Lemania “Majetek Vojenske Spravy”

Lemania was a Swiss manufacturer, best known among collectors for its military watches. It made chronographs for the british RAF, for the swedish army, … Lemania also build ebauches for other manufacturers: the famous Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch” used a Lemania-based movement. The Lemania 5100 was fitted into quite a few military and civilian watches, for example the Bundeswehr issued some to helicopter crews.

A Lemania “Majetek Vojenske Spravy”, a Swiss watch specially made for the Czech army (1950s)

“Majetek Vojenske Spravy” stands for “property of the military administration”: it is cleanly written all over the caseback, with a unique number, usually 3 or 4 digits. This watch was never sold to the general public, there are no markings on the dial so collectors call it the “Lemania Majetek”.

Caseback markings

During the prewar period, the Cezch administration used Longines watches, non shockproofed with a small second, their design was already old. After the war, Lemania, Eterna and even some Soviet watches (Strela 3017, Pobeda) can be found, bearing the “Majetek…” and number engravings. Contrary to the Lemania, the Eterna model was available in the civilian market. The Lemania is powered with the 3050 caliber, a well made sweep second handwound movement with indirect drive. Two details set it apart from an ordinary movement to my eyes : there is a small jewel in the sweep second friction spring, and the crown wheel is nicely made in the old fashioned way:

The crown wheel

The case has an uncommon shape and size for a 1950s watch: thin (9mm) but big (38mm across without the crown) for yesterdays standards, the angular shape sets this watch immediately apart.

Polishing the case, by hand to keep the angles sharp

Vintage styling is very “in” these days, so Eterna made a reissue of the 1950s model: it had a similar shape to the Lemania. The reissue has of course a modern automatic movement with date:

The Eterna reissue