Lemania Watches


How Much is My Lemania Watch Worth at Auction?

Lemania timepieces showcase exceptional watchmaking craft, and sell incredibly well at auction, with collectors recognising their technical prowess since their formation. Closely linked with their use as military wristwatches in a wide variety of settings, Lemania 'Dirty Dozen' watches, as well as other military watches that were created for pilots, the navy, and officers in Britain, South Africa, Australia, the Czech Republic, Italy and many other nations, sell particularly well at auction with watch and militaria collectors alike. 


Lemania History

Lemania was founded in 1884 by Alfred Lugrin. Lugrin had previously trained at Jaeger-LeCoultre and went on to win awards and gold medals in Milan in 1906 and Berne in 1904. The firm was known as Lugrin until 1930, when Lugrin's son in law established the brand name Lemania Watch Co, named after Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman as the French called it. Lemania specialised in complications, long running movements, and chronograph movements. However in the midst of the Great Depression by 1932, Lemania, Omega and Tissot merged, forming the SSIH group. From this point onwards, their focus centred on creating movements and complications for members of the SSIH group, explaining why they are not as much of a household name as their peers. They produced every chronograph movement within an Omega or Tissot watch up until the 1970s, an impressive span of forty years.

The movements produced by Lemania included the Omega Speedmaster that was worn by Buzz Aldrin. Indeed, they are responsible for the only ever chronograph to be approved by NASA for use in their space vehicles. Lemania later separated from the SSIH Group in 1981 and was renamed Nouvelle Lemania, before being bought by Breguet in 1992. Lemania calibres are still used in luxury watches to this day, featuring in numerous well known brands. 


Lemania 'Dirty Dozen' Watches at Auction

A Lemania Dirty Dozen wristwatch

A Lemania 'Dirty Dozen' wristwatch. Identifying features include a W.W.W standing for Watch Wristlet Waterproof seen on the case back, together with broad arrow detailing to the dial.


Lemania were one of the twelve watchmakers involved in the highly collectable 'Dirty Dozen' watches created for the British Army during World War Two. There were around 8,000 Lemania watches, marked WWW to denote Watch Wrist Waterproof, and so examples are highly sought after at auction, with collectors eager to complete their collection. The twelve 'Dirty Dozen' makers are Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex - each of these examples sell brilliantly at auction. Get in touch with our specialist for a free and up-to-date auction estimate of your Dirty Dozen watch.


Lemania 'Majetek' Watches at Auction 

Produced in the late 1930s and 1940s for the Czech Air Force, the 'Majetek' Pilot's watches appear at auction fairly infrequently. Only Lemania, Eterna, and Longines were tasked with creating these pilot's watches. Featuring a distinctive cushion shape case, tachymeter scale, luminescent markers, black dial, these 38mm wristwatches are powered by a 17 jewel manual wind movement. Commissioned in 1939, these remarkable timepieces sell well at auction owing to their rarity and style. 


Our specialist Fine Jewellery & Watch auctions are held 4 times a year and include the whole spectrum of jewellery, from modern and designer pieces to antique jewels, coloured gemstone jewellery to fine diamond rings. Our department is headed by Liz Bailey who is FGA and DGA qualified, with many years experience in the industry. We offer a free watch valuations service as well as a free collection service for items consigned to these auctions.

Contact our qualified specialist Liz Bailey to find out more.


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Lemania Pilots watch


Liz Bailey


Head of Department

+44 (0)1270 623878

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