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Thread: BBC Lemania Chronograph, some more answers

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    Default BBC Lemania Chronograph, some more answers

    A recent Ebay Aution (item 180623713763) has shed some further light on the British Broadcating Corporation's use of Lemania chronographs. I am reproducing the sellers photos with his express permission.





    The auction ended last week at just under £800, after the lister improved the photographs allowing bidders to see the somewhat glorious movement.



    The most relevant quote from the auction listing

    "My Grandfather worked for the BBC as a storeman in the mid 80's and rescued it from destruction for just a few pounds"

    This early coffin-pushered chronograph is equipped with the gorgeous, gilded Calibre 15TL.

    It has also got the BBC inventory number 301, which in itself is interesting.

    So far on this forum we also have seen numbers as follows:

    106 on an Excelsior Park Stopwatch, incomplete and in bad condition found on MWR Jan 2017. Movement 3364R

    139 Early Pierce up-down chrono, dial marked, see below post #4

    181 on another Pierce u-d chrono, see page 2 of this thread, post #18

    234 - Nero lemania 12-hr elapsed time clock, very large spaced out engraving, offered on Auctionata in Germany Oct 2015. round crown, some brassing to hanging ring

    298 - on a very basic Lemania 2 register chrono from the 30s or 40s. Lozenge pushers, flat bar lugs, simple stick hands. Tele and tachy scales.

    301 - see above

    0620 - a much later black finished 1-hr stopwatch - centre minutes and seconds. Definitely later numbering scheme, and broader engraving. Doesn't fit this series really. Ebayed Mar 2016

    0624 - Black finished stopwatch, later style, surfaced incomplete on MWR in Jan 2017. At least one (and possibly 5) other ones in the same batch. Heuer singed Val7701 or Val7721 movements in all

    888 on a Nero lemania 12-hr elapsed time clock (auctioned Ebay June 2011)

    1028 on a Nero lemania 12-hr elapsed time clock (auctioned Ebay Oct2016). Scratched back and all the enamel cracked and flaking of fthe dial.

    1064 surfaced on Ebay May 2015 - it does not fit the date-related numbering system as it is a relatively modern 60-minute unbranded stopwatch, with black body and brushed steel back. It has the 1971-1988 BBC logo on the dial but no makers mark. BBC and numeration to the rear is not the house style with a broader font.

    1084 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch/clock, sold at an actual auction in March 2010, hammer price £180

    1170 seen on a Nero Lemania 1-hr stopwatch with 0-60 second scale external graduated in 1/5th seconds, and a 0-60 sub-dial scale at 12. Large engraving, with stops between B.B.C. Ebayed December 2015, £75 start price. Relisted Mar 2016, not sold at £75

    1180 on a Nero Lemania 1-hr stopwatch with 0-60 second scale and a 0-60 sub-dial scale at 12. Large engraving, with stops between B.B.C. exactly as per 1170. Ebayed October 2016 from Chichester

    1227 on one of the Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch/clocks, (auctioned EBay Nov 2011). Poor condition on caseback

    1236 on a Lemania stopwatch, no further details

    1799 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch/clock (still available for sale in Jan 2012, seller in Italy, and again June 2012, also Aug 2013 and Sept 2015 from Hong Kong - I now note the engraving is not the same as many BBC engravings, font of the BBC is wider)

    1845 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock Ebayed October 2013 by a family member of the BBC tech who used it

    1855 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock Ebayed November 2016 with cloth bag, rigid cardboard box, and even a stores receipt to the Script unit (T.C.) stating that it was repaired. Receipt undated.

    1908 is for sale on EBay right now, it is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock

    1982 is another large 12-hr elapsed timer, sold by Fellows for a low hammer price of £40 in Feb 2012 and then offered for sale on Ebay April 2012 in non-running condition

    2008 another large 12-hr elapsed timer (Nero Lemania) Ebayed March 2014 on a silver chain

    2033 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch/clock, surfaced on TZ-UK in June 2011, one of three owned by the same family - round crown, apparently owned by Ken Smith, a writer on the TV show "This is your life"

    2120 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch, Ebayed Feb 2014.

    2138 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch, Ebayed Mar 2016

    2195 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch, Ebayed Sept 2014. Hanging ring on the crown was missing

    2196 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch, Ebayed June 2016 from Pawn shop. Fully working

    2240 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch, Ebayed Feb 2015. Non-working and flaked chrome to the rear, same seller as 7520

    2274 a 12-hr Nero Lemania time elapsed clock. Probably given away as a retirement gift as it is engraved "J F WILSON - BBC - 2274 - LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT - RADIO. Auctioned March 2013

    2288 on another coffin-pushered cream-dialled Lemania using the calibre 1281.

    2379 a 12-hr Nero Lemania time elapsed clock. Ebayed March 2014, chipped dial and scuffed back

    2408 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay September 2011)

    2410 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay October 2016 as working fine)

    2415 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay August 2011 and fetched £240)

    2433 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch/clock (which is mine as of June 2011). Caseback internal service dates of 1980, 1985 and 1989 suggest a purchase date of 1975 or so.

    2590 a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock, surfaced here on the ATG Lemania forum, owned by its owner since 1973. It surfaced in April 2014.

    2616 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay June 2011)

    2652 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay August 2011 - and July 2015 as non-working)

    2659 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay May 2017 located in Bulgaria, of all places)

    2806 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch/clock, surfaced on TZ-UK in June 2011, one of three owned by the same family - square crown, apparently owned by Ken Smith, a writer on the TV show "This is your life"

    2882 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (1500 movement as stated by owner, I cannot confirm that, but same as number 1908)

    3098 on a 3 Reg "105" Lemania wrist chronograph (cream dial again) powered by the 1281 movement. Round pushers. Now mine

    3115 on a 3 Reg "105" Lemania wrist chronograph (cream dial again) powered by the 1281 movement like 3098. Ebayed October 2016 as serviced.

    3117 on a 3 Reg "105" Lemania wrist chronograph (cream dial again) powered by the 1281 movement. Round pushers. Exactly as per mine - Ebayed Feb '15

    3422 is a Nero Lemania stopwatch, a development of the 401. It has central seconds, a 60-minute sub-dial at 12 (NB - as 30-minute versions are much more common) and a flyback button at 11.

    3636 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay April 2015 as working for short periods only)

    3806 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (auctioned Ebay July 2015 as a non-runner with no balance, and no ring on the crown)

    3933 on a Nero Lemania 60 minute stopwatch with flyback, Ebayed Jan 2017. 60 minute small sub-dial at 12, outer scale 0-60. Pusher cap missing

    3936 on a Lemania 3 Register traditional 105 style ivory dialled chrono with gold hands and coffin pushers. Re-surfaced on MWR minus crown and one pusher in Oct 2016

    3958 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (Ebay April 2016, square crown)

    NOTE - this post has been split into two as it reached max size, see the post below for all numbers over 4000

    Dave
    Last edited by DaveS; 3 Weeks Ago at 22:13. Reason: addition
    If it's Lemania-powered, I'm interested. Tool Chrono - interested. Dive Chrono - interested. Interesting - interested

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    The main post above is reaching its limit of length (10k characters), so I will split it and use this poast for the second half, for all numbers over 4000.

    4016 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock (Ebay July 2015, BBC scratched off the caseback, blotchy dial)

    4165 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock, Ebay July 2016, square crown, chipped crystal.

    4185 on a Nero Lemania 60-minute flyback stopwatch Ebay Auctioned October 2011. Same model as 3422.

    4590 on a Nero Lemania 12-hr time-elapsed clock, Ebay June 2016, square crown, reportedly working.

    4692 is a Nero Lemania 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch/clock, surfaced on TZ-UK in June 2011, one of three owned by the same family - square crown, apparently owned by Ken Smith, a writer on the TV show "This is your life"

    4696 on a Lemania 1873-powered chrono in a Tissot Navigator-styled case.

    4714 surfaced here on ATG, December 2012, from an ex-BBC employee, who used it from the 1970s. It is the 12-hr time elapsed stopwatch. It was presented on Ebay the following month complete with original box stating it was issued to BBC drama serials in May 1974.

    4839 on a Lemania 3-register black-dialled chrono, cushion case, red indices (same as 4849), emerged on Chronomaster March 2015 for £695 and was apparently owned by Sir Robin Day

    4849 on a Lemania 3-register black-dialled chrono, cushion case, red indices (same as 4839). Again seen Oct 2016 on MWR

    4930 on an 1873 Nero Lemania black dial chronograph, case similar to the 120m Omega Chronostop

    5288 on an incomplete stopwatch that emerged on MWR in Jan 2017, satin finish and with subsidiary pusher (probably flyback). Lemania cal 3260, and a service mark from 1989

    5324 is a black japanned, scalloped case 1-hr stopwatch with black white dial, Ebayed Sept 2013.

    5379 on a black dialled wrist chronograph, case like the large Omega Chronostop, 873 movement, movement serial 3 million. Dial signed "Nero Lemania". Ebayed in Italy in June 2015, asking price €2k. Average condition.

    5380 on a black dialled wrist chronograph, case like the large Omega Chronostop, 873 movement, movement serial 3 million. Dial signed "Nero Lemania". Auctioned by fellows April 2015 in working but dirty condition. It is now mine.

    5612 on a Heuer 12-hr time recorder, ref 542.213, sold in Italy in 2011 and featured on the pocketstopwatch blog site.

    5748 a Black metal 1-hr sports-style stopwatch (Nero lemania) with black centre for minutes (white hand) and white outer scale for seconds. Ebay May 2013, and again Oct 2016

    6482 a black-cased 1 hr Nero Lemania stopwatch with black centre and white surround dial, Ebayed August 2012

    6685 is a 55mm Garrard 12-hr stopwatch (60-minute subdial at 12, 12-hr subdial at 6), offered on Ebay April 2012. Same movememt as my own Union Relojera Suiza Lemania

    6686 on an incomplete stopwatch that emerged on MWR Jan 2017. It has an Excelsior Park movement. No dial or hands

    7283 on a matte black 1-hr stopwatch (60 min and 60 secs on central pinion), Ebayed Dec 2015 No makers signature seen, Swiss Made. BBC signature on the dial in the white on black itallic square style (1971 to 1988). Same timer as 7520, Resold for £100 Mar 2016

    7379 on a CWC military-style fixed lug 2-register chronograph first seen by me onn TZ-UK October 2016

    7520 is a matte black 1-hr stopwatch (60 min and 60 secs on central pinion), Ebayed Feb 2015 by the same seller as 2240. This one used for fire drill timing. No makers signature seen, Swiss Made. BBC signature to the dial in the white on black itallic square style (1971 to 1988).

    7667 on Stainless case and Black bezel. The dial face is white with BBC. The condition is as New and still in a box. Also stamped 7667.

    7709 on a black cased 60mm diameter 1 hr chrono with white dial and BBC logo on the dial. EBayed April 2016. Curiously the same seller also had an identical one marked with numbers 0708. The pusher crown was missing from both.

    The subject of this latest auction is clearly the oldest, in movement and BBC inventory number, and if we ignore the stopwatches (purely because I know nothing about them), we are clearly beginning to see a timeline emerging.

    By reference solely to the movements used, the series would seem to start in the 50's, possibly late 40's.

    By the time inventory number 2000 comes by, we are firmly past the mid-50s, possibly into the mid 60s.

    3000 would be early to late 60s.

    4000 definitely into the 70s, with 4714 psitively dated to May 1974.

    And it seems that Lemania was ditched as the supplier towards the end of the purchasing of the timer inventory.

    Very approximate, I know, but the line is emerging and we should be able to pin it further as more examples pop up in the market.

    The BBC seem to have had at least 7500 timekeeping devices, almost all of them Lemania or Nero Lemania (the exceptions are the last numbers). Many of the examples seen differs from others one (apart from a recent Ebay aution of two stopwatches with consecutive serial numbers that I can no longer find).

    It is also clear that they re-started the inventory numerals very late in the system, with 0*** numerals on very recent, often black-bodied stopwatches, also often with BBC signed dials

    As usual all corroborating (or contrary) additional evidence is gratefully received, post it here.

    Dave
    Last edited by DaveS; 18-03-2017 at 08:54. Reason: addition
    If it's Lemania-powered, I'm interested. Tool Chrono - interested. Dive Chrono - interested. Interesting - interested

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    Interesting stuff Dave, some great research - I'll keep my eyes open for any more.

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    Default Bbc 139

    Hi there, just been directed to this thread. Here is another watch to put into the mix.


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    Thanks for that post Paul, and for bringing it over from MWR.

    For those that haven't read, the BBC Archivist has confirmed the provenance of this Pierce, and it becomes the first in the BBC series that we have noted over here.

    It is especially ineresting due to the low number, the fact that the number is dial printed and not caseback engraved, and the fact that it is not a Lemania.

    I am adding it onto the original thread, which is becoming the depository of the ones we have observed.

    It is also interesting to note that 2 CWC military pattern chronoes have recently come up on Ebay with BBC numeration engraved on the rear.

    However, I am dubious as to their authenticity as the engraving was appalling, and they no not fit into the date sequence we are establishing by numerous references above (they were very early numbers).

    It is interesting that someone would deem it worthwhile to engrave such a watch with a BBC number, presumably on the basis of enhanced value.

    Probably their ineptitude resulted in the opposite.

    Dave
    If it's Lemania-powered, I'm interested. Tool Chrono - interested. Dive Chrono - interested. Interesting - interested

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    Default Two more Lemanias



    Hello, saw this forum whilst trying to find some more info on my fathers old watches. He worked for over 25 years as a reporter on the radio. They were given them in order to time their reports for broadcasting.
    The one on the left (black one) is BBC 4849 and the one on right is BBC 3936.
    Hope this is of interest to you



    Attachment 1464

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    Default Spotted this on the Hour the other night...

    Not seen a Garrard-branded BBC Lemania before (if indeed that is what it is).

    Your bleeding-edge Now is always someone else’s past. Someone else’s ’70s bellbottoms. Grasp that and start to attain atemporality.

    the #watchnerd

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    Hi there BBC
    Thanks for your valued additional contribution, which has been added to the list at the top.
    That 105 on the right is absolutely beautiful, a classic design.

    Contributors may (or may not) have been noting that I have added all versions that I see to the above list, which basically is about 1 per month on average. The list is getting more complete, and some more patterns are emerging.

    The large 12-hr time elapsed clocks were very popular with the BBC (like the one centre top below, my own. The others in the picture are not BBC at all)



    The wrist chronographs were clearly less formally procured, I believe, with many different models being bought, of many different styles and capabilities. 4849 is just about the only double we have seen so far, identical to 4696.

    Even the new 105 (3936) differs from the most similar one, 3098, by having older-style coffin pushers, instead of round.

    It seems that Lemania did supply almost everything, bar the very early Pierce pictured above.

    There is now a lot of agreement that many of these timekeepers were kept on the BBC inventory until some time in the 80s, when they were sold off or scrapped.

    Dave

    And the Garrard? No idea. However, it would seem very unlikely that "The Hour" actually used a genuine prop, as it is graduated in centi-minutes, a useless scale for programme makers.
    If it's Lemania-powered, I'm interested. Tool Chrono - interested. Dive Chrono - interested. Interesting - interested

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    However, it would seem very unlikely that "The Hour" actually used a genuine prop, as it is graduated in centi-minutes, a useless scale for programme makers.
    Bizarrely, I have been doing a bit of Lemania searching, and found a further example of the BBC 12-hr Elapsed time clocks, as pictured in the top centre immediately above.

    It belongs to a company that owns and hires out vintage TV equipment, and I have been in contact with them to ask about it.

    It turns out that it is an example already on the database, and furthermore, that the same clock is now being used in filming the second series of "The Hour". It is Ref 888, see above.

    Attention to detail is clearly very specific for such things.

    What's more, I have now acquired a 3-Reg Lemania 105 chrono (also referred to above), which I will post once it has had some spa treatment.

    Watch this space.

    Dave
    If it's Lemania-powered, I'm interested. Tool Chrono - interested. Dive Chrono - interested. Interesting - interested

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    Default More about centiminutes...

    The BFI has records of a short film: "How to read the centiminute stop-watch, followed by 100 images of a watch in use. Intended for work study trainees"

    I've not found a copy of it yet, but will keep looking.
    Your bleeding-edge Now is always someone else’s past. Someone else’s ’70s bellbottoms. Grasp that and start to attain atemporality.

    the #watchnerd

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