This week, the name of the game is rarity. A wide range of pieces that you just don’t see everyday popped up on the market this week, including a Universal Geneve Film Compax, an Abercrombie & Fitch Heuer in stunning shape, and an early, gilt dial Submariner with a twist of sorts. To keep things interesting, there’s also a desk clock of note. We’ve got a little something for everyone today, at price points both accessible and … otherwise.
Universal Genève Film Compax
After the Universal Geneve market first took off, everyone and their brother went digging through old watches in search of anything signed UG, which resulted in an influx of watches coming up for sale. A large majority of collectors chose to focus their attention primarily on the sport-cased Nina Rindt chronographs and “Clapton” dial Tri-Compaxes, as prices continued to climb at an unprecedented rate. But some were inspired to set their sights a little higher, and dug deeper into the back catalogs of the brand.
Doing so would have resulted in the discovery of the Film Compax – a purpose-built chronograph of note, designed to track the amount of 35mm and 16mm film being run through a camera during an elapsed period. Given how niche a task these additional chronograph scales aided with, the watch was produced in extremely small numbers, with only a handful of examples known to the market.
This ultra-rare UG is available on eBay from a Miami-based seller, and the bidding is up to $5,238 as we publish this (with a little more than three days left to go). Click here for the full listing.
Despite the watch industry’s focus on men, wristwatches effectively began as a women’s accessory and were originally seen by many as feminine. With that said, there were some in the early days that disregarded this notion, in search of functionality. The Braizilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont was one of those individuals, who began wearing a wrist-mounted timepiece from his friend Louis Cartier in 1904, allowing him to track the time while in the air, all without giving up control of his aircraft.
Fast forward roughly six decades, and examples of the Santos like this had become a mainstay of the Cartier collection. This manually wound example dates back to the 1970s and has held up quite well, with most of its case lines remaining decently sharp. Historians might technically classify this as a men’s watch, though given its size, I’d say it would make a terrific ladies’ piece.
What’s so special about this piece, and much of the Cartier lineup in general, is the resemblance it bears to the original Santos from the early 1910s. Its a design so pure and iconic that even after the passing of five decades, and now a century, the overall aesthetic remains largely unchanged. That’s the power of great design.
Just down the coast in Los Angeles, Wanna Buy A Watch is offering this example of the Santos for $4,500. Click here to see the full listing.