Lemania Cal.15TL Black Dial Chronograph 18ct Pink Gold c1948 40mm
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Well Cared and Lightly Used For Example
Beautifully Restored Black Twin Register Dial
Very Large 18ct Pink Gold 40mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Crown
Legendary Lemania Cal.15TL Movement, Serviced and in Tip-Top Condition
New, High-Quality Black Lizard Strap and Gold-Plated Buckle
Hardwood Presentation Box Included, as Shown
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Lemania is a name familiar to vintage watch collectors, not for watches released under its own signature, but for its contribution to chronograph watch manufacture for many other brands. For example, the Caliber CH27 & CH27 C12, better-known as the Omega Caliber 320 & 321, would go on to be used in the Omega Speedmaster — the first watch worn on the moon. The ancestor of that legendary calibre was the Calibre 15TL, a large, serviceable but elegant movement created under the expert pen of Albert Piguet, Lemania’s star designer in the 1930s-1940s. This would form the basis of the CH27.
As the Great Depression shook every pillar of the worldwide economy, Omega and Tissot were forced to band together or else risk complete collapse. They formed SSIH in 1930 and two years later, the group purchased Lemania. It was under this banner that Lemania’s greatest achievement would be made, meaning of course, the creation of the CH27, which Buzz Aldrin would wear all the way to the moon, almost a century after Alfred Lugrin formed and established the company.
Closer to home, every wristwatch chronograph issued to the British armed forces (Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm and RAF) throughout the 1950s and ’60s, was produced by Lemania, as well as almost all of the timing devices used by BBC production teams right up until the 1980s!
The original Lemania chronograph Cal.1873 is identical to what Omega calls its Cal.861 – the movement which has powered its Speedmaster Professional from 1969 to the present day.
Lemania has supplied chronograph movements to the world’s best watch manufacturers including Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Breguet, Heuer and many more besides.
All in all, quite a claim to fame!
Very rarely found in pink gold and hardly ever in such a large size as this, at 40mm excluding the original crown, this is a truly exceptional piece with a beautifully restored dial. The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced and it is performing excellently. The case is in good, original unrestored condition, which is just as many collectors like to see.
The Lemania Cal.15TL is a highly accurate and dependable movement from which followed a number of famous movements. More on this later but suffice to say, it holds legendary status among Chronograph experts and collectors alike. However, this beautiful watch was not specifically designed for professional use, but rather as an expensive and sophisticated dress watch for a gentleman to wear and exhibit his good taste and affluence.
We always feel there is something rather special about a black dial dress watch with a pink gold case, which works so well. Here the dial is furnished with applied pink gilt ‘arrowhead’ hour indices with applied numerals at ‘12’ and ‘6’. These are matched with the original restored ‘Dauphine’ hands.
This is a stunning twin register dial. The left-hand register records continuous seconds while the normal watch movement is running and the right-hand register records elapsed minutes, up to 30, while the chronograph function is running.
The dial also carries a pulsometer scale used to read the heart rate in beats per minute.
Please note – it is a common mistake for people to leave the chronograph function for their watches running, as they think the centre seconds hand should be rotating. This does however place unnecessary demands on the chronograph function and causes premature wear.
The dial is signed ‘Lemania’ with the Lemania coronet brand below the 12.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers who are considered to be the best in the UK.
This watch houses its original Lemania Calibre 15TL movement which as mentioned above is a legendary calibre and ancestor of the Lemania 27CHRO T1 / Omega Caliber 320, and 27CHRO C12 T2, / Omega Caliber 321, which was the first (and only watch to date) to be worn on the moon.
This particular movement is in superb condition having been fully overhauled and serviced by our vintage chronograph specialist watchmaker. This involves the complete dismantling of the movement to each of its component parts, ultrasonic cleaning, microscope inspection and replacement of parts as required – only with new originals – then careful reassembly and oiling, ready for final testing and careful calibration.
Each of the chronograph functions operates perfectly and the centre seconds hand resets itself instantly upon pressing the bottom pusher. The normal timekeeping function is also running perfectly, having been calibrated and timed at +7 seconds per day on our electronic timegrapher, which is truly outstanding for any watch of this age. The watch also has a power reserve of 40 hours in its fully wound state.
With care and with regular servicing, say every 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run happily for many more decades to come. Our watchmaker has commented he found the movement to be especially clean and in excellent condition. We are therefore more than happy to offer this watch with our 12 months’ warranty* and to assist with servicing again in the future.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The 18ct pink gold case is of a substantial three-piece design and measures 40mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned crown. This makes this one of the very largest sized watches ever made during this period.
When we find a vintage watch with an extraordinarily large gold case, we have to be careful it is not an unsigned South American case, but here, as can be seen, this is an absolutely genuine Lemania signed, Swiss made, 18ct hallmarked pink gold case.
This watch has received careful regular use over the past 70 years and so the case is not perfect, but it is in very good original condition just showing some nicks and scratches commensurate with age and some light dimples on the case-back and the case edge, opposite the crown. We would describe the case to be in good honest original and unrestored condition, which is how many collectors prefer. However, If after purchasing the watch, you would like us to restore the case and bring it closer to its original condition, we will be happy to do this at our cost price.
This watch case has been carefully inspected for fatigue marks and there are none. It is very rigid and the case-back and bezel are a nice tight fit. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed.
Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected, properly signed ‘Lemania’ with the reference 32 0T and Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a new black lizard strap with a gold-plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry Tan, Conker, Dark Brown and Black in stock and in plain padded leather, or crocodile skin or lizard skin. For a wider selection, please take a look at the wonderful choice of 18mm straps offered by our suppliers Watch Obsession here. We will be pleased to order and fit the strap of your choice, within 24 – 48 hours.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the numbers and markings on the watch are all correct, dating the watch to circa 1948.
A detailed written receipt with 12 months’ warranty* and a separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
A high-quality hardwood presentation box is included in the sale, as shown.
A fascinating timepiece which will undoubtedly make an excellent financial investment, as well as be something wonderful to wear, treasure and enjoy! It would make a practical watch for either regular use or occasional use only, as you wish. If it continues to be well cared for and regularly serviced, it will provide dependable service for many decades to come.
This watch carries a great deal more style, individuality and panache than a new watch and to buy the same quality today would be difficult at 4 or 5 times the price.
Whichever way you may wish to view this watch, as each year goes by and the world market grows ever larger, the limited supply and high demand for the finest vintage gold watches means prices will inevitably climb ever higher!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be good value and very fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept payment via PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you.
If you have any questions please call: 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas: +44 207 727 7095.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges.
Please take a look at our other vintage gold watches.