SMITHS 'De Luxe' Cheltenham. No C53753


Fine English wristwatch in new/old stock condition, circa 1953/4.

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Chromed 3-piece case with snap-on stainless-steel back. Smiths '12.15' (12 ligne, 15 jewel) gilt movement with 'Permalife' unbreakable mainspring, as designed by Robert Lenoir and his team at Cheltenham around 1945. Double-roller lever escapement with polished steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Silvered dial with a mix of raised gilt numerals and batons, original gilt hands. 32 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. With original pigskin leather strap with chromed buckle, showing the watch has not been worn.

This dial design is first shown on page 50 of Smiths 1953 catalogue, but in a chromed case with horned lugs, model A.109. Smiths were always tinkering with new styles of dial and case making it more than difficult to track down all the various models they offered, though Ian Wilson has certainly formed the best listing known to me, a research effort for which he deserves all our thanks - it can be found reproduced at the back of Barrie Smiths 2009 book on Smiths Watches.

For more information about Smiths wristwatches see the short note in my website Glossary, and my illustrated article on Smiths 'English Wristwatches' in the April 2003 issue of Antique Collecting. NB: This case style is not waterproof and all Smiths wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.

Case, dial and movement showing almost no signs of age (now sixty+ years), but a small chip at the edge of the glass, at six, which may be a reason it never sold. When acquired by me it even retained the original paper label on the case back (see pic) but the sticky material had deteriorated and discoloured so I have removed it - see pics. Because of its original condition I have not serviced the watch and it is presently not working, and is priced accordingly. I am happy to service it if required, the estimated cost being £120 plus parts, plus VAT.