Universal Genève Compax, 1942
Oversized stainless steel, 46mm
Stern Frères dial 94 * 1801, silvered satin finish, large radium hour markers
It is interesting to realize that some of the most attractive and sought after vintage timepieces with a typical similar layout are from about 1942 as Patek Philippe (1518A, 96A, etc), Longines, IWC, Omega and other famous brands. And so is as well this very rare Universal Genève Compax 22531 in its 46mm case. Due to its aviator design, it has a breathtaking presence and is an eye catcher on any GTG.
The original, untouched dial is made by the legendary Stern Frères company, which can be seen by the examination of the back of the dial. The Galvano silvered dial plate with its 3 recessed counters with hand snail decoration and its vertical satin finish is an example of mastery dial making of the period. The magic of a Stern dial is due to little unique, yet highly important, details in manufacturer. Silvered twice by a galvanic bath, “décalque noir”, sapon for protection against oxidation and then the radium lume on top of the sapon. On the back we see regular aging due to oxidation, because the back of the dial was not protected with a sapon. The Lanzett blued steel radium hands were probably by the famous hand manufacturer Fiedler Geneva who was the sole supplier of Stern in this period.
By observing the 3 part case with snap back, one can say that it probably had never been polished: the sharp facets on the lugs, the sharp and strong bezel, the nice pushers and crown and satin finished sides. Each lug was crafted separately and then soldered to the case.
The more, the ¾ plate caliber UG292 gilt lever movement has survived in untouched and breathtaking condition, no signs of manipulation or oxidation. It has a beautiful screw monometallic balance with nicely hand finished screws and oil sunks. A sublime example of a good quality period movement with still some hand finishing.
The combination of the 46mm stainless steel case and the beautiful, rarely seen silver big radium dial plus the superb condition makes this timepiece certainly a connoisseur’s choice and a great addition to every high-class watch collection.
I welcome and will respond to your request on my address: firstname.lastname@example.org