For all intents and purposes, Universal’s Tri-Compax was the business as watches went post WWII. Introduced at Baselworld 1944, the triple-complication (it’s often mistakenly assumed that “tri-compax” refers to the triple chronograph sub dial configuration) aviator’s offering was every bit as stylish as it was complicated. Derived from a pilot’s chronograph that helped win the war, the Tri-Compax incorporated a full calendar, moonphase, and chronograph within a vertically and horizontally symmetric dial configuration. It has been a true classic and lauded reference since inception, one which still feels perfectly designed nearly a century on.
Initial Tri-Compax references featured two dial configurations. The more common /2 variant featured a blue outer tachymeter scale. This /1 has long indices which extend all the way out to the chapter ring, giving its dauphine handset strong counterparts visually. The 36mm case incorporates Genta’s twisted lugs, first debuted on the Polerouter for UG. Its moon phase date hand alone was finished in a spectacular red, set against a metallic blue golden wheel. All of this is contrasted with a linen/brush textured dial background. All models featured a signed crown and UG’s now legendary calibre 281, a fully in-house, manually-wound, column-wheel calibre and one of the more technically sophisticated in its post-war era.
Simply put, this example is stronger than most. Its case is defined with a serial number still visible on back. The crown is signed. Lume is a deep gold but matched evenly across all applications. Pushers are correct. It is said to be running well and comes from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Linen Tri-Compax here from S. Song for 13500 USD.