It’s a grey morning and I have already taken the dog out for a long walk. It was early in the day and there was a light mist hanging over the park, and as we walked, I noticed that the leaves had already begun to turn and fall off the big trees.
I instinctively looked at my watch, as if the time told the season. It’s a nice emotional desire, to hope that my watch would tell me the stage of a season, but instead it told me the time, and it also told me of time.
From the many choices I had at my disposal today, I decided to wear this vintage watch while walking the dog, for the weekend. It is a rare and old Universal Geneve (1940’s) Compur chronograph. And it is stunningly beautiful and quite pristine.
It’s the sort of watch I am sure Amelia Earhart would have worn. The watch was made for those people in those days. Adventurers, pioneers in aviation. The real pilots. The ones who had to read a map and had to do the trigonometric calculations so integral to navigation. Taking into account wind speeds and drift, and fuel. These days, the onboard computer does all that in the flightdeck….or on a tablet. But in those days, watches like the Compur helped these people do the mathematics.
And what makes the Compur even more special is that it was produced by the first watch making house to create a chronographic wristwatch. Universal Geneve (1894) invented the chronograph and in 1933 introduced the Compur, their first ever two buttoned chronograph, at the Basel fair.
The watch came with a movement was entirely produced in-house, making it a manufacture. The movement consisted of two column wheels which made way for the evolution from a single button chronograph, to the familiar two buttoned chronographs we are familiar with today.
At 35mm it has plenty of wrist presence (I enjoyed noticing people sneaking admiring glances at it on the metro) but it is also a mature and discrete wristwatch. It is a classic example of “less is more”, and it does this with taste and quiet elegance whilst sending one very clear message. I have seen time. I am time.
This is the sort of watch one buys to own and pass on. It becomes the imperative of the owner to do as such, because few things reflect history and the things that have happened the way a watch like this does.
I enjoyed the watch immensely and while I wore it, I did not miss my everyday workhorse: a Jaeger LeCoultre Squadra Reverso Hometime on a rubber strap. What the watch did impart on me was an honour to even temporarily enjoy such masterful craftsmanship that has shown its value and pedigree by simply surviving the very thing it was made to measure. Time.
In my younger days, I would have simply called EiT and bought the watch on the spot. Who knows, I still might. That is of course, if you don’t beat me to it!
Today’s Special: Spicy Marmalade Baby back Ribs Compur.
Inspired by The Universal Geneve Compur chronograph courtesy of EiT
Get your rack of ribs
Then smear generously in the Compur marinade.
The Compur Marinade:
Half a jar of marmalade
A can of tomato sauce
One Jalapeño pepper
Half an onion
A splash of smoke sauce
One bullion cube
Blend and then douse the ribs generously with the marinade on each side. Wrap each slab of ribs in tin foil. Then slow cook.
I put these in the crockpot. I’ll leave them there for about 4 hours.
Once they have done time in the crockpot throw them on a hot skillet and add salt sparingly, this helps lock in the flavours.
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