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Most branded Lemania watches are military-style issues. From the late 1940s until the 1970s Lemania was the sole provider of chronographs to British forces.

All operated with a single pusher; dispensing with the need for the extra zero button and the possibility of resetting errors. Ideal for navigating and measuring distances while dead-reckoning current position, they were supplied to the RAF, the Fleet Air Arm and other branches including the Hydrographic Service.

The sale held by Dix Noonan Webb (25% buyer’s premium) on June 9 included three Lemanias from the collection of former BT engineer Robert Culling (1941- 2019). He first began collecting German watches before moving to British and American military issues.

An RAF pilot’s monopusher chronograph proved most desirable, selling at £2600 (estimate £1500-2000). The screw-down back carries the British military issue broad pheon and the serial number and date 1953.

Sold at £1700 was a similar pilot’s chronograph, this one a civilian issue with the conventional two buttons, while the same bid was taken for the Lemania WWW – the firm’s contribution to the watches affectionately known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.