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SKU: VWS2352cs

Lemania Unsigned Dial - Single Pusher Chronograph - HS 9 - Hydrographic Services

A Very Rare Lemania WW2 Pathfinder Watch Accompanied by Substantial Provenance Including Original Pathfinder Slides, c.1940s

Stainless Steel
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Lemania Watches, a prestigious Swiss watch brand established in 1884, has a rich history interwoven with military precision and innovation. Throughout the 20th century, Lemania distinguished itself not only through its remarkable civilian timepieces but also by its contributions to military horology. The brand's commitment to producing robust, accurate watches met the stringent requirements of various armed forces around the globe.
During World War II and the subsequent Cold War era, Lemania's expertise was harnessed to develop chronographs that could withstand extreme conditions while maintaining impeccable timing. These military-issued watches were designed for aircrews and special forces, incorporating features like shock resistance, waterproof cases, and luminous dials for readability under all circumstances. One of Lemania's most notable contributions was its development of the chronograph movement used in wristwatches provided to the British Royal Navy in the 1940s.
These pieces are highly sought after by collectors today for their historical significance and craftsmanship. Lemania's legacy in military watchmaking underscores its wider reputation for durability, precision, and innovation.


What's on Offer

This watch is one of those finds that is more historically valuable than it is attractive as a watch. Although the watch is running well and is perfectly wearable, it is the documented history that makes this watch so spectacular. We acquired it from a gentleman who inherited it from his father over thirty years ago, he, in turn, was given it by an 'RAF chap' who was issued it mistakenly as this watch was actually intended for use by WW2 pathfinders which is sure to pique the interest of military enthusiasts as they held such an important role. 

The Pathfinders were target-marking squadrons in RAF Bomber Command during World War II. They located and marked targets with flares, at which a main bomber force could aim, increasing the accuracy of their bombing. 

These missions included the famous Dam Buster strikes against German dams using flying bombs on the 16/17 of May 1943 also known as Operation Chastise and when our gentlemen inherited this watch, it was presented to him alongside a plethora of historic slides (of the same ilk as that on display in the Imperial War Museum) which elude to the same dates of the Dam Buster strikes - how incredible! To think this watch could have witnessed such monumental historical events and has survived to almost tell the tale itself! 

We have transcribed as best we can the note the watch was discovered with and we have photographed the slides to illustrate the extensive provenance this watch is accompanied by - it really is remarkable. The watch is actually in rather nice shape, of course, the dial has aged dramatically but for those who appreciate the ageing process of a watch, and particularly military tool watches which have seen live action, this is a real joy. The case and lugs are still sharp and the watch is paired with a period-correct ladder-style Bonklip bracelet which can be exchanged for a more contemporary strap should you prefer. 

This watch represents one of the rarest and most collectable watches we have ever sold in military terms given the amount of documentation it is sold alongside, it's a one-off. 

Supplied Documentation

A typed transcript of the letter we received.

"This was given to me by an ex-RAF chap. It was issued to him he said during his flying training? He tells me that it was originally issued to the Pathfinders in World War 2 and it had been issued to him by mistake when it became time for him to hand it in he substituted another for it.

He handed it?? to me and the house was severely damaged by heat thus the glass is gone and the balancing?? Spring and wheel stuffed hoping you will find room for it"

Slide Information

Slide Images 1-3 Flyover Images of Eder Dam Germany with Code AMPS/1108/142 (13-10-1943)

Slide Images 4-6 show Flyover of Flooded Village & Water Works Below Eder Dam (17-05-1943) These slides are of additional significance as they were taken on the day of the famous dam buster strikes against German dams using flying bombs on the 16/17 of May 1943 also known as Operation Chastise

Slide Images 7-9 show flyover images of Sorpe Dam (15/10/1944)

Slide Images 10-12 show flyover images of Nuremberg (9/04/45)

Slide Images 13-15 show flyover images of Berlin (21/12/1943)

Additionally, in total, there are 27 slides depicting bombing sites at different locations and on different dates during  World War 2. 

Stainless Steel
Original with Patina
Model Ref
Single Pusher Chrono
Stainless Steel
Movement Type
Date of Issue
12 Months VWS
Power Reserve
Lug Height
Lug width
Wrist Size

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