Well, mith321 is selling his magnificent example if you are tempted.
Well, mith321 is selling his magnificent example if you are tempted.
Hi Pascal, thanks and you are right that its luminous indices really a problem..I have seen many grail dials are having this issue including mine. May i know where i can find more info/technical data on Lemania 5100 movement? Since you are the expert..I have no luck in seaching this forum, also what & why this movement famous and lots of people call this movement a work horse?
Also for this movement, how many years of usage do you recommend before we neeed to send in for servicing if it's a daily wearer? :)
I can point you to this page written by my late friend Chuck Maddox: Why I like the Lemania 5100. This is a very good introduction and points out many of the features that make this chronograph movement unique.
As far as I am concerned, I fell in love with this calibre because it is the last of the dying breed of purely utilitarian chronograph. It is a synthesis between two seemingly irreconcilable goals: maximum accuracy under duress and low cost of manufacture. As a result, it pioneered many technical solutions, such as the large use of Delrin® acetal resin. Nowadays, many lesser informed enthusiasts refer to these parts as plastic, but they are missing the fact that the choice of this material was widely dictated by technical considerations, such as its self lubricating properties.
In the wake of the quartz tsunami, consumer tastes have changed, and now we expect a mechanical chronograph movement to look good and pack some "nobility" through the use of column wheels and fancy finishes. The Lemania 5100 didn't bother with such trivial considerations. It was conceived to do a job and to do it well. What's more, it remains to this days the most legible chronograph movement ever made in large quantities. It also has some distinguished history, and its Omega incarnation, calibre 1045, was successfully tested by NASA in 1978 alongside the Moonwatch during the latter's re-certification. While the American Space Agency finally decided to stick with the Speedy Pro, the Lemania 5100 finally travelled to space with Sinn and Fortis. It also powered many issued chronographs for the Air Forces of Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Venezuela and Australia. That's why this movement is often referred to as a "workhorse". Not necessarily pretty to look at, but unbeatable when it comes to get the job done...
Finally, to answer your last question I would get the watch serviced every 5 years, though up to 7 is acceptable for this movement.
Thank You Master Pascal! Really learn alot from you...
Last edited by Aska Chee; September 17th, 2013 at 14:38.
I remember something I wrote a few years ago that summarizes very well what I feel about the Lemania 5100. If I may, I will quote myself here:I think the thing that attracted me the most with this movement, beyond its unequalled legibility and well-documented sturdiness, is the fact that it's the last member of a dying breed. This movement was conceived with only utilitarian considerations in mind. It had to be accurate, dependable, and cheap to make. Lemania managed to combine those three qualities brilliantly before the quartz tsunami redefined the watch manufacturing landscape, and consumer expectations, forever.
Nowadays, nobody would try to make such a movement because it no longer makes financial sense in our era. Quartz is more accurate and way cheaper, and most nostalgics who are ready to buy new mechanically-powered chronographs want something more: aesthetics. As much as it pains me to reach that conclusion, building an automatic chronograph has become a pointless exercise which can only be justified by adding a nice packaging to the core function of measuring time. Be it only thanks to a sapphire caseback, or going further with the addition of so-called "noble" complications such as a column wheel, or some cosmetic enhancements (Geneva waves, Perlage, blued parts, etc), the mechanical movement has been dragged into the limelight from the shadows of backstage. And it is now expected to star while still managing the show!
The Lemania 5100 is the last survivor of an era when extra considerations of this kind were unnecessary or even preposterous, except for a tiny segment of high horology. The calibre 5100 was therefore designed with a true purpose in mind, and that was it. No wonder it proved so popular with the military! This movement therefore encompasses a level of purity and honesty that we will simply not find anymore. It doesn't try to seduce us. It just is the ultimate expression of what it was meant to do given the technical limitations of the time.
The late and much-missed Chuck Maddox, with whom I had frequent e-mail conversations on that topic, indeed liked to describe this movement as the AK-47 of the chronograph world. He also sometimes used another analogy which I like just as much: the Lemania 5100 is the equivalent of a jeep. Rugged, unsophisticated, ugly, but outperforming and outlasting anything that already existed at the time. And to me it is reassuring to see so many people lovingly restoring old Willys MB Jeeps some 70 years after they first appeared because it gives me hope that the Lemania 5100 will enjoy a similar fate. But that will only happen if enough people truly measure its significance as the ultimate mechanical "work chronograph" ever made.
So yeah, this calibre is Über-Cool, and as a result so are most of the watches it powered. Besides, who can argue against such a simple an logical dial layout for a chrono?
Hi you all,
my english is horrible and you have the permission to laugh but i enjoy nearly every day this thread and the fantastic pics. Here i want you show my grail, personally hunted in germany. The price was low, but three indizes were missing. So i am soory to show this dial. It is recolored, but this watch is special. On the wrist it is unique and i enjoy it every day.
so you understand:
I am searching for an newer original dial.
Indices falling to dust are a common problem on the Grail. It appears that the production batch of these dials was extremely fragile, which is a pity really because it prompted Omega to replace them with incorrect service parts. My own original example is missing two indices at 3 and 4, which led me to a long quest for a spare dial.
The good news is that it is possible to find one, as proven by my eventual success.
But the bad news is that it will likely take you a loooooong time to unearth it and it is likely to end up being very expensive (the last one I've seen got sold for €450, and that was already a while ago!).
Last edited by Pascal S; December 14th, 2013 at 22:28.
do you know a possibility or a source to get one dial? The price is ok, if the dial is proper, but find one is the problem. Till it happens i will live with my solution, it looks vintage and is the first dial, the first bezel, crystal and all in all authentic. I wear the watch every day, indeed the RLX have to wait in the box.
So long, i will enjoy the fantastic pics and stories in the www.
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