As regular readers might know, we sometimes invite customers into our workshop if they would like to see what we do, and if the watch is something special. Chances are even better if the watch has an interesting story, and Tim ticked all the boxes, so we invited him down from Scotland to our workshop.
In this photo, you can see the Lemania (and Tim) on boad HMS Valiant at the periscope around 1984. The watch was issued to him in 1983 (it was made in 1964), and he has had it ever since.
The interesting bit about the watch is that it’s a special issue for nuclear submarines, having no luminous compound (as radioactivity is tightly monitored on board nuclear subs, for obvious reasons), and a white dial with black hands.
The dial and hands are in exceptionally good condition, especially when you think about the age of the watch.
The crossed-out “3306”, and the stamped in “3312” confirms the special nuclear submarine edition.
A first look of the movement doesn’t show any problems. The chronograph doesn’t reset properly, but that is probably only a dirt issue. I note that the start/stop lever spring is blued, which I haven’t seen before.
Performance isn’t bad at all, but the movement is dry and needs a service.
The movement taken out of the case.
The dial is in very good condition.
The bottom plate.
The hammer has left some scratches on the wheel bridge, and I will polish it later to avoid further scratching.
The wheel bridge.
The left case screw is a bit rusty, and I will clean that up later.
The mainspring in the barrel. I measure 1.37mm x 0.15mm x 370mm, which isn’t available, but I find a 1.40 x 0.16 x 380, which fits very nicely.
The winding/setting assembly.
All parts in the cleaning baskets.
The new mainspring and the barrel.
Looks like the new mainspring is a nice fit. Proof is in the pudding, though, and we will have for the base movement to tick so that we can put it on the timegrapher.
The gear train goes in, and I put the base movement back together.
The mainspring is spot on.
Now I can put the chronograph back together.
Now I just have to adjust the depthing, and I can case.
The bottom plate is back together, and the dial and hands can go on.
Ready for the case.
The movement is cased.
Case reference 35-64, which confirms the manufacturing date of 1964.
When testing, I notice that the chronograph second hand doesn’t reset properly. I take the movement out again, and notice that the tube of the hand is split. I solder the tube, and put the watch back together. As the old pusher didn’t look very nice any more, and wasn’t original anyway, I fitted a new pusher.
And Tim is happily wearing his watch again. Safe journey back to Scotland!