Restoration: Lemania Triple Date

IMG_0189Once in a while, I feel brave, and disregard my urge to earn some money, and take on a complex project. This is one of them. A challenge, a lot to learn, and fun to be had.

Anders sent me this very much neglected Lemania. The dial is a disaster, the hands look pretty bad, and I expect the inside will be no better …IMG_0194

On first inspection, it’s not too bad. The movement is based on the Lemania 3000. The blog post following this one is by Anders, and he will tell you a lot more about the history of this movement.IMG_0195

A closer look at the dial and hands. A pretty bad effort at dial restoration ๐Ÿ˜‰lemaniacalendar-2

Just for comparison – this is what the dial should look like.IMG_0197

The bottom plate with the triple date mechanism on top of the Lemania 3000 movement. The month is actually set by hand, and isn’t moved when the day goes from 31 to 1. You could argue that if you don’t know what month it is, you don’t need a watch any more ๐Ÿ˜‰IMG_0204

With the day and month disks removed, you can see the whole triple date mechanism in all its glory.IMG_0222

You can already see rust on the pallet fork…267-01

Yes, there is lots of it, and the top pivot is broken. We will need a new pallet fork.IMG_0226

The gear train is in good condition.IMG_0231

The parts fresh from the cleaning machine.IMG_0232Time for some case cleaning…IMG_0234… and screw polishing.IMG_0235

As usual, I start with a new mainspring.IMG_0266

That’s looking a lot better.IMG_0267

This will need some adjusting…ย IMG_1738I need 5 attempts to get the beat error down to 0.2ms. The amplitude is a bit feeble, but it will increase after the movement has been running for a couple of days.IMG_1108

With lots of polishing, the bottom plate looks a lot nicer now.IMG_1733

This dial restoration wasn’t an easy project, and Anders and I contacted quite a few specialist restorers. And Jan from Kronoswelt did a splendid job! Not only did he restore the dial, he also did the hands, and the result is great.

IMG_1799

With a new Lemania crown, the watch looks great.

 

16 thoughts on “Restoration: Lemania Triple Date

  1. It would be nice to have the first watch photo and the finished result photos next to each other at the end. It’s a beautiful job you’ve done.

  2. The transformation has me speechless! I can barely believe its the same watch! However, is it “really” a triple-date if the month is set by hand? In a way I think that adds to the charm, I’m sure the forum-dwellers could argue this one for days…

      • Oh no neither do I! The more interaction one has with one’s watch, the more personal it is (in my opinion anyway).

    • Hi! I have studied the various triple calendar movements available in this period (1940-1950ยดs). Most all of them like Landeron, Valjoux, ETA and the SSHI (Omega / Lemania / Tissot) ones have this manual function.
      Some Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger LeCoultre (and Patek) movements have a fully automatic changeover, however these are in a completely different price and complication category.
      If it qualifies or not as a triple calendar/date movement is in my opinion not a real discussion item, it does show the month doesn’t it?
      There are several technical highlights with this movement compared to other contemporary ones:
      – It is not possible to damage it if you change the day or date around midnight (many other designs will be damaged by doing this).
      – It is very slim.
      – It was designed with an extreme precision machining allowing parts to be fully interchangeable. This was not the rule back in those days!

      There is a recent re-print of the book “Modern Calendar Watches” by B. Humbert originally published in 1954 available. This is recommended for those interested in the design of calendar complications.

      • Thank you for the information! In my opinion you’re right, it does show the month. Interesting that the month can be changed between those times. A fair few modern watches cannot have the date changed within ยฑ2-4 hours of midnight (annoying for travellers on red-eye flights I imagine?).

        I will have to have a look on Amazon for that book. See if I can add it to my small library.

        Unfortunately my current status as a student means I’m more likely to be peering at my maths book late into the night than my watch books (though I know which I would prefer)!

  3. Amazing job Christian! Maybe this is a tricky question to answer but what kind of prices in general do restorers charge for this kind of major restoration to a dial?

  4. Did the original restoration of the dial change the numbers from Western Arabic to Roman then, or was the decision to go with Arabic on Jan’s restoration a aesthetic one? If so, I think it was the correct one… the colour palette change also.

    Was the new pallet fork easy enough to source? Looks to be a fairly old watch and movement.

    • Jan decided that, and I think it was a good decision – as you agree.
      The pallet fork wasn’t easy to source, but Anders and I both looked until we found one.

      • Ah yes – having read Anders’ post now I can see how much of a quest it was… but doesn’t that just make the result all the better?

        ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • On the last pic the hands look strange – although it’s half past, the hour hand is close to full hour. What happened?

          • Hi Thomas – well spotted! That’s what happens when you focus on all the date stuff. No idea how that happened as it was right in the photo before…
            I have corrected it now, and updated the photo.

          • Now it looks as it should ๐Ÿ™‚ A real beauty, this timepiece. I’ve learnt from my own watchmaking experiences that looking twice isn’t enough usually… That’s like that one dust particle on the dial that you find just a minute after closing the case and pressure testing, or the datejump on a Rolex that is – although doublechecked before – a minute off…

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