Universal Genève

Universal Geneve Chronograph Compax ref. 885103/02 "Nina Rindt" (c. 1965)

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This watch has achieved legendary status, with many collectors holding it up to the Rolex Daytonas of the era, but as its more attainable underling. While this watch has yet to reach Newman-level pricing, the "Nina Rindt” has propelled a dedicated sub-set of collectors into a fervent hunt over recent years.


To say these watches are highly collectible is an understatement. And this is for several reasons. It goes without saying that these iconic watches are technical power-houses running on a Caliber 82 (a modified Valjoux 72, the movement also used in early Daytonas), and they also possess an undeniable beauty with their creamy panda dials. But perhaps most exciting is the story behind the watch...


As legend has it, the 885103/02 was gifted to international super model, Nina Rindt, by her husband, the German-born Formula 1 Champion, Jochen Karl Rindt. Nina went everywhere with her husband, and was often photographed trackside timing his laps with this chronograph on her wrist. 


Tragically, Jochen Karl Rindt, died in a crash during a practice session at the 1970 Monza Grand Prix, leaving behind his legacy as one of the greatest F1 drivers to have graced the sport. As often happens with the untimely passing of such iconic figures, stories, and folklore are left in their place, and to the delight of collectors, sometimes these stories are enshrined in meaningful objects or symbols. This Universal Geneve Compax 885103/02, now referred to as the "Nina Rindt", is one such symbol.


Gorgeous panda ivory colour dial with no blemishes. The lume on the original hands and on the hour markers have an even and uniform patina. The reference, and serial numbers can clearly and crisply be seen on the caseback. Often these numbers have been faded or polished out. The serial number dates the watch to a production year of 1965. 

Some light wear can be seen on the original techymètre bezel, standard for watches of this age. The hands are in overall excellent condition with just a small amount of white paint flaking off of the hour sub-register hand.  

The previous seller identified the watch as a very rare transitional model, which were notably known to pull from a combination of Mk1 and Mk2 parts, allowing the watchmaker to integrate leftover pieces into its rolling production runs. And while there's no way to know with certainty, since these watches have been seen with numerous dial and hand combinations, the 241XXXX serial of this watch aligns with such transitional models. In this example, you can see a unique combination of skinny Mk1 sub-dial hands w. the Mk2 dial. If the Nina Rindt is a rare watch, then the Nina Rindt transitionals are uber-rare. 

The watch comes with Gay Freres steel bracelet of the epoch, along with extra links to fit almost any size wrist. Also, included in the package is a vintage Universal Geneve branded presentation box.


The watch was fully serviced by my personal watchmaker. The service was completed in October of 2022, and is running as it should.

Brand: Universal Genève
Model: Chronograph Compax 885103/02 "Nina Rindt" 
Year of production: 1965
Reference: 885103/02
Serial case: 2412301
Case: Steel, 36mm excluding crown
Case thickness: 13mm including plastic glass
Case back: Screw-down
Bezel: Steel+aluminum w. graduated tachymètre scale
Glass: Plexi
Dial: Panda Ivory color, three sub-dial counters 
Movement: Caliber Valjoux 72 (17 Jewels), manual wind
Bracelet: Gay Freres steel with deployant buckle
Box: Vintage Universal Geneve branded presentation box
Service History: Full service complete October, 2022

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