If you’re a watch collector hardcore, you likely love Universal Geneve. If you’re a bit of a watch obsessive, may be aware some of their movements made their way into watch assemblies under other names. By no means was UG the ETA of their era. However, some sales did take place. One of those was with one Louis Eduard Berthoud, creating beautiful Compur chronograph offered today.
Berthoud designed many of Universal’s complicated movements in the early 20th century. In short, he was one of the key players who allowed Universal to establish their reputation amongst chronograph producers. The Compax line evolved to be used by both the Royal Navy and RAF (as well as a few Dutch contracts). Watches designed to be retailed outside of Switzerland were given the Berthoud name. These chronographs were sold in the Netherlands, New Zealand, France, South Africa, and Iraq. Components and design remain similar to those Universal Geneve equivalents. The flat-bezeled, (visually estimated from seller photos) 35mm UG case incorporates an uncommon movable lug design. This Compur utilizes the cal 385 manually-wound chronograph with a flat hairspring design.
This steel example looks to be very well cared for. Its case shows light surface wear with a lack of hard knocks that defies its age. The dial is an honest 1940s original. There is light spotting, a slight fade across its scale, and weathering in the sundials. I would not restore it if someone paid me to. The blued steel are a particularly attractive touch. The movement, nearly 80, shows no signs of corrosion and is said to be running strong. It comes from a reputable retailer. No note of history or service history are included, though if interested I might suggest looking a further there.
Find this Compur here from Grafica Oro here for 3800 EUR.