‘Batman’ 890101/01 Universal Genève Aero-Compax
In terms of historically significant flagships, the Aviator’s Compact Chronograph (Aero-Compax) sits right alongside the Polerouter as modern collector’s iconography. This mid-1960s second major iteration of the famed chronograph shifted focus from timing dual events to displaying a secondary 24 hour time through its very unique bezel. Though today appreciated mostly for its sheer beauty, this was a practical instrument designed to its brief in period.
The highly unique dial and bi-directional bezel design was such to allow the tracking of two 24-hour time zones. The design was surprisingly modern for the 1960s, with a visual boldness ahead of its time. That forward thought was mirrored in a period oversized case at 42mm with a screw back. It was oversized then for sheer legibility, but perfect today. The watch is powered by a Venus 178 24-hour, manually wound. The same movement also featured in the Breitling Cosmonaute 24. It’s quite the specifically design. I for one just love the extra nuance a 24-hour dial lends.
This model’s dial configuration is sometimes referred to as exotic, day/night, or batman, and is extremely rare. Its hour track has a very thin font and the lower registers have an additional bit of contrast provided by a blacked out lower half of the dial. For those wishing to dig a little further into the known research in this reference’s dial, check out this thread on Omega Forums. Known serial ranges for these are quite close between the last few examples sold at Bernardini and Sotheby’s. Knowledge here is scarce, but for myself and many others that only adds intrigue.
This example is in a strong overall condition. The rare dial has been very well preseved, and sports little to patina outside its tritium. That tritium has gone orange in age and is matched in the handset evenly. Its case has definitely seen a light polish but still has full lugs. The watch is said to be running well and comes from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Aero-Compax Batman here from Shuck The Oyster for 15500 EUR.