Lemania Tropical Black Dial oversized Chronograph Steel Lemania, with 15TL. Made in the 1940s. Fine, stainless steel, a wristwatch with oval-button chronograph, register, and tachometer.
Case: Three-body, polished and brushed, stepped bezel, concave lugs, snap-on case back. Oval button chronograph pushers
Dial: Black with luminous Arabic numerals, outer 1/5th seconds track with 5-seconds Arabic markers, outer tachometer scale which has lost its paint. Subsidiary dials for the seconds and the 30-minute register. Luminous sword hands. Dial has turned a Tropical brown.
Movement: Caliber 15TL, 17 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, self compensating blued steel Breguet balance spring, index regulator.
Dial, case and movement signed.
Case nr: 615XXX Movement: 421XX
Diameter: 37.8 mm Thickness: 14mm
Alfred Lugrin was born and raised in Switzerland in the mid-19th Century, and early on started working for various watch companies designing chronograph movements. He founded his own company, called A. Lugrin S.A. in 1884, and enjoyed much success. Known for his innovative chronograph movements, Albert patented one of the movements (Brevet No. 359) and started to win awards for his designs.
In 1918, the Lemania Watch Company was created, and soon after in 1920 Alfred’s son-in-law Marius Meylan became the managing director. In 1932 Meylan purchased the Lemania company and would continue to market watches and movements under that name.
One of Lemania’s most well known movements was adopted by Omega for their chronographs, chosen for its shock protection and anti-magnetic balance spring. Introduced first in 1946 as the caliber 321, Omega went on to use this legendary caliber in its Speedmaster models. With the international recognition from the Omega Speedmaster as the first watch worn on the moon, Lemania’s chronograph movements began to appear in watches produced by Audemars Piguet, Breitling, and Patek Philippe, among others.
Over the next several decades, the ownership of Lemania changed hands several times, finally becoming part of the Swatch Group through their purchase of Breguet. Their movements are still used today in many Breguet watches.
The present watch is a fine example of a Lemania chronograph with a Lemania-signed dial. An incredible Tropical dial combined with a very large crisp steel case, and beautifully aged luminous numerals and hands. This chronograph is a well-preserved specimen of the Lemania 15TL which was also fitted in Omega chronograph as the mythical 33.3. This watch will appeal to both novice and experienced watch collectors.