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I think it is time to give tribute to the best cam operated calibers ever built the omega 1040, 1041 and 1045 and their derivatives the lemania 1340 and lemania 5100.
The omega 1040 was based on the lemania 1340.The 1040 was built by the engineer Raoul Henri Erard from La Chaux de Fonds and manufactured by lemania.Invented by Marius Meylan Piguet, its rotor mounted on ball bearings makes object of patent 558.556 deposed the 28 th December 1970.Both the omega 1040 and lemania 1340 are haute horlogerie movements and they are both 28800bph.The main difference between the omega 1040 and the lemania 1340 is that the omega has 22 jewels, a 24 hours indicator placed at 9 in the second subdial and a date at 3hours things that the lemania 1340 hasn't the lemania 1340 is only 17 jewels.The finish of both movements is different, one has the rose copper finish the other a grey finish.Both have bidirectional winding system and kif shock protection.In 1973 was launched the first cosced chronograph caliber the 1041 it equipped the legendary speedmaster 125 made for celebrating the 125 years of omega and built to 2000 examples, making of it the first officially certified chronograph chronometer in the world.
The production of the lemania 1340 and omega 1040 lasted till mid 1975.Besides omega, wakmann, sinn and tissot used the lemania 1340.


(courtesy of herr ranft site)
In 1974, omega decided to find a replacant to the caliber 1040 because it was too costly to manufacture.A new caliber was born the 1045 (ssih lemania 5100).It was a highly complete caliber with day and date at 3, 24 hour indicator at 12, center seconds and minutes same as for 1040, 12 hour display same a for 1040 and seconds display at 9 same as for 1040.This movement used some nylon parts which gave a better auto lubrication.This caliber was concepted by Albert Piguet and Louis Baumgartner from Lemania in collaboration with Hans Kocher and Paul Marmier from the ssih technical staff.However this movement was characterized by a vertical clutch invented by Hugues Bund patented under n°580.831dating from 10th July 1973.
The 1045 powered speedies were highly successful watches in their time like many other 5100 powered watches like the tourneau,hamilton, porsche design and heuer chronographs.The 1045 movement stopped to fit speedies in 1987, 1987 was the last year of production of the 1045 where it fitted an automatic chrono with the moon watch case.In the early eighties early nineties the 5100 powered fortis,sinn,eberhard and tutima chronographs.
The movement production ceased some days ago because sinn sold its last 142 5100 powered chronos.


The lemania company was sold to heuer in 1984, heuer resold the company to Breguet in 1989.Swatch Group baught Breguet and Lemania in 1999.The lemania 1340 now lemania 1350 was reborn under the influence of breguet after more than 20 years of non production.The movement is now a 25 jewels movement and has a rhodium plated finish.


Conclusion and considerations:The lemania calibres 1340 and 5100 and their omega derivatives 1040, 1041 and 1045 represented the best cam operated self winding chronos ever built to this day.They don't wobble, they are robust, highly reliable,trouble free,long lasting and they are a great investment for a lifetime chrono.My own advice would be to have a look at chuck maddox's site in order to view the most famous 5100, 1045, 1040 and 1340 powered chronographs.

This review is dedicated for those who have an interest in lemania powered chronographs.

regards

georges
 
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