1972 Universal Space-Compax diver chronograph ref. 885104/01, Valjoux 72 movement, 40mm. case.
By 1965 UG started using Valjoux 72 powered chronos and launched the Space Compax positioned as the Submariner version of the Compax. Thanks to these unusual pushers, screwed crown and pushers. The watch is advertised to dive up to 25 ATM; the chrono complication associated to the bi-directional bezel allows decompression timings.
The Valjoux 72 is a three register column wheel manual wind chronograph movement; which traces its origins back to the 1930s.
They used the V72 in the Daytona Paul Newman and many other high end watches. But also in some lesser known brands; expect to pay a premium price for watches with this rare and celebrated movement.
Alone, itcostsmore them US$500, often used as spare parts for more expensive watches. I go further, they can sign and turnan unmarked Valjoux 72into a Rolex, Breitling, Heuer, Jaeger and others. So, pay attention tothe identification.
Founded in 1894 collectors highly disputes about Universal watches, 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).