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  1. kbluddite Feb 4, 2021

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    Hi you guys. I’m a newbie on the list. I have my dad’s UG Aero-Compax chronograph, circa 1940’s, gold with a fixed gold wire band. It works, but probably needs some cleaning. I’m attaching some pix. I don’t think it was ever worn much. You all seem to have a lot of expertise in these areas: what can you tell me about this watch? I haven’t found one like it yet online to compare.
    Thanks a lot in advance!
     
    IMG_3843.JPG IMG_3842.JPG IMG_3840.JPG IMG_3839.JPG
  2. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Feb 4, 2021

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    Wow! A very very lovely case and dial. Hour and minute Hands are UG, missing Lume, but as there is none on the dial not original to the watch. This left the factory with gold baton hands. Might have been a custom add on by the dealer. I would get it serviced before wearing it much. The knot is a “savoy knot” ... you can search on it here in the UG forum btw. Here is a factory ref picture.
    54A0AA53-F237-48B3-AE15-E67BDE2B5832.jpeg
     
    Edited Feb 4, 2021
  3. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Feb 4, 2021

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    I am not a UG expert by any means but the printing on this dial looks quite poor. Also, the gold markers on top of printed lines appears odd, but I acknowledge that this could be normal for UG dials of the period. Below are a few other gold Aero-Compax examples. To me, all have more precise printing than the one above. Note, for example, "Universal-Geneve" and "Aero-Compax."

    upload_2021-2-4_10-17-32.png
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CIIsiAerVam/
    upload_2021-2-4_10-17-52.png
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CKrBr9KLkBA/
    upload_2021-2-4_10-18-26.png
    https://en.expertissim.com/universal-aero-compax-12277052
    upload_2021-2-4_10-18-46.png
    https://jewelry.ha.com/itm/timepiec...-geneve-14k-gold-aero-compax/a/171146-72052.s
     
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  4. kbluddite Feb 4, 2021

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    Good to know. The watch actually works. If you gingerly wind it, it will hold time for ~24 hours. Stop watch works fine, as do the smaller dials. It was only worn a few times, for dress. I am positive my dad bought it from a dealer, (or got it as a gift from his father, who would have bought it from a dealer). And, alas, I cannot wear it, nor my husband--we both have large wrists. Besides it would look a little odd on a woman--rather big!
    What do the numbers on back tell you?
    Thanks--
    PS I can send better pix if that would help at all.
     
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  5. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Feb 4, 2021

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    Been through a few rounds on these. I think the dial is ok. This particular model is all over the map. Perhaps I’m wrong but I’ve learned not to be pedantic with the Aero.
     
    Edited Feb 4, 2021
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  6. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Feb 4, 2021

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    the top is the SN ... see “Universal Information” sticky. The bottom is the reference . This probably has female springbars holding the band on which are very difficult for a novice. A good watchmaker could service the piece and put a leather strap on it for you. Personally black or blue matte alligator would kill. Don’t let them talk you into drilling the case for std bars.
     
  7. Tony C. Ωf Jury member Feb 4, 2021

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    You have much more knowledge than I on this topic, but if this is truly original, I'd like to know what UG's Quality Control people were being paid for...

    nsns.png
     
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  8. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Feb 4, 2021

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    I think we all would like to know that. :whistling:We know they used numerous suppliers. This particular model is thinly documented in Sala. I’m curious to see if this thread goes multi page.
     
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  9. pdxleaf Feb 4, 2021

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    Fortunately we are in a time of changing fashion. It's not uncommon and even trendy for women to wear larger watches, even larger than this. Of course no one should talk you into something that isn't to your taste. I mention this only to encourage you to consider wearing it, particularly with a leather strap as suggested. As it was your father's watch, that is quite special. It's a striking watch and would stop any watch enthusiasts you run into in their tracks. That would be a great conversation starter.

    Thanks for sharing it.
     
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  10. bgrisso Feb 4, 2021

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    To the OP, thanks for posting your dad's watch, very cool to have something like this in the family. No offense intended, but I would not call this mint, or even remotely approaching mint.

    The dial looks redone and as Larry pointed out, the hour/minute hands don't match the dial, and both crowns look replaced. All common enough stuff to happen to a watch approaching 80 years old.

    if the thread gets moved over to the UG subforum, probably get more people to join in the debate ;)...........Seems to happen a bit more with Aero Compax than other models
     
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  11. kbluddite Feb 4, 2021

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    Pdxleaf, your ideas are very much appreciated! And I agree to your view of the watch--it is quite beautiful. But my father was a pilot, and left me many of his wonderful pieces. He was not a fancy-type of man, and I am not either, so, with this watch, I am coming to this group to find out what I can, in order to determine what the watch's fate will be.
    And believe me, it is fascinating to hear all the responses. I'm not sure what to think at this point! But I am glad to hear whatever you all have to offer.
     
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  12. kbluddite Feb 4, 2021

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  13. jumpingsecond Feb 4, 2021

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    It's a redial. OP if you can open the watch and show us the movement you'll get a better grasp of the price and what's authentic in it.
     
  14. kbluddite Feb 4, 2021

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    Hi Bgrisso--Appreciate your comments and suggestions. I did not know that mint did not mean old but still in beautiful shape and working condition. I will be more careful using the term. In my father's defense, the watch has had one owner, my father, who would never have even considered having anything redone to it, simply because he was never inclined for that sort of thing. He didn't have his watches fixed if they needed it; he bought new ones. The age of the watch may be old, but it sat in my father's dresser for as long as I can remember until he died. From that point, it sat in my jewelry box until now. If it is a fake, then so be it. His dealer may or may not have been a transgressor--but I will defend my father's integrity on this one.
    I will try to find the UG subforum you mention, and move there. Please pardon my error in thinking this might be the place to post.
     
  15. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Feb 4, 2021

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    Ok ... I’m now in the redial camp. Odd markings under indices, registration and print quality. I say this with some trepidation after the debates last year.
     
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  16. bgrisso Feb 4, 2021

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    There’s no need to defend your father, no one is accusing him of anything, this is just a watch enthusiast hobby site. Mint is a vague term but generally means in same condition as it left the factory. Your watch is not fake, it’s simply had some of the components refurbished or replaced, as was common back in the day. This has a significant impact on financial value to collectors now, but doesn’t need to diminish its sentimental value and enjoyment.
    It’s not a problem to have the thread here, it’s just you will probably get more response in the sub forum dedicated to this brand.
    If the watch were mine, I would consider trying to find an original dial (not easy), or perhaps have the current dial refinished to a higher standard. I’m sure it needs a full service as well, if you want to use it. Either way, enjoy it :thumbsup:
     
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  17. jumpingsecond Feb 4, 2021

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    I wouldnt call it a fake. The dial was repainted. Probably the dealer sold it to your father this way. It wasnt a big deal back then as it is now to a small group of watch nerds (myself included) obsessed with originality.

    Your dad had great taste and knew universal was legendary before it became legend.
     
  18. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Feb 4, 2021

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    Dad was a pilot which totally explains the hands and why the dial was redone. These were working tool watches.
     
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  19. kbluddite Feb 4, 2021

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    Yeah, sorry about that. But it just seems weird to me that a dealer would repaint the dial or any of the other stuff if the watch was new and the dealer was reputable. That watch never saw the inside of a cockpit--way too fancy for that. There would be no point for my dad to alter it in any way. He had his working watches for flying.
    And, boy, I wish I could open the watch, as Jumpingsecond suggested--I would love to see the insides, just to look and poke around under the hood. That's definitely not in my wheelhouse though! I do appreciate the honesty from you all--I'm learning so much. Who knew, right?
     
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  20. Ravineman Feb 26, 2021

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    A well enjoyed watch. Very nice band too. Thanks for showing it.
    Love to see the inside of it

    Keep it in the family for another generation !
    Get it serviced, new strap and wear it.




    .
     
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