***SOLD***Rare 1940s Lemania Central Seconds Civilian - Civilian version of the Lemania ATP **SOLD**
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The rare civilian version of the famous Lemania Central Seconds ATP 'grail' piece - non-military issue, otherwise identical to the military ATP version
This is a very rare package of two (2) civilian versions of the Lemania Central seconds ATP. Both have original military Bonklip© straps on, which now command a premium themselves. One is missing parts (demonstrated in photos) and could be used for spares/repairs.
The ATP collection are known as the earliest officially-issued British military WW2 watches, occasionally referred to as the 'Excellent Eighteen'. 16 Swiss manufacturers (some of whom produced multiple ATP variants) were contacted by the British Ministry of Defence during the beginning of World War II and asked to produce what came to a total of 18 military pieces, all very similarly and carefully designed and specified for military service. Their successor, the dirty dozen, built heavily on this concept of standard specification and quality watchmaking, but it was first coined here with the ATPs. They had to be legible, sturdy, easy to wear and reliable as anything. For many horologists today, the values that drove the production of these watches are the core facets of passion for watches. Only 133,000 were produced, and even fewer survive. Many of them were decommissioned and resold to the public, many of them hoarded by military collectors and others left amongst the remnants of the Western Front after WWII.
Fortunately, a small number of certain brands of ATPs were produced for civilian use as well. Uptake was unsurprisingly low: the wartime economy left little in the way of disposable income, let alone enough to purchase a Swiss watch, but they do exist. This Lemania is one such piece, and it is for us as beautiful as the ATPs, if not more so thanks to its near pristine preservation. It does not bear the commonly associated Military 'Pheon' (Ministry of Defence Broad Arrow), nor any of the military serial/issue codes. The Lemania central seconds ATP (distinguished by its thin, gilt seconds hand as opposed to the smaller sub-seconds dial usually seen at 6:00) is known as an extremely hard-to-find ATP- second only to the Reconvilier. Military Watch Forums expert 'Bobsy', generally regarded as one of the most knowledgeable on the ATP collection, estimated that 25 Revue 59 watches traded hands over a four year period, averaging at around 6 per year.
What's on offer
The case, dial, crown, glass and strap are all in truly excellent vintage condition on this Lemania Civilian. The case, in particular, is noticeably pristine from a distance, retaining its polished shine across the bezel and case edges. Upon close inspection of the case back and lugs, scratches are present, but these are minimal and purely aesthetic. There are a few slightly larger marks on the case back, as shown in photos opposite the crown.
Case: Nickel chrome plated.
Bracelet: Fabric NATO strap.
Condition: Excellent, for its age, and in full working order.
Model Reference: Lemania small seconds
Date of issue: c.1940
Comes with a 6-month VWS guarantee.
Lug width: 18mm
Lug height (lug to lug): 40mm