SMITHS 'Astral' Cheltenham. Batch No 90


Rare centre-seconds wristwatch, with hack setting and date indication, one of Smiths last and finest models.

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Best quality larger sized and heavy 9ct gold waterproof case with screw-on back (similar to Dennison's 'Aquatite'), hallmarked 1970, casemaker SCW (Smiths Clocks and Watches). Smiths 27:CS movement, developed from the 12.15, as originally designed by Rene Lenoir and his team around 1945, but now with chamfered edge for fitting into a slimmer case, shock resistant setting for the balance, a hack-facility that allows accurate setting of the hands to the exact time, and with rare date facility, the movement designated by Smiths as their 60465E caliper. Club-tooth lever escapement. Monometallic balance with Beryllium balance-spring. Radially brushed silvered dial with upright gilt numerals with date aperture at 3, original gilt hands. 34 mm diameter. Together with the original Smiths ASTRAL velvet lined box.

I do not have a catalogue that shows this model but it dates from the very end of production of Smiths best quality mechanical watches made at Cheltenham (they shut down production in 1970), and note the later design of logo on the dial and box. For more information about Smiths English 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: All Smiths wristwatches are best kept well away from wet and damp conditions but this 'waterproof model,' in reality water-resistant, is one of the few I can recommend for everyday use rather than occasional wear - I have and use an exactly similar model myself.

Case back with presentation engraving dated 1971 and a small mark at the case edge, near 9, showing it has been worn. Otherwise a most uncommon Smiths model with date indication and military-spec hack-setting, in very good original condition, as is its box. On best quality new Hirsch tan leather strap. Cleaned, guaranteed and ready to wear.