Unusual Vintage Le Cheminant Super Master Mariner Divers Chronograph PAF?
Le Cheminant Master Mariner, most commonly seen in just the Dive Watch format, it brings me great pleasure to bring you this Unusual Dive Chronograph.
I have only ever seen a few other examples of a Le Cheminant Dive Chrono's but I cannot find another "Master Mariner" Dive Chrono anywhere.
There are two things I'd like to bring to your attention regarding this Watch, so without further delay I shall get into them now.
The caseback features some very unusual Military Style marks. The marks look as if they have been scratched over to change their appearance and disguise the original marking. I have a theory towards the Origin of this Particular markings.
Now I have been dealing in Wristwatches for years now and I know, and so do you most probably, that the RAF never marked their Issued Wristwatches with a simple "RAF", however the Pakistani Air Force did mark their Issued timepieces with a simple "PAF".
Please see below, the top image is of a Issued Pakistani Air Force Tissot Wristwatch and the bottom image is the Le Cheminant. (I have also added it into the photo reel if you wish to zoom on a laptop).
Now take away that little flick at the end of the "R", which looks to me like it has been added at a later date and I have never seen anyone write a "R" with that sort of depth on the curve, you are left with a "P". Also the top of the "P" the engraving looks a bit more shallow as if it has not been engraved over and for my money thats a bang on match to the above "P" in the image.
The "A" and "F" have clearly been engraved over but the one thing they cannot hide is the fact that font is still absolutely bang on. On both of the letters, where they are crossed I would class as unusual and that it is a sure match for the "PAF" markings.
The Broad Arrow is very awkward, you can see by the shape of the engraved arrow, they have gone over the Original arrow with most probably a screwdriver and ended up at a awkward angle due to the original point being very shallow.
To throw weight behind this particular theory, we know that during the period that this Wristwatch was produced, c.early 1960's, the Pakistani Air Force were buying up middle to high range Swiss Timepieces and issuing them to their recruits. Le Cheminant were supplying Chronometers and Deck Watches to the Royal Navy in the early 20th century so there is some form for them being Military suppliers.
Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but it could be that someone did not want a Pakistani Issued Watch on their Wrist and tried to hide the Watches history.
Again this is just a theory and it could be that "R A F" stands for "Roger Arthur Fredericks" but why scribble a awkward arrow on there?
Please take this all into consideration and make your own mind up.
There is a VERY minor issue with the Chronograph, the Movement has been Fully Serviced and the Chronograph is fully functional, however when you reset the Chronograph it can take 1-2 times for the lever to engage. According to the Watchmaker this is down to wear and tear of a almost 60 year old timepiece.
You can view the Watch and the Chronograph in action: here
Dating this Watch
circa early 1960s 1962-1965
Super Quality Landeron Calibre 39 Manual Wind Chronograph Movement, with 30 minute Recorder.
This Calibre of Movement uses the Top Pusher to start/stop the Chrono function and the Bottom one to Reset the Chrono.
The Movement is wonderful and Clean whilst ticking away strongly and keeping Excellent time.
Serviced: March 2021
The movement has had a new Operating Lever fitted as part of the Service.
Awesome Black Tachymetre Dial.
The Tachymeter Scale was for drivers who want to calculate their average speed when racing or possibly in this Case for Pilots.
T Swiss Made T
The Dial is in Awesome Vintage Condition with No real wear at all, which is remarkable when you consider this Chaps age!!
Marked T for the presence of Tritium, glow has faded with age.
This very busy dial is a real tool. Pure quality.
THIS IS NOT A REDIAL!!!!
Case and Bezel
Top Quality Solid Stainless Steel Case.
The Case is in Very Good Vintage Condition for the Nature of this Vintage, a few Age Related marks on the usual places, but nothing major, edges still nice and sharp.
Stainless Steel Screw In Case Back in Very good order.
The original factory engravings are present but a little faded.
Bezel is Bi-Directional and moves smoothly in both directions, the markings on the Bezel have faded over the years and give it a beautiful Vintage ghost feel.
Case approx. measures in at:
Diameter with Crown: 41.7mm
End of lug to lug: 45.7mm
Lug Spacing: 21mm
This Case was rated Waterproof back in the Day, it is now a Vintage Timepiece, it has NOT been tested for Water Resistance and if you wish to Submerge this Watch, you will need to have the Watch Professionally Resealed before doing so!!
Hands, Pushers, Crystal and Crown
Original Hands are in excellent vintage conditon.
Pushers in good nick some age related scratches, functioning nicely, Please ensure you view the YouTube video in regards to the resetting issue.
Original Crown, in very good nick.
A new Acrylic Crystal has been fitted as part of the Service.
On a new 21mm Brown leather strap with Steel Buckle, that compliments the Watch very well indeed.
Comes with a free GungaDin Watch Box as pictured.