To mark the twentieth anniversary of the day when Nivrel got new owners and was moved from Switzerland to the German region of Saarland, the brand is launching a special edition timekeeper named Replique Lemania Limited. Its highlight is the fact that it s supplied with a famous caliber which has become quite a cherished object in the world of watchmaking – automatic caliber Lemania 8810 – one of the thinnest self-winding calibers on the market. Moreover, the new classical-styled Nivrel watch from the Replique line of products is fitted into a steel housing with the modest diameter of 40 mm, produced in a restricted series of 30 copies and available for around $2,250.
The Story of Lemania 8810 (Longines L990) Caliber
Nivrel is a watchmaking brand that emerged in 1936 in Switzerland. Nearly six decades later, in 1993, the brand was acquired by Gerd and Gitta Hofer who decided to move the production to Germany, or more accurately, to its Saarland region which lays right next to the French border. To mark the crucial event in the company’s history, Nivrel is now releasing the model with the reference number N 151.001.CAAHS. As it has been said, its most distinguishable feature is the fact that it includes renowned Lemania 8810 movement. This extremely revered caliber with the thickness of just 2.96 mm was originally developed by Longines, was known as Longines L990 and was launched in the late 1970s. The important step in the creation of this caliber came in 1975 when Longines launched its predecessor Calibre 890 which featured twin stacked mainspring barrels. This feature enabled it to have an extended power reserve and improved its isochronism. Two years later, Longines was able to reduce the movement’s thickness from 5.2 mm to amazing 2.96 mm by arranging barrels side by side and by the simplification of the winding system and switching to one direction winding. By incorporating novelties which are still quite respectable, this caliber earned the title of the world’s thinnest self-winding movement and kept it for nearly ten years.
Subsequently, Longines likewise introduced modified versions of the caliber which were made in various combinations, with or without second hands and date displays. Unfortunately, this was exactly the time when quartz modules began to emerge which caused the discontinuation of the production of the thin automatic caliber. In fact, this was the last self-winding caliber to be produced by Longines in that era.
The story about one of the revered thin automatic calibers continues at the start of the 1990s when Lemania bought the design of the caliber alongside with the tools necessary for its production. The movement was renamed and was known from that point as Lemania 8810 as it is the case with the Nivrel’s watch we are now talking about.
Apart from the historical caliber, this is a pretty straightforward and classical piece without any unnecessary decorations or additional functions. It features the design which was typical for Nivrel products during its Swiss era. Replique Lemania Limited includes a silver-colored dial with a sunburst guilloche pattern, applied Arabic numerals and luminous applied indices. Just like the indices, its Losange-styled hands are treated with Superluminova C3 coating. Moreover, it is import to note that the three-hand watch includes a date aperture at the standard three o’clock position.
The housing of the anniversary watch by Nivrel is constructed of 316L steel and features quite subdued dimensions, with the diameter of 40 mm and the thickness of 7.4 mm. Its face is protected with a sapphire crystal which is featured once more on the rear transparent section of the case. The see-through section on the case back shows off fine finishing of its famed caliber which has an engraved rotor. The watch is released in a limited edition series of 30 pieces and has the price of $2,250.