Timeline Watch

Universal Aero-Compax

Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the Moon

1965 Universal Aero-Compax ref. 890101/01. First-generation Aero-Compax 24 hour dial, note how easy reading is this dial comparing to the first generation. Same movement as the Breitling Cosmonaute 24 hour, manual winding cal. Venus 178. Click here to see the second 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. 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).

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 pilots 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.