No 248 - Le Jour Chronograph

“I feel the need, the need for speed.” You know how it is being a watch maniac constantly looking on peoples wrists. Tom Cruise’s black chronograph sure doesn’t go unnoticed in the classic Top Gun from 1986; one of his best movies ever.  After a quick research you learn that it probably is an Orfina Porsche Design chronograph with the Lemania 5100 movement. You also learn that there are tons of watches from different manufactures from the very same era that pretty much look the same and that the prices can vary a lot. I’m not really sure which the true original is but have been assuming it’s the Heuer Pasadena that all the others derive from (read more here) but I'm not sure at all. The newer ones are usually equipped with the Valjoux 7750 movement instead of the Lemania and are often cheaper. The used Orfina's you find are usually quite expensive and are also very often quite worn. I would of course have preferred the real deal from the start but I felt there was so much to learn about all the different models that I barely had begun to scratch the surface. I instead decided to go for one of the cheaper versions just to quickly get that Maverick vibe going.

#248 - The Le Jour chronograph. Not entirely sure about the correct reference.

I found my Le Jour head only to a decent price but in the need of service because its 7750 movement had a loose rotor and wouldn’t self-wind. After the service it was fine though and worked perfectly. I quickly realized that one of the hardest parts when you purchase one of those old PVD military style chronographs is to source a good bracelet for it. Usually all used watches are sold on some ugly leather bund strap (I can't stand them!). I searched forever and ever after a suitable vintage bracelet but finally settled for an oyster type bracelet from Hadley Roma that seemed to be of a rather decent quality. I had plans on making the bracelet look a little more vintage to match the worn surface of the watch case but instead I switched it for a Bonetto Cinturini 295 rubber which also gave a good vintage feel to it. 

OK. So maybe I didn't became as cool as Maverick with my Le Jour but it really opened up my eyes for chronographs even more just like the Tutima and the Tudor's did and I can honestly say that my venturing among the 80's and 90's Lemania and 7750 chronos is far from over.

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