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Universal Geneve Compax Chronograph Ref. 22278

Original price was: $5,495.Current price is: $4,945.

Pre-Owned Universal Geneve 33mm Compax Chronograph, Silver Dial, Stainless Steel Bracelet, Ref 22278

This beautifully aged chronograph from Universal Genève has a silver dial aged to a cream color and dark manila colored lume, which nicely compliments its metallic blue hands. All lume on the hands and dial are intact. There is some aging on the dial near the sub-register edges, which is visible under magnification but does not detract from the otherwise attractive dial.  The size is typical for a watch of this era but 33mm will likely seem small for a modern watch, although with its large crown and high domed crystal, it still presents well on the wrist. The stainless steel case shows wear marks as expected in a vintage watch but it is free of large nicks or gouges.  The watch is attached to a vintage stainless steel bracelet, which is marked Zell Brothers, a Portland Oregon super jeweler who established a multi floor city block store that was an official retailer of all of the highest level brands. Zell Brothers also had many watches and bracelets private labeled with their name. The bracelet is marked “Zell Brothers” and “G. F.” with their goats head logo for Gay Freres the manufacturer, also marked steelinox and Swiss made with a date stamp of 3/62.  Overall, it is an attractive watch from a highly regarded manufacturer.


Only 1 left in stock

Categories: , , , , SKU: 210000004498

Additional information


Universal Calibre 281

Case Material

Stainless Steel





Case Size


Dial Color





6-Month Watchworks Guarantee

Crystal Material


Band Material

Stainless Steel

Box and Papers

No Box | No Papers

Band Type



Universal Geneve



Item ID0004498
Model #22278
Model NameCompax
Year Producedca. 1952
Serial Number127XXXX


Numa Emile Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret created Universal Genève in 1894 in Le Locle (Neuchâtel, Switzerland). Under the leadership of the son of the founder, the company changed its name to Universal Watch Co. Ltd. and thrived during the years 1930-1960. The watches were signed “Universal Genève” and distinguished by their elegance and technicality. Several legendary models appeared during this time: Compax, Aero-Compax and Tri-Compax (1930-40), Polerouter (1954) and Microtor UG 66 (1966).

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Universal was owned by New York-based Bulova, which expanded the brand’s influence into the  Japanese and North American markets.  After a difficult period in the 1980s and 1990s, Universal Genève released a series of watches with a new micro-rotor caliber that was based on the company’s earlier success with the Microtor. Although still headquartered in Geneva, Universal Genève was purchased in 1989 by a Hong Kong-based investment firm. Universal Genève continues to offer new watch models that are largely based on their micro-rotor and are primarily available in Hong-Kong, Singapore, Thailand, China and Malaysia.  Their vintage models are of course available worldwide and are highly praised and sought after by collectors of fine vintage watches.