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Vintage military watches are one of the most interesting sub-sets of timepiece collecting. For many, they encapsulate the essence of "tool watch" in their most elemental form - if for no other reason than they were built to be issued to sailors, soldiers and airmen and brought into some of the harshest environments possible. Their stark, no-frills designs were universally practical, tough-as-a-brick-shithouse rugged, and a large number of them were actually used for what they were designed for, unlike the vast majority of "desk divers" we more commonly see today.
Within the range of military-issued timepieces there are a number of sub-genres, including field watches, divers, and aviator's chronographs, all of which are worthy of study and admiration in their own right. But there are a few that truly stand out in a crowd, and we've found one of those for you today!
What you're looking at is a Wrist Chronograph issued by Britain's Royal Navy in the 1950s. Immediately recognizable as a military spec timepiece with its simple Arabic dial, MOD "Broad Arrow" marking, and case back engravings (H.S. = Hydrographic Service = Navy), this model was manufactured under contract specifications by Lemania. Unlike other, more common executions of military chronographs, this Lemania model utilizes a Calibre 15 mono pusher configuration with a central seconds chronograph hand and thirty-minute register, with start, stop and reset all operated via the single pusher at 2:00. With its crisp silvery white dial, these Naval issue chronographs have a distinctive look unlike most military issued watches, and are highly sought after by collectors worldwide.
This particular example is in excellent condition throughout, with an honest, unmolested case, supremely clean movement, and beautiful silver-toned dial. The markers and hands have developed a killer, light green patina, and the movement is running like a top. Don't miss it!
Steel case is is approximately 38.5mm (excluding the crown). Calibre 15 Manual-Winding Chronograph Movement, signed by Lemania. Circa 1950s.
Overall condition: Case is in very good condition over all, showing light signs of wear consistent with age and use. No signs of over-polishing. Original dial is in great condition. Luminescent elements show even patination across dial and hands. Case back engravings are crisp and legible. Unsigned crown.
Includes two nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.