Lemania is hands down one of the most important names in the history of the mechanical watch. The brand, which was founded in 1884 by Jaeger-LeCoultre trained watchmaker Alfred Lugrin, quickly built a reputation for quality in their ebauche movements that won the brand award after award. The major turning point for the brand came in 1932 when it merged with Omega and Tissot to form the SSIH group. As part of this larger conglomerate, Lemania would go on to become possibly the greatest designers and manufacturers of chronograph movements in the world, producing examples for some of the industries greatest brands including, Omega, Patek Phillipe, Vacheron Constantin, Longines, Breitling, and more. Unfortunately for SSIH, in the course of a management buyout, Lemania separated from the group and in 1981 changed its name to Nouvelle Lemania. In 1992 Nouvelle Lemania was bought by Breguet, who continues to produce Lemania calibers that are still used today in the watches of numerous well-known brands. While there are those who call Jaeger-LeCoultre the watchmaker’s watchmaker, I think it is fair to think of Lemania as the watchmaker’s chronograph maker.
The Lemania 105 model was created in the early 1950s as a more budget friendly version of their high end and much adored chronographs. The Lemania catalogue from the day describes the model in a way only a Swiss marketer from the 50s could… “For sportsmen LEMANIA has designed a simplified chronograph, both robust and precise, at reduced price. A 17 Jewels movements, anti-magnetic, shockprotected, well adjusted, Cases in chromium with steel back, all steel, gold or gold-plated, with several models waterproof”. Regardless of the marketing, these watches featured the calibre 12XX family of movements which are part of the Lemania 2310 or CH27 family and even with the ‘budget’ designation are still as robust and important as the rest of the family.
The 35mm gold-plated steel case is in very good condition. There are no visible marks on the bezel and the lugs remain sharp with some signs of beveling. The caseback is in stainless steel and there are scratches on the caseback consistent for a watch of its age. The crystal is clear except for a small mark near the 12 o’clock marker. The 105 models featured both round chronograph pushers and square coffin style pushers with this example featuring the later.
The Dial and Hands
The white dial is in very good condition. The two-register layout features applied hour markers alternating between arrowhead markers and arabic numerals as well as an outer tachymeter chronograph bezel. The dial does show some light patina which can be seen in the close up photos of the dial.
This watch features a manually wound Lemania calibre 1275 chronograph movement. The watch runs and the chronograph function runs smoothly and resets back to the 12 o’clock marker. The service history is unknown
|Location||Singapore (shipping included)|
|Movement||Manual, Lemania 1275|
|Case Material||Gold Plated Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|