In order to be thorough with my Universal Geneve 885103/02 serial number project, it only made sense to find out what happened to the piece that we see Nina Rindt wearing in images from the 1960s, and from whom the watch was given its nickname. First, a special thank you to Mrs. Nina Rindt for providing details on her watch, and allowing me to share images with the watch community.
The answer…Nina’s personal watch is still owned by her to this day. In looking at the images below of the watch, one immediately sees that the hour, minute and chronograph hands are not standard. Nina does not recall if the watch came originally with these hands, though she does not remember any service prior to one approximately 10 years ago, and does not recall the hands being changed at that time. We are left to guess why the hands are this configuration…perhaps prior to Nina receiving the watch Jochen asked the hands to be switched in order to make it easier to use at the track for timing? Maybe at service by a watchmaker that replaced them with what whatever extra hands were at their shop? Or perhaps, though extremely unlikely, it simply was built with these hands (this hand design can be seen on other Universal Geneve references of the era, including Polarouters/Polerouters, Tri-Compax, ). The serial for this watch, not easy to read, seems to be an early 885103/02, though lower serials have been seen with the “standard” hand configurations we see in the case number project.
If anyone out there knows of an image, hopefully in color to be able to tell when the chronograph hand color, from the 1960s that clearly shows the hands, hopefully in color to see the chronograph hand, please let me know. Here are the best images I have found of Nina Rindt wearing her UG 885103/02.
Nina’s personal Universal Geneve 885103/02 was given to her by her husband Jochen Rindt, the only Formula 1 driver ever to win the World Championship posthumously, on either her birthday or Christmas (she doesn’t recall which), and likely purchased in Switzerland. Those who have seen photos of Nina from the 1960s will notice that the watch is no longer on a cuff strap, long since replaced. And if you are really interested in the details…there are no box and papers. Then again, that only matters in learning more about the history of this particular watch as, since I know you will ask, it is not for sale.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the watch nicknamed after her late husband. Jochen Rindt’s personal Heuer Autavia 2446M (60 minute bezel and 3rd execution dial, worn on a bracelet) was stolen when he had his accident in Monza.