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Eric Clapton Rocking His Universal Genève Tri-Compax (With Jimi Hendrix)

You probably already know that Eric Clapton was the original celebrity fake watch collector. And he's had some pretty important replica watches over the years, including the legendary platinum Patek Philippe ref. 2499 that we told you all about back in 2012 (when it pulled $3.65 million at auction, no less). We've also known all along that Clapton had the Universal Genève Tri-Compax ref. 881101 you see here, but damned if this isn't a killer shot of Slowhand, shooting the breeze with friend and fellow guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. The photo was taken at the launch party for Track Records, March 16, 1967 (Track Records was a label founded in 1966 by Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, managers of The Who).

The fake watch in question was first introduced in 1967 ?which means Clapton bought it the first year it came out ?and was powered by the famous caliber 281. Produced by the movement maker Martel starting in the 1930s, this is an important chronograph movement for a few reasons, but mostly because it came with with a triple calendar complication with moonphase display. The layout is rather interesting, with the typical three-register chronograph display punctuated by two windows for the month and day of the week, plus a register at 12 o'clock with the date and the moonphase.

The reference 881101 in all its glory. (Photo: Courtesy Analog/Shift)


The ref. 881101 is also a favorite of collectors thanks to details like its twisted-lug case, the black tachymeter bezel, and the panda dial with red accents. It's a very sporty watch, despite being so complicated, and it looks every bit the part of the 1960s classic. Luckily Clapton's good taste wasn't confined to just Patek Philippe and Replica Rolex.

Hat-tip to loudspeaker manufacturer Celestion for digging up and sharing this photo on their Instagram account, @celestionuk. Check out the original post here.

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