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Lemania, established in 1884 by Alfred Lugrin, is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the vintage chronograph market--if not for watches released under their own brand, then for their contributions to other brands. At Jaeger-LeCoultre and at Lugrin's own manufacture, which he ran under his own name, Lugrin gained a reputation for expertise and the soundness of his movements, particularly chronographs. After his death, it was under his son-in-law Maurice Meylan's leadership that the manufacture became Lemania and moved to L'Orient in the Valée de Joux.
In 1932, strapped by the financial hardships of the Great Depression, Lemania joined Omega and Tissot to form SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogére SA). It was this relationship--particularly with Omega--that would result in the creation of some of the most iconic calibers in horological history, particularly the Caliber .321. The Caliber .321--known internally at Lemania as the CH27--owes its existence to movement designer Albert Piguet, who first conceived of the movement in 1941, with production commencing the following year.
For the next 25 years, the Caliber .321 would find its way into watches by brands both within the SSIH (and later Swatch Group) umbrella and without. Perhaps most notably is the Omega Speedmaster, with its storied connection to NASA and the Moon Landing. While most collectors know that Lemania was Omega’s supplier for the .321, not all might realize this calibre also formed the basis for chronograph calibers made by two of the "big three" brands, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.
Black-dialed chronographs from the 1950s are quite rare compared with white and silver dials, so we love this Lemania just for that reason. The fact that it carries Lemania's own signature makes it unique as well. For a collector who covets the ever-desirable Caliber .321 but doesn't want to spring for a Speedy, this is an undeniable value.
Stainless steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown and pushers). Lemania Caliber Ch27 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1950s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in excellent condition with minimal signs of light wear from use. Dial is in very good condition with patina, particularly from 3 to 6 o'clock. Luminescent materials on the hands have aged to a fine even patina. Numerals have been professionally refinished. Unsigned crown. Case back bears some slight scratches and tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 17mm tan leather strap.