minutes of pictorial comparison research on the piece to guarantee it looked right and everything was seemingly ok. It was recorded with a get it-now of $3,000 or best offer, so I took a full breath and tossed in an offer south of this. Incredibly, the reaction was quick; my offer was accepted.
Roughly seven days after the fact, I got the Compax and beside it being on a really disgraceful lash, some residue under the precious stone, somewhat “grimy” registers and showing proof of an off base lower pusher, the watch looked extraordinary. It ran well and showed profoundly adequate wear for a watch from the last part of the 60’s that had, indeed, been worn.
So, why have I picked just currently to expound on the Compax? All things considered, I figured it is fitting to give an insider’s tribute concerning why this watch is unique, yet in addition to give an equally adjusted arrangement of contrasts about a portion of its different characteristics. Ultimately, I figured it is useful to give some more photographs of a watch that many are seeking.
I’m not going to talk much about the historical backdrop of Universal Geneve as it has been archived somewhere else yet it does the trick to say that the company was liable for making some stunning developments in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Compaxes of these periods are the stuff of legend and are regularly considered as “poor-man’s Pateks”. When the 1960’s hit, however, Universal Geneve, unfortunately, was confronted with similar expense pressures as numerous other Swiss brands. Prominently, Martel, their essential development provider, was presently don’t part of UG. This drove UG to search outside for developments and for a moderately short time, they picked the omnipresent and dearest Valjoux 72. On the plan side, however, everything was surely not lost as the company made some essentially dazzling pieces, for example, the Space Compax, the Tri-Compax, Aero-Compax, Uni-Compax and the Compax you see on these pages. While I consider prior UG’s to be undeniably more sensitive in execution with their regularly enormous, yet thin, cases and point by point dials, the last part of the 60’s and mid 70’s UG’s took a chosen move in the direction of liveliness versus the models recently referenced. In particular, as I would like to think, the company utilized shading combinations that frequently make me can’t help thinking about how they went generally unnoticed by big-time gatherers until as of late. With such a lot of kitschy offensiveness continuing during that period, how a company in relative unrest, for example, UG figured out how to put out a portion of its best, exemplary looking pieces is past me, yet search on pictures for a portion of the models I referenced and in case you’re not quickly pulled in, you probably require a visit to an ophthalmologist. Sadly, this time of significance, similar to that of most geniuses, was not bound to last as UG at that point began a sluggish decrease and started to deliver some genuinely terrible garbage prior to subsiding into close extinction.
In returning to the Compax on these pages, we should separate a couple of points of interest. What we have is a “fundamental” 3-register chronograph sitting inside a 36mm treated steel case. It includes a screw down case back with the chronic number stepped outwardly of the back. Inside the case sits a marked, unadjusted section wheel Valjoux 72 development. Thus, how about we pause for a minute to examine this. On the off chance that we halted in the wake of perusing these earlier three sentences, we’d be left with the conviction that we’re managing another me-too chronograph from the time frame. Truly, there were scores of watch companies utilizing comparably measured cases at that point and they were likewise throwing in a Valjoux 72. What makes the Compax even less compelling at this stage is the way that the development is unadjusted. Hell, Rolex was changing the 72 to three positions and even the moderately specialty Enicar was likewise changing the development. So for what reason is there such a lot of quarrel? Indeed, we should simply say that the watch isolates itself from the pack in the looks division; some may even say it gives a large number of the Daytonas a strong whipping.
The Compax style characterize genuine differentiation yet layer in limitation; there’s small going on here that is unnecessary. On the off chance that we start outside, we get a case shape that quickly reviews Omega’s Speedmaster Professional with its lyre hauls. For the “situation” of the UG, however, the carries come off surprisingly somewhat unique free from the bezel as opposed to streaming off of the case sweep. All things considered, they don’t help structure crown monitors as in the Omega. It’s by one way or another a “harder” look that is likely improved because of a liberal 19mm haul width versus 18mm on a comparably estimated Carrera. Moving over to the business side, we see a couple pleasantly measured siphon pushers and, fortunately, a very much estimated and marked crown. I’ll stop here to comment; I own a reasonable number of V72 chronographs and there isn’t anything more baffling than experiencing one with a little crown. Winding an all around cared for V72 is perhaps the guiltiest delight and an appropriately measured crown is vital. UG does it incredibly well and trails just Heuer (the 2447 Carrera merits possessing for that experience alone… trust me) in its execution in this office. Sorry Rolex, yet I find that fastening the crown and out on a vintage Daytona to be finicky; it ruins the occasion! Hopping back in, I referenced that the crown is endorsed with a coordinating symbol that is additionally found on the dial. It’s a decent detail when compared to such countless chronographs of the day that utilized unsigned crowns.
Moving on to the bezel, we have a Tachymeter scale that includes an aluminum decorate set into a pure ring that overhangs the case. It’s properly measured and contains a detail that authorities love: the speck more than 90. Thus, similar to the hauls, we have another closeness to Omega’s Speedmaster. Before we move onto the main part, I’ll notice that the gem is a pleasantly domed acrylic undertaking that is additionally of wonderful thickness. It doesn’t detract from the piece or truly dark or twist any subtleties with its shape. In case you’re still installed with my commentary, you’ll note that with the Compax, all that is by all accounts about balance.
Now, we come to the dial of the Compax. It’s hard to articulate why I, and endless others, discover this dial so alluring yet I continue to come back to the word balance. While I discover the “Nina Rindt” panda form delightfully obvious and fresh, I locate this converse form marginally more saved, yet no less compelling. What we have is a fabulous matte dark dial with white registers that are somewhat depressed into the dial. Since this is a later execution, the UG emblem and name are imprinted in white on the dial versus the prior variant with an applied metal “U”. By and by, I like this variant as it is somewhat less elaborate and sportier yet both are pleasant. When taking a gander at the actual dial, it’s elegantly finished with white painted stick hour markers and brief track that contains brilliant pips outside of every hour. The sub-registers contain nearly workmanship deco like text style numbers in dark that are organized with the base side of the number looking out regardless of the position. It’s cool and quite not the same as most different chronographs, which contain numbers printed “left to right” or in discernible design right around the register. One thing I like about the Compax is that there could be no other composition on the dial clarifying water opposition, number of gems, and so on It likewise does not have any further estimation scale as a part ring, which truly keeps things so spotless. All things considered, it’s an entirely planned dial, yet what’s a dial without incredible hands?
The hands: this, perusers, is the place where the Compax genuinely procures its keep. The principal thing to see is the red focal chronograph hand. So many of the converse panda chronographs I own or see stay with a focal chronograph hand that is of similar tone as the hour and moment hands. For reference, see the opposite panda Gallet here. While this is a satisfying course of action, the fashioners at UG decided to embellish the Compax with a brilliant red chronograph hand. Thank heavens they did this as it adds strong differentiation to an intense dial; it truly pops! This hand, with a little piece of lume, makes the watch and keeping in mind that the panda form generally succeeds, as I would see it, because of its three fascinating dark focal hands, the opposite panda makes its imprint by offering this unobtrusive yet capturing contrast.
When discussing the focal hour and moment hands, they’re chrome plated with a flimsy stripe of lume and made in a fat lance like shape. They’re excessively fat for the dial size, yet just nearly. They push the limits of what ought to be found inside a generally little watch and that, as far as I might be concerned, additionally assists with characterizing this as not quite the same as different chronographs of the day. In the event that you can imagine hands from the Daytona or Carrera of a similar time in the UG, I think you’d quickly concur that the impact would not be close to as one of a kind or alluring. The equivalent can be said about the sub-register hands. They are burly square shapes done in dark, again with lume, and are by and by excessively substantial for the dial. I lean toward these to the prior executions that element needle hands because of their one of a kind style. They’re somewhat venturesome yet compliment the focal hands and topic of the dial.
Before we get to discussing how the watch wears, I’ll bring up something that alludes back to the purchasing experience when I revealed to you that everything was seemingly ok. At the point when I made the proposal on eBay and it was acknowledged, I headed out to prepare for work and during an espresso, I did some more taking a gander at the merchant’s photos. Out of nowhere, I got that pit of the stomach, heart in the throat feeling as I saw an expected issue: “Compax” was not on the dial. I hopped over to the web and looked into pictures of comparative pieces and discovered nothing without the Compax on the dial. Afterward, when I acquired the boldness, I asked gatherings and some different specialists out there. I was enlightened a ton of things regarding potential assistance dials, redials, in any case, I was told by more than one that they had seen a few of these and that some later executions were transported along these lines: no rhyme, no explanation, and simply one more variety from those fierce occasions. In this way, my apprehensions were at last eased however it showed me a truly significant exercise about disregarding subtleties, particularly the apparently clear ones!
So, we should discuss wearing the Compax. This is the place where I raise what may appear to be a doubter. I should eliminate any confusion air here; the Compax is anything but a major watch. Maybe the Nina adaptation wears bigger because of a white dial; don’t individuals say that everybody glances greater in white? The Evil Nina genuinely wears like a 36mm watch. Presently, as far as I might be concerned, it works with my little wrists and as I generally say, 36mm was fine for men of all sizes up until the last 10-15 years. Furthermore, how about we move something different; the all-powerful vintage Rolex Daytona is likewise not an enormous watch. It’s 37mm and, without a doubt, it likely wears bigger because of its beefier carries and the run of the mill heavy shellfish wristband, however it isn’t huge similarly as, say, a Speedmaster. For your reference, I’ve incorporated a fix of the Compax close to a companion’s Daytona and furthermore close to a period Carrera. You can see that the Compax lines up well indeed.
As far as other wearing notes, I’ve combined this watch with various lashes. I initially had it on a white NOS Tropic that looked astounding and fairly race-roused in a Jim Clark kind of way, yet it simply didn’t compliment the watch. I likewise tossed it on a red custom calfskin rally lash by Giuliano. It’s an excellent lash, yet it’s likely best utilized for extraordinary events and I’ve not actually sorted out those occurrences! Along these lines, at last, I’ve chosen utilizing an earthy colored 19mm model Horween lash from . This one, as far as I might be concerned, does so well on the grounds that the solitary shading the lash truly expands on the watch is the blurring lume. Along these lines, it truly permits the dial to stick out and I think it really helps the watch wear somewhat greater. In this way, I’ve done the watch adaptation of wearing earthy colored shoes with a dark belt, yet it by one way or another works!
I consistently end #TBT with purchasing notes and I will not veer off this time, yet it is a hard conversation to lead. There just aren’t a considerable lot of these Compax pieces around and less so available to be purchased. I’ve seen exactly 2 of these models available to be purchased since I bought mine and they were recorded on and . Pricing currently is by all accounts solidly in the $10K territory, which actually appears to be totally nuts to me. I don’t have an incredible vibe for what condition means for valuations as the example set of sold pieces is so little however one would believe that it would come into play. I additionally can’t separate between valuing on prior and later executions. Keep in mind, the distinctions are basically identified with an applied logo versus printed and diverse sub-register hands. Most express that the later executions are at present collecting more courtesy because of the intensity and liveliness identified with the referenced contrasts, yet I imagine that the market is ravenous to such an extent that it would eat up any examples. In this way, pieces are hard to track down most definitely and I’d likewise say the equivalent regarding pieces like hands, dials, crowns, pushers and bezels.
This is truly not a watch that I would purchase as a task except if you have the parts fixed up or are genuinely satisfied with tolerating significant deviations. I ended up seeing the discretionary Gay Freres globules of-rice wristband for this watch on eBay around fourteen days after my buy from a similar dealer. He was savvy enough to isolate the 2 to boost benefit. Moronically, I underbid on that and it sold for about $650; I haven’t seen another. I’d securely wagered the arm bands are worth well more than $1,000 now. In conclusion, you can in any event take comfort in the way that the Valjoux 72 development is generally common and can be overhauled. The scaffold is marked so investigate. I would likewise check the case back to check whether the chronic number can be perused. This can help date the watch and give some more guarantee. Inside case back is something else to check, as the UG image will be available. As usual, I recommend you look for counsel prior to purchasing which is the thing that I ought to have done! There exists an UG gathering on , which is an extraordinary, responsive community: simply guarantee that you give pictures!
I do trust you’ve appreciated this story and audit of the Universal Geneve Compax “Evil Nina”. It’s a stunning looking watch from a company simply entering its final breaths. I guess one motivation behind why I like vintage observes so much is that because of their mechanical nature and their coming from a period before CAD and computers, you can detect the measure of human inclusion. It entrances me that the absolute best work, in any event plan astute, was finished by UG during a period of misery, which isn’t not normal for what occurs in human expressions. On the watch you see here, I got fortunate which happens once in a while. You actually never know, yet I guess persistence had something to do with it. As usual, let us know your input and don’t hesitate to post photos of your UG pieces; we could all utilization more pictures as a resource!