It can be rather difficult to find a 1970s chronograph larger than 35mm – small by today’s standards – yet this Aquastar Regate regatta chronograph here, with its colorful 10-minute regatta timer, is precisely that and measures in at 42mm.
But lets go back a bit.
Lemania Watch Co as a name was adopted in the 1920’s and branded onto watches from the 1930’s into the 1960’s – in 1932, the Lemania joined Omega and Tissot in the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère SA (SSIH), later to become the Swatch Group, with the easy next move of adopting Lemania movements in watches of all three brands, and even Lemania-designed cases.
In 1981 the SSIH-Group sold its Lemania shares to its management and other outside investors. The company continued under the name Nouvelle Lemania, and subsequently in 1999 became part of the Swatch Group. Beginning of the 1970’s, one of Lemania’s best designers, Albert Piquet, developed the regatta caliber 1345 for Aquastar, based on their patent for a 10-minute countdown timer.
The colorful Aquastar chronograph features this famously robust automatic Lemania caliber 1345, a modified Lemania 1341 movement with regatta parts integrated into the movement. The 1341 was used in many Omega and Tissot chronographs from the same time period. Yacht racing requires a countdown period before the start of a race to help keep the boats as fairly placed as possible. Before the start of a sailboat race, there are two guns, the first gun signals that the race will start in either five or 10 minutes (depending on the type of race sailed).
At the five-minute mark, a gun is sounded and the sailors start their countdown functions and maneuver their sailboats as close to the start line as possible. Once the end of the five-minute blue period is reached, the race has begun.
This Aquastar comes with a stainless-steel strap, nylon strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1970's Aquastar Regate Regatta Lemania Automatic
DIAL: Aquastar Regate dial, with matching hands; lume shines.
CASE: Stainless-steel case measure s 42mm (39mm w/o crown) x 45mm; caseback clearly retains its Aquastar Geneve branding, as does the crown its logo. It measures in at a robust 15mm tall, including the domed crystal.
CRYSTAL: Domed acrylic crystal, no scratches or cracks.
BAND: Stainless-steel bracelet, which can fit an aprox. 8.5 inch wrist. Also included, a light blue, black, and orange nylon strap, which nicely matches the orange of the Lemania’s second hand.
MOVEMENT: Swiss-manufactured 17-jewel Lemania caliber 1345 (a modified Lemania 1341 movement), which allows the chrono wheel to do operate as a 10-minute regatta timer.
CROWN: Aquastar logo-signed stainless-steel crown.
CHRONOGRAPH PUSHER: Single pusher depresses with satisfying click. 10-minute timer resets as designed with no issue.