The Lemania 5100 is a legendary chronograph movement that is something of a holy grail among chronograph obsessed watch nerds. We went deep into the history of the movement a few years ago, and if you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Mark McArthur-Christie’s thorough examination of the movement, but the gist is this: the Lemania 5100 is a bullet-proof chrono with a central minute counter, and has been used in what are now classic watches by brands like Sinn, Omega, and Heuer, and the movement was adopted by a variety of military units worldwide for its robustness and incredibly useful central minutes counter. The movement was effectively killed around 2004, and collectors have been snapping up examples in recent years, driving up the value of watches housing it. Now, with the introduction of the DC86, Damasko has introduced yet another watch with an in-house-modified chronograph that essentially mimics the Lemania 5100 while adding even more functionality than past iterations, giving a new generation of enthusiasts an opportunity to experience this type of chronograph.
- Case Material: Hardened stainless steel
- Dial: Black
- Dimensions: 43.3 x 14.4 mm
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Water Resistance: 100 meters
- Crown: Screw down
- Movement: C-516 (heavily modified Valjoux base)
- Strap/bracelet: Hardened stainless steel bracelet, leather straps
- Price: ~$3977
- Reference Number: n/a
- Expected Release: Available now
Damasko, with their reputation for producing truly solid and over-engineered tool watches, is a fitting brand to bring this style of watch back to market, given military use of the Lemania 5100 in years past. Their new C51-6 automatic chronograph movement uses central minutes and seconds counters, with a twelve hour totalizer at 6:00. Additionally, there’s a running seconds at 9:00, and a 24 hour indicator at 3:00. These extra totalizers and registers are what set the new movement apart from the previous C51-1, which is found inside the DC80. The watch features a date window at 4:30 with quick-adjust capability.
Be sure to check out our Damasko factory visit to learn more about the brand’s movement manufacture.
Anyone who has handled a Damasko watch understands that their cases are made to an incredibly high standard, and the DC86 is no exception. The ice-hardened stainless steel is extra scratch resistant, and uses Damasko’s patented process of infusing steel with nitrogen. This is far more effective than applying a coating to standard 316L steel, as many brands do, or even surface hardening. The end result is a watch case that is effectively scratch and corrosion proof.
Aesthetically, the DC86 resembles other Damasko tool watches. Which is to say, the dial has been designed with legibility being the ultimate goal. Chronographs are inherently tough to design — brands are limited by movement architecture, and it’s easy to get lost in a sea of sub-dials. Damasko’s ability to fashion their own movement with seconds and minutes being read from the center plays a huge role in making this watch easily usable whether you’re checking the time or actively engaged in timing an event.
The dial elements are largely in a crisp white against a matte black, and everything pops just as you’d hope. The Green variant features green accents on the dial and hands, and variants marked Black feature black “Damest” coated cases. It’s worth noting that Damasko’s black coating is extra resistant against abrasions as well.