Lemania Dive Supervisor British Royal Navy Wristwatch c.1965
The Lemania Dive Supervisor British Royal Navy Wristwatch is arguably one of the rarest of all British military issued wristwatches.
For many years, collectors and enthusiasts were somewhat sceptical that these watches were genuine. Fortunately, their authenticity has since been ratified and established.
Interestingly, these watches do not feature in Konrad Knirim’s excellent book on British Military Timepieces. This is due to the authors own doubts on the watch at the time of the book being written. Happily, any doubts were subsequently dispelled following some further research which involved referring to the Royal Navy’s Divers Handbook and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Standard archives from the period.
The Royal Navy Divers Handbook refers to the watch in Chapter 3334 when summarising the watches provided by the Royal Navy to their divers. The two diver’s watches were the famous Rolex Military Submariner and Omega Military Seamaster 300 and the supervisor’s watch, “Lemania”. The handbook then goes on to advise that the supervisor’s watch is used only for supervision and that it is splash-proof and not pressure resistant. This was due to the Dive Supervisor being “top-side” and not being required to dive. Despite this, the watch is housed in an Ervin Piquerez S.A. (EPSA) super compressor case. These cases were used by many companies who also produced dive watches such as Enicar and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
The further evidence to support the watch being genuine relates to it being included in the MOD’s Defence Standard 64 table IIIa which refers to a diving supervisor’s watch with the stores’ reference of 0552/160647. This reference can be found on the case back of the watch for sale.
The non-date examples of these watches were issued in 1965 for one year only with a date version being issued in 1968. As such, only a small number of these watches are believed to have been produced and very few examples are known to exist.
Since the Lemania Dive Supervisor being validated and accepted by the military watch fraternity, many collectors now dream of owning the “holy trinity” of vintage British military diver watches, this being the Rolex Military Submariner, the Omega Military Seamaster 300 and the Lemania Dive Supervisor.
The watch for sale, therefore, represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a very special and rare piece of British military history.