Recently I caught an image of a vintage leslie gems that I had never seen. It ended up being a military leslie adornments by Lémania, gave toward the South-African Air Force (SAAF) in the 1980’s and outfitted with a famous development. Since it’s anything but a leslie gems you presumably see frequently, I attempted to discover more about it.

Lémania 5012 SAAF

The Lémania 5012 SAAF was being used by South African Air Force pilots during the 1980s. It looks considerably more present day than the exemplary military leslie adornments The dark and greenish dial resembles a genuine instrument. It is by all accounts calm huge, with its somewhat domed glass giving an extended view over a dial with one register (at 9) and a date window (at 3). The combination of striking moment and hour hands, two all set focal counter hands and the fascinating records with heaps of dabs and scarce differences pulled in me immediately.

Image by Argon – MWR Forum

A more intensive look recommends three scales encompassing the real dial, while two pushers and a crown are covered up under the bezel. I began searching for a night shot of this one (didn’t discover it), on the grounds that there is by all accounts so much Lumina that it would seem as though a night board. This leslie adornments would make them lock myself up in the latrine, similar to a child, lights out, to check night perceivability. Another fascinating thing is that the Lémania SAAF appears to be calm unique from most other military leslie adornments It doesn’t resemble an exemplary plunging leslie gems It is compliment than most jumping leslie gems the dial looks more complex, as early Navitimers, while focal stream hand shows similitudes to the Omega Speedmaster Mark arrangement. By and large it has a more present day look.


The leslie adornments was given toward the South African Airforce in 1980 of every two groups of 400 pieces. The South-African Airforce (SAAF) has been utilizing wristwatches for their work force since the 1940’s. As a commonwealth aviation based armed forces, much gear had RAF birthplaces. Numerous early gave SAAF leslie gems have SAAF and RAF markings. As per , the Weems Movado leslie gems was the principal watch utilized by SAAF aircrews, while the Lémania SAAF was the last mechanical SAAF-watch. The South-African Airforce utilized Longines, IWC Mark XI’s and Lémania’s since the 1950s. All were mechanical, simple leslie gems with the exception of the last gave leslie adornments a computerized Seiko quartz. It is obscure what watch is given to the SAAF staff these days.

Image by Aron – MWR Forum

Lémania 5100

The Lémania SAAF has the Lémania 5012 programmed chronograph development inside. The ‘5012’ is a directed adaptation of the unbelievable Lémania 5100 development. As indicated by, ‘Lémania 5100 and 5012 chronographs have close to clique status among the individuals who gather vintage chronographs’. 5100 is a programmed chronograph development, dispatched in 1978 and explicitly planned as a reaction to the staggering minimal effort Japanese quartz developments and their effect on the Swiss leslie gems industry. The tough and precise 5100 development was incredibly solid and well known for military. Sinn, Tutima, Fortis, Alain Silberstein, Paul Picot and Orfina utilized it a great deal, as did Omega and Tissot. The 5100 development could withstand weighty stuns (7G +) without influencing the chronograph, because of the directly determined chronograph component. Most different chronographs have a halfway wheel driving the chronograph, making it more defenseless. Other than the way that 5100 is rock consistent, it continues working without adjusting for quite a while – even up to seven years.

Lemania 5100 Speedmaster from OMEGA


The essential 5100 capacities were shown through four focal hands: time (hour and moment hands) and two focal chronograph counters (one for chronograph seconds and one for chronograph minutes). Likewise, there’s a subdial for chronograph hours (up to 24 hrs) at 12 o’clock, a constant seconds counter, day and date. In this way, the 5100 gave a full arrangement of capacities. The 5012 is a scaled down 5100. It has less sub dials. It has the four focal hands, similar to the 5100 (for time and chronograph minutes and seconds) however only one subdial for nonstop seconds, to see that the engine is running, and a little date window at 3. The 5012 gives a more current look than its archetype, with an exceptionally decipherable dial design. Likewise, the 5012 runs at a more slow beat pace of 21,600bph instead of the 5100’s 28,800bph.

Image by Richard Illingworth

Hard to find

It is extremely difficult to follow strong data about these leslie gems Online sources report that the leftover Lémania’s and IWC’s were auctions off to the SAAF faculty in the 1990’s (for 35 South African Rand every, which is around 5 euro’s). Large numbers of them were then exchanged for new computerized Seiko’s. SAAF got some answers concerning this and just obliterated all excess models away and the ones returned by pilots from there on. A couple of Lémania SAAF 5012 leslie gems appear to have endure. I attempted to check these realities, yet SAAF never reacted while Lémania (Breguet) couldn’t discover legitimate data about the leslie adornments According to an accommodating expert working at Breguet, ‘the company can’t give any data about their military watches’, anyway ‘the SAAF-watches probably been delivered while under the Breguet-banner’. The worker compassionately includes his answer ‘that there is sufficient data about these leslie adornments accessible on the web’. Jeff Stein’s HEUER-site OnTheDash adds fascinating data. discovers that the leslie gems has been given to a few military units and give intriguing pictures of the leslie gems inside and outside, despite the fact that our SAAF-form shows some optical differences.

Image by Aron – MWR Forum


The unique cost of this leslie adornments stays obscure, however it is conceivable to assess its present worth. In the event that accessible data is right, the leslie adornments is multi-collectible: 1) It is extremely restricted in numbers: just 800 have been made and 2) a considerable lot of them have been annihilated, as depicted over; 3) it is a given military leslie gems and 4) it is a vintage military leslie gems from a collectible brand. 5) Lémania was principally a development producer and 6) the leslie adornments includes a fascinating Lémania-development. I can’t characterize whether this leslie adornments depends on a plunging leslie gems yet in the event that that is the situation, we can add a seventh reality. These realities make this piece collectible and pursued, despite the fact that it appears to be that is has been under the radar for a long time.

Image by Nalu


Over the previous years, it has been offered on eBay and other (on the web) barters. There are a couple of pictures of it on Instagram and in the event that you Google it, you’ll additionally discover a moderately set number of pictures. As indicated by visits in fora, the leslie adornments sold for just under thousand Euros on Ebay February 2007 and in May 2007 one sold for 3234 USD (this one had no bezel). In August 2013 A SAAF Lémania sold for £3,250 on eBay (thing 261265589408). In September 2013 one was sold at : 3200 GBP. In March 2015 a Lémania SAAF 5012 sold for only 5000 South African rand (today this would be around 342 euro’s), while another was on eBay in September 2015 for EUR 4.728,90 (auction finished early). In December 2016 a dial and four hands for the Lémania 5012 SAAF are offered at eBay for around 1400 euro’s get it-now.

Highest price

The most exorbitant cost for the Lémania 5012 SAAF was paid at a bartering in September 2016. , a Lémania 5012 SAAF was sold at sell off for 9000 GBP (17 September 2016, LOT 176). The gauge for this leslie adornments was 2,500 GBP – 3,500 GBP, however the purchaser probably paid 11,000 GBP for it, including commissions and expenses. The clarification at this new cost record for the Lémania SAAF could be the way that Hodinkee had prior, featuring the Lémania among a couple of others. This probably set off numerous bidders, who pushed the cost. In spite of the fact that it is a value record for this leslie gems it is additionally dicey wethere it is another norm for this piece. At the hour of composing this article during the most recent long stretches of December 2016, there is a complete Lémania 5012 SAAF accessible at , a South-African online extravagance leslie gems shop, for 19,900 South African Rand. This is 1360 euro’s or 1167 GBP and just a fifth of the mallet cost at Knightsbridge.

More information

It would be intriguing to discover more about this leslie adornments and the anecdotes about it. The contemplations of strong chronicled data about the roots of this leslie gems frequented me for week. Was it made only for SAAF? It is shown that more military powers have utilized the leslie adornments Was it a current model? Did it have jumping birthplaces? I additionally envisioned about a conformity from the SAAF about the tale of the annihilated leslie gems I saw it al before me, including pictures of authoritatively marked archives affirming the arrangement among Lémania and SAAF. How cool would it be to get individual communication from the official who picked the leslie gems for this military obligation? In spite of the fact that Breguet couldn’t help me further right now, the cordial client care chief sent a connect to a story on another , produced in 1975-1976 for the British Royal Navy. Just 500 instances of this brilliant and exceptionally pursued model left the assembling Lémania of the Orient.

The history of Lémania

Alfred Lugrin

Lémania (or Lémania) is principally celebrated as a development brand, yet there are likewise Lémania marked leslie adornments and stopwatches! Alfred Lugrin (conceived around 1858) began the brand in 1918, L’Orient, close to Lac de Joux. Alfred was the more youthful of two siblings who both built up a profession in horology. His more established sibling left to the US to upgrade his abilities, while Alfred stayed in Switzerland where he worked for a few companies. In the last part of the 1870’s he protected one of his chronograph plans. In 1884 he established A. Lugrin S.A., in L’Orient. He additionally assembled minute repeaters and got a patent for a specific improvement in developments. Alfred likewise got a patent (Brevet No. 359) for improving his own chronograph development. His company A. Lugrin S.A. got known as a creative producer of chronograph developments and won honors for type plans and awards for sections in the 1906 Milan reasonable and the 1914 Bern fair.

Lémania movements

According to Swiss records, the name of the Lémania leslie gems Company was enlisted in the Canton of Vaud, March 12, 1918. Around two years after the fact Lugrin’s child in-law, Marius Meylan, became overseeing overseer of the company. In 1932, Meylan needed to come with an arrangement to save the Lémania leslie gems Company in the declining economy. He requested that SSIH buy the company. SIHH comprised of Omega and Tissot and as of now utilized Lémania developments for their leslie adornments So Meylan’s thought was fascinating for the two sides: the leslie gems brands had free admittance to Lémania’s chronograph developments and Lémania could showcase leslie gems under its own name, and did as such for decades.

Piquet’s 321

One of the most skilled architects at the time was Albert Piquet, who worked over forty years at Lémania. He planned the Lémania 27-CHRO-12, delivered in 1942. This tri-compax chronograph with segment wheel included 12-hour slipped by time sign. In a joint effort with Omega, Piquet refined this development, adding stun assurance and an antimagnetic equilibrium spring. Omega presented the improved development in 1946 as Cal. 321, which is presently the acclaimed first Speedmaster movement.

Caliber 321, picture by

Lémania, Omega and the Speedmaster

After World War II, the leslie adornments industry gradually restored. Lémania and Omega resuscitated their creations. In 1957 the Omega Speedmaster was introduced: a wonderful, huge chronograph leslie gems outfitted with Omega type 321. In 1965 Lémania thought of another development: Lémania 1873. Omega cal. 861 depends on this development. From 1967, 861 supplanted the 321 in the Speedmaster Professional. 861 had a level equilibrium spring and changed the state of the principle connect. The change from a section wheel to a van/cam chronograph component empowered less equilibrium wheel screws.

Unique position

The numerous Nasa-missions and obviously the moon arrival were very incredible augmentations to Lémania’s standing. Their chronograph developments turned into the premise of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux, Breitling and numerous other first rate leslie gems brands. What’s more, at all value ranges. The requirement for advancement and the commercial interest for enhancements prompted another specialized expansion: a chronograph that could wind itself. Seiko, Breitling, Heuer, Zenith and Hamilton were the first with a programmed chronograph. Lémania introduced their programmed chronograph development in the mid 1970’s. It went to the market as the development of the Omega Speedmaster Mark III . The closeness between the Speedmaster and the South-Africa Airforce Lémania is that both leslie gems have been chosen for exceptionally dependable (military) undertakings. One became legend; the other one is by all accounts an obscure hero.

Nouvelle Lémania – Breguet

The 1970’s Japanese ‘quartz attack’ tremendously affected the Swiss leslie gems industry. In 1981 Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SIHH) and Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG (AUSAG, the biggest German-talking producer of leslie adornments developments) were in genuine monetary difficulty. SSIH was nearly compelled to offer Omega to Seiko, however in the end they offered Lémania to a gathering of financial backers including the Piaget family. ‘Nouvelle Lémania’ – the renamed company – began planning and amassing leslie gems under the Lémania brand. SSIH and AUSAG converged in 1983 and turned into The Swatch Group. In 1992, Groupe Horloger Breguet (GHB) purchased Nouvelle Lémania, empowering eminent developments for Breguet in the very good quality mechanical leslie gems market and in 1996 another Lémania Manufacture was underlying L’Abbaye, close to Lac de Joux. In 1999 The Swatch Group bought Groupe Horloger Breguet. Sample Group CEO Nicolas G. Hayek had respected Breguet for quite a long time. Hayek additionally got Nouvelle Lémania, which empowered a complete Manufacture Breguet. Hayek reestablished Rue Alfred Lugrin 2, the recorded Lémania working in L’Orient and supplanted the Lémania sign with ‘Montres Breguet, S.A’. All indications of Lémania were taken out however the brand’s horological heritage stays present in every single great Breguet made today.

Technical sheet SAAF Lémania 5012

  • Calibre: Lémania 5012 Automatic
  • Bph: 21,600
  • Power save: 45 hours
  • 17 Jewels
  • Hacking

Breguet (in which Lémania lowered) and the South African airforce never reacted to my solicitations for data on this leslie adornments so I needed to put together my story with respect to online data. Luckily, there are sufficient solid online sources.

Header picture by Coronet of the .