Universal. A Fine Stainless Steel Triple Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases and "Panda Dial"
Universal. A Fine Stainless Steel Triple Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases and "Panda Dial"

SIGNED UNIVERSAL GENÈVE, TRI-COMPAX MODEL, CASE NO. 881'101/01 & 2'335'140, MANUFACTURED IN 1964

Details
Universal. A Fine Stainless Steel Triple Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases and "Panda Dial"
Signed Universal Genève, Tri-Compax Model, Case No. 881'101/01 & 2'335'140, Manufactured in 1964
Movement: Manual, Cal. UG 281, stamped HON, 17 jewels
Dial: White, baton numerals with luminous accents, luminous hands, four black subsidiary dials, two date windows
Case: Stainless steel, black bezel, two round buttons in the band, 36mm diam.
Strap/Buckle: Associated leather strap, associated stainless steel buckle
Accompanied By: A Longines Wittnauer stainless steel strap and a Universal Extract from the Archives

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Lot Essay

This attractive “panda" (white dial with black registers) chronograph is appealing because of its style aesthetics, that are associated with vintage chronographs such as the Rolex Daytona. The Tri-Compax model notably had three sets of complications: 1. a chronograph including minute and hour register; 2. a complete calendar showing day, date, month; and 3. the moon phase. These three complications are why it received the “Tri” designation before “Compax”.

This "panda" Tri-Compax was famously worn by Eric Clapton during his time playing guitar with the band Cream. There are a number of photographs of him wearing it while performing. The opposite version of this watch, the "inverse panda" Tri-Compax, is now sometimes called the "Evil Clapton" as a result of its black dial with white registers and red accents. These watches are similar to the simple chronograph version, the "panda" version of which is known as the "Nina Rindt" after the wife of the late Formula One driver Jochen Rindt, and the "inverse panda" version that is known as the "Evil Nina".

The present watch is in remarkable and outstanding condition, with what appears to be an unpolished case. It is likely to be one of the finest examples of an "Eric Clapton" Tri-Compax in existence. Interest in 1960s-era Universal Genève chronographs continues to grow at exponential rates and the present watch is likely to give its next owner great pleasure.

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