Timeline Watch

Universal Aero-Compax

Edward White II becomes the first American to walk in space

1969 Universal Aero-Compax ref. 890100/01, rare 2nd generation 24 hours dial used by Astronauts and Pilots, big 41mm case. Venus 178 24 hour manual winding movement.

Note that the scale of hours is reversed, indicating the hours on the outside of the dial and the minutes on the inside. By a stroke of genius, it was decided to extend the hour hand which ended up being longer than the minute hand. Conclusion: it is very difficult to read the time, even more so with it being a 24-hour dial watch. Click here to see the first generation Aero-Compax

From the mid-1940s until the late 1960s, the most beautiful timeless and iconic Chronographs were created. These watches still feel contemporary and fashionable today.

Founded in 1894 Universal watches are highly disputed among collectors especially for their classic chronographs.

Shortly before the beginning of World War II Universal seized an opportunity to create two wristwatch models: the Compur (in 1933) and the Aero-Compax (in 1936).

In 1941 Universal inaugurates a new ultra-modern production site, built within less than six months to make the new Aero-Compax chronometer for pilot’s along with other chronometer models, three years later the Universal Tri-Compax was introduced at Basel Watch Fair for the company’s 50th anniversary.

Universal also collaborated with the French fashion brand Hermes and designed a series of chronographs named Pour Hermes. Incidentally, Hermes was responsible for being the major sales hub for Universal in Europe until the 1950s. Twenty years later, the company was one of the few to introduce the quartz movement, which led to automatic watches.

The most notable changes occurred to the 60’s Compax, with the use of a water-resistant-type case with screw back cases, as opposed to the early models with snap on case backs. These water-resistant cases had round pushers (early models had square-shaped pushers).