Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The 1952 Lemania Chronograph


Friends hear about my interest in military watches and wonder what the heck. It does sound like an odd choice for one who has as little to do with anything military as possible, until you see the watches themselves. I see them as 50 year old little engines, powered by wrist movement, constructed with almost microscopic precision, and life savingly functional. So here is one of my favourites, a Lemania, exclusively once issued to a British Naval pilot. This design was never for sale commercially. It has a unique issue number engraved in the caseback, and the little arrow on the dial is a British 'broadarrow' that was applied to almost everything the Crown owned, from prisoners' overalls to a rock I once saw at a sentry post on London's Tower Bridge. Lemania supplied the mechanism (called the movement) for many famous brands such as Omega, but did some truly gorgoeus watches under their own flag for the military.

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