Lemania Single Pusher Chronograph - Aboard HMS Conqueror as it sank ARA General Belgrano - Royal Navy Nuclear Submarine Issue (Falklands) - c.1960s
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A very rare British Military-issued Lemania Single Pusher Chronograph - worn aboard HMS Conqueror during the sinking of ARA General Belgrano
One-of-a-kind, this Lemania Chronograph was on the wrist of the Chief Petty Officer aboard the HMS Conqueror as it sank the ARA General Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands Conflict. We have detailed photographs and personal testimony from the son of the owner of the watch, who was issued it for his duties aboard the nuclear submarine.
HMS Conqueror is today known as the subject of the infamous 1982 sinking of the ARA General Belgrano. Petty Officer (name withdrawn until sale) was Chief Navigation Officer aboard the HMS Conqueror when it was deployed to the Falklands area to counter Operation Rosario, the Argentine attempt at retaking the islands. Navigating from the Sandwich Islands (photographs and coordinates included), the Conqueror made its way to the Falklands, where on 2 May 1982, she became the first and only nuclear-powered submarine to ever engage an enemy ship with its torpedoes. The Belgrano sank, effectively ending the conflict with a decisive British victory.
The watch itself, a Lemania Single Pusher Chronograph asymmetric case (mark 2), is beautiful. This watch differs from the Mk.1 in that the case isn't perfectly round. The stunning jet black and white dial bears the British Military 'Broad Arrow' issue denotion, and the case back is also engraved with the military markings as well as Ministry of Defence issue code /|\ (British Arrow) 0552/924-3312 | 80062. These dials were specifically made for this watch, and consequently contain no glowing hand lume parts: these would set off highly sensitive Geiger counters (radiation) that were fixed on board for crew safety. The watch comes complete with a photo of the Chief Petty Officer in question upon his return to the UK (taken by local newspapers), a photo of the Sandwich Islands (with coordinates as noted by hand at the time, proving his presence aboard HMS Conqueror), photos of the crew aboard the Conqueror upon their return, and last but not least, a full letter from the son describing his father's military ventures as Navigation officer of HMS Conqueror when it struck the Belgrano.
The watch sits on a black NATO strap and features a screw-down case back, which is housed in a solid stainless steel 40mm case. The movement, manual winding, is a 17-jewelled caliber 2220 signed Lemania Watch Co.
What's on offer
A unique opportunity to purchase an exceedingly rare physical piece of history which shaped the international stage in the 1980s. It's a pleasure to flick through the provenance that accompanies this watch, with many potential research alleyways still to fully investigate based on photographs, coordinates and names as testified by the Chief Petty Officer's son. The watch itself is in great condition, with only one defect to speak of on the edge of the dial as per details below, and only the faintest signs of wear at odd points on the glass. The case back and edges, which bear a reflective polish, do show very mild scratches on extremities. On the case back, this is noticeable to the eye and much less so on the case edges itself: the case body looks almost new from a distance. For a 1960s watch, this is in fabulous condition- there's no denying that. The most noticeable (though still minor) bit of damage is a small grey dent on the dial- zoom in to the photos between 9:00 and 10:00 on the dial.
Case: Stainless steel
Dial: Twin sub-register chronograph, broad arrow military denotion.
Bracelet: Black NATO strap.
Winding: Manually wound.
Movement type: Automatic
Condition: Excellent condition.
Model Reference Number: Lemania Single Pusher
Date of manufacture/issue: 1960s.
12-month VWS warranty
Lug width: 20mm
Height, lug to lug: 45mm
Wrist size: Adjustable via strap.