Lemania, circa 1960s. Fine, stainless steel military wristwatch issued to British military with single button chronograph and register.
Case: Two-body, polished and brushed, fixed bars, screwdown case back engraved: 0552/924-3305 H.S. 9 423X.
Dial: White with painted Arabic numerals and luminous dots, outer minute/seconds track, subsidiary seconds and 30 minutes register dials, the Broad Arrow above 6. Luminous black baton hands. Original Tritium dial.
Movement: Cal. 2220, rhodium-plated, 17 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating Breguet balance spring, single button set in the case band at 2 for start-stop and return to zero functions of the chronograph.
Watch was issued to the Hydrographic Survey of the Admiralty as HS9 Nr. 423X and followed with the British Royal Navy NATO stock Nr. 0552/924-3305
Diameter: 38.5mm 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. 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.
In the 1950’s, Lemania began producing timer watches for the British Navy's Hydrography Survey department. These watches featured a monopusher chronograph mechanism in the band at 2 o’clock. With this specific button, the wearer could start, stop and reset the timing mechanism of the watch. These watches were first issued with radium dials which were later replaced with Tritium dials marked with a T in a circle. In the 1960's, Lemania started delivering the watches with original tritium dials. Lemania continued to supply watches to the British Navy through the mid-1980’s.
This particular watch is fitted with it's original tritium dial which has some nice patina. The monopusher chronograph Lemania with a white dial is a must for any military watch collector. It is one of the rare issued silver/white dial as most Military issued watches across the World Militaries have a black dial. This particular watch is a great example with its original untouched dial and beautiful patina.
The Hydrographic Survey codes ranging from HS 1 through to HS 11: (Source: The Concise Guide to Military Timepieces 1880-1990 by Z. M. Wesolowski)
HS 1 Chronometer watch with detent escapement
HS 2 Chronometer watch adjusted for isochronism in five positions
HS 3 Deck watch adjusted for isochronism in a minimum of two positions
HS 4 Fleet Air Arm insrument panel watch
HS 5 Survey boat pocket watch
HS 6 Ship's chronometer with gimballed movement
HS 7 Watch calibrated for sidereal time
HS 8 Fleet Air Arm pilot's wristwatch
HS 9 Chronograph wristwatch
HS 10 Diver's wristwatch
HS 11 Standard issue wristwatch