This Lemania Series 1 Monopusher Chronograph is a classic British military watch. Issued to the Royal Navy, it’s cassock markings of ‘HS9’ shows that it was intended for ‘Hydrographic Services’.
There are a few variations of Lemania chronographs that were issued to the Royal Navy, with the most popular one being the asymmetric cased Series III. While they are the most well known, the example you see is a much rarer, earlier Series I variant that has a symmetric case. Especially this example with an anonymous dial indicates that it is an early variant of the Series 1 Monopusher.
Lemania has a rich history of producing pieces for the military and this Series 1 Monopusher with the anonymous dial is much lesser known but much rarer. Beating inside this watch is the famous column wheel Lemania 15 CHT. Completely gilded, it is a very attractive movement and doesn’t take an expert to be able to tell it is pure quality.
At 38mm, the stepped case wears large on the wrist and has a big presence. This was important for the Royal Navy, where legibility was one of the prerequisites and as a result, this Lemania is very wearable even by today's modern sizing standards.
With all of the technical details out of the way, let's talk aesthetics. This is as honest as it gets with a watch that is full of patina. I do find that the imperfections of this watch really make it and paired with the JPM X S.SONG Distressed Sand Brown NATO, this is one hell of a rugged piece. Try this on with a denim shirt or jacket and you’ll get the idea.