This lovely Lemania HS9 came in as a non runner recently for a spot of fettling and a service. These models are known as the HS9 after the engraving on the caseback. HS stands for Hydrographic Supplies (or Services), a government organisation tasked with the procurement of timepieces (and other devices) for the Navy. The 9 is the number of the specification that this watch was made to meet which was a wrist chronograph. Specifications 1 to 8 included normal wristwatches, deck chronometers, pocket watches and so forth. So this model is made for the UK government for issue to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. This one is a silver dialled example but they did come issued with a white dial (with no luminous compound) for use on nuclear submarines and black dialed ones were issued to the RAF. These Lemania models were supplied to many armed forces the world over and are one of the nicest issued military watches in my opinion. It’s powered by the beautiful manual wind, 18,000bpm Lemania 15CHT movement. The dial has everything going for it, it’s Lemania signed with the company logo above, below that is the T – circle logo indicating the luminous compound is tritium based (rather than earlier radium), it has the broad arrow above the 6 denoting it was government property and it doesn’t have the long dash of luminous compound at the six o’clock marker which is sometimes seen. The crown isn’t the original but the style does suit the watch so it’s not too big a deal.
This Lorenz chronograph was a recent arrival in need of it’s worn winding pinion sorting out along with a movement service. Powered by the Lemania calibre 5100 movement it’s a handsome looking watch. I’ve written about the calibre 5100 before so I’ll skip the history and just say it’s a very robust movement and because of this was used to power a lot of military (and military influenced) watches.
Although I’m still very busy right now I couldn’t let this one pass without featuring it, it’s a beautiful Sinn/Bell & Ross Bundeswehr type chronograph powered by a Lemania calibre 5100 movement. This movement was released in 1978, although Omega produced Lemania 5100 based Speedmasters from 1974 so the movement itself was around before Lemania made it available to everyone. Sinn, Fortis and Tutima were Lemanias biggest customers and they supplied the military with various chronographs based on the 5100. The reason the military liked the 5100 was due to it being a simply constructed but rugged movement, there were no fragile chronograph coupling wheels in this calibre, the chronograph is directly driven via a vertical clutch. This along with the nylon movement spacer blocks give it excellent shock protection, however despite its rugged construction from a watchmakers point of view it uses quite an antiquated type of pillar construction.