Universal Genève Jumbo Compax
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
When thinking of air battles in the Second World War, the mind jumps to the fierce fighting of British pilots in the Battle of Britain. Or the cat-and-mouse missions the US Air Force took against Japanese kamikaze fighters, high over the Pacific. But the glory doesn’t belong only to these nations—the noble pilots of the Dutch Army Aviation Brigade (Luchtvaartbrigade) also saw a hand in the fighting, often faced with overwhelming odds.
During World War I, the Netherlands maintained an air force even though the nation was neutral. Throughout the 1930s, as the Third Reich rose in Germany and flexed its military might, the Netherlands rebuilt its air force. Though faced with a shortage of instructors, navigators, and pilots, the Dutch military mustered 176 aircraft fit for combat.
This ragtag assemblage of airplanes was comprised mostly of Dutch-built Fokker bombers and fighters, but also included 17 Douglas DB-8A-3N bombers made by Northrop. Their mettle was tested almost immediately, as Germany invaded the Netherlands in May of 1940. By the fifth day after the invasion, the Luftwaffe had wiped out all of the Luchtvaartbrigade’s bombers—some on the ground, but most in the air.
But the Dutch fought on, destroying 350 Luftwaffe aircraft—at a devastating cost, with almost all of the Dutch pilots losing their lives.
To honor their sacrifice, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands granted the Militaire Willemsorde (Military Order of William, the highest and oldest military honor bestowed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands) to all members of the Luchtvaartbrigade—living and dead.
Survivors fled to the United Kingdom, and two squadrons—the 320 and 321st Squadron of the RAF—were raised and served through the remainder of the war.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the Universal Genève Compax was military issue to the soldiers and pilots of the Netherlands armed forces. Though this particular Compax was not military issue, it dates from roughly the same period. The stepped case with faceted lugs (similar to those produced by C.R. Spillman S.A., who were also used by Bovet) is 38mm, large for the period, making it a clear choice for the modern collector.
But perhaps the most attractive feature of this watch is the dial, a handsome salmon color that glows in the light, offset by the cool blued steel of the chronograph hands. With its sturdy proportions and telemeter scale (a feature often found on military chronographs), it’s not hard to imagine it on the wrist of one of those brave fighters of the Dutch Air Force. Or perhaps on your own wrist, as you pilot throughout life’s adventures.
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Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
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Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Universal Genève Jumbo Compax