Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jan 18, 2022

LOT 31

Universal Genève retailed by Hermès.
Ref. 224106, Uni-Compax, Stainless-steel

EUR 15,000 - 30,000

USD 17,000 - 33,900 / HKD 134,000 - 266,000 / CHF 15,600 - 31,200

Sold: EUR 26,000

Very fine and rare double signed Universal Genève / Hermès steel manual winding chronograph wristwatch with silver dial and 3 registers.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Universal Genève, Geneva

Model Uni-Compax, retailed by Hermès, Paris

Reference 224106

Year 1943

Case No. 1074834

Bracelet leather Hermès steel Hermès buckle

Diameter 36,5 mm.

Caliber 720 (by Valjoux)

Weight 44,39 gr. (approx.)

Signature Dial, case and movement


« Le temps lui-même, regarde l’heure à la montre Universal ».
Jean Cocteau

Numa Emile Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret founded their brand, Universal Genève, in January 1894 in the Jura town of Le Locle, where they were originally from. Universal Genève is mainly known for its chronographs and watches with complications. In 1917 the maison came out with their first wrist chronograph. It gained such a reputation that Jaeger LeCoultre commissioned it for many years to produce finished chronographs directly. The "Compax" model was introduced in 1935, the world's first chronograph wristwatch with hour and minute registers, with luminous index and hands proving they were meant to be "tool watches" in the era. In France, the official retailer was the Hermès boutiques, whilst on the US front they were exhibited in the Patek Philippe showcases – Henry Stern was the retailer in New York. The very fact that Hermès, a brand that has made and is still making history in the fashion industry, considers the quality of these timepieces worthy of bearing its name on the dials, speaks volumes. The brand found itself on the wrists of the greatest post-war artists such as Jean Cocteau, Eric Clapton, Colette and Maurice Utrillo.