Service: Lemania Chronograph RN Nuclear Submarine Series 3 / calibre 2220

IMG_0663As 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.P1010547

The dial and hands are in exceptionally good condition, especially when you think about the age of the watch.P1010548

The crossed-out “3306”, and the stamped in “3312” confirms the special nuclear submarine edition.P1010550

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.P1010549

Performance isn’t bad at all, but the movement is dry and needs a service.P1010552

The movement taken out of the case.P1010553

The dial is in very good condition.P1010555

The bottom plate.P1010558

The hammer has left some scratches on the wheel bridge, and I will polish it later to avoid further scratching.P1010569

The wheel bridge.P1010571

The left case screw is a bit rusty, and I will clean that up later.P1010572

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.P1010574

The winding/setting assembly.P1010576

All parts in the cleaning baskets.P1010586

The new mainspring and the barrel.P1010587

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.P1010588

The gear train goes in, and I put the base movement back together.P1010589

The mainspring is spot on.P1010590

Now I can put the chronograph back together.P1010591

Now I just have to adjust the depthing, and I can case.P1010592

The bottom plate is back together, and the dial and hands can go on.P1010593

Ready for the case.P1010594

The movement is cased.P1010595

Case reference 35-64, which confirms the manufacturing date of 1964. P1010596

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!

10 thoughts on “Service: Lemania Chronograph RN Nuclear Submarine Series 3 / calibre 2220

  1. Beautiful watch and interesting article.

    I also have a similar Lemania watch (which is need of repair please !), which has slightly different markings.
    The ‘3312’ marking is crossed out, with ‘3306’ engraved above. I would be interested to know why this should be?

    The watch is also engraved with a year date from 1976.

  2. Could you give some details about soldering hand tubes?

    Seems like you’d melt the hand before you’d have time to apply the solder, unless you were using an electric soldering iron. but then what type of solder?


    • Haven’t heard of steel melting before solder 😉

      I use a soldering station as you use for electronics, and apply the tiniest amount of solder that I can manage to cut off – electronic solder.

  3. “the start/stop lever spring is blued”

    –> In a previous service, this part wans’t available, it’s been handmade then.

    BTW, I noticed you’ve put the balance alone in the cleaning basket, with the screws. Why don’t you clean it still screwed on the mainplate ?

  4. Tell Tim to send it to Norway when he tires of it! 🙂
    The dials on these were replaced when the Royal Navy re-issued them for Nuclear Sub use. Same goes for the hands.
    Others, like pilots, had better use of the tritium versions!
    Really nice to see a well documented and cared for example. Not too many around!

Leave a Reply to Anders Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.