I wanted a Compax from the moment I read a Hodinkee feature of the “Nina Rindt” Compax in 2014. It resembled the king of all vintage chronographs (the Rolex Daytona), but added funky elements that called to me even more – the red accent on the chrono hand, the twisted lugs, and the Speedy-like tachy bezel. It was completely unique on its own, but also reminiscent of so many of the best design elements from similar watches of the era. My desire to find one was cemented – but desire alone doesn’t land a Compax. I searched feverishly for months, thinking that through sheer willpower, I would uncover a beautiful example that had laid hidden from every other UG-obsessed collector across the globe. It was a nice fantasy while it lasted, but reality eventually hit home and I realized there was simply a shortage of fresh-to-market examples. I didn’t want to buy one from a dealer, and that was the only channel where they seemed to surface.
And then, from the heavens, this Compax showed up on eBay from a pawn shop in Arizona. Fearing that somebody else would preempt me, I reached out immediately and inquired about buying it directly. Amazingly though, the pawn dealer wanted to let the auction run. At this point, I’d texted my closest watch geek friends and let them know that I was going all-in for this particular one. With 30 minutes until the end of the auction, I set my snipe bid and crossed my fingers. Watching the seconds tick away, I was shocked to see that it was still below my price (though not by much), and as the final countdown came and went, I soon realized that somehow I’d won. The fantasy was finally a reality.
The Fine Print
This example is in remarkable condition – among the best that I’ve ever seen. The patina is a spectacular creamy yellow and matches perfectly between the hands and the dial. The sub-dials are a vibrant white, and oddly enough, the dial lacks the word “COMPAX” above the hour counter – a feature only observed on a few examples for some reason. The twisted lugs are extremely sharp, and under the hood, it’s powered by the ever-popular Valjoux 72.
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