The Culling Collection of Military Watches

Date of Auction: 9th June 2020

Sold for £2,600

Estimate: £1,500 - £2,000

British military: An RAF pilot’s monopusher chronograph wristwatch, by Lemania, 1953, the black dial signed and bearing broad arrow pheon, with white Arabic numerals (12 and 6 are luminous), outer minutes track with luminous spots to 5 minutes, luminous hands and centre sweep chronograph hand, and two subsidiary dials at 3 o’clock for chronograph 30 minutes and 9 o’clock for running seconds, unsigned jewelled movement, the stainless steel case with single chronograph buttons at 2 o’clock, the screw down back bearing British military issue broad pheon and numbered ‘AM/6B/551 291/53’, to a later black leather strap, dial diameter 34.5mm. £1,500-£2,000


From the late 1940s until the 1970s Lemania were the sole providers of chronographs to the English military. They were supplied to the RAF, the Fleet Air Arm and other branches including the Hydrographic Service. All had a single pusher; dispensing with the need for an additional zero button, which ruled out the possibility of error, made them ideal for navigating and measuring distances while dead-reckoning current position.
The British military issue numbers on this watch indicates as follows:
AM - that the watch was procured by the Air Ministry.
6b - that the watch was issued by the Royal Air Force.