SMITHS 'De Luxe' Cheltenham. No C123433


£ 495.00

Rare early example of Smiths largest size De Luxe model.

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Large two-piece 9ct pink gold case hallmarked Edinburgh 1951, casemaker BWC (British Watch Cases). Smiths classic 12.15 gilt movement as originally designed by Rene Lenoir and his team around 1945, with 'Permalife' unbreakable mainspring. Double-roller detached lever escapement with polished steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Silvered dial with mix of raised gilt batons and numerals, gilt hands. 35 mm diameter, not including button or lugs.

These largest sized De Luxe models were rarely advertised by Smiths and I have not found this exact design in any of their earliest catalogues. It is, though, a good example from the very beginning of Smiths new 'De Luxe' range of models, their previous watches being designated '12.15.' NB: at this date Smiths had not yet upgraded any of their movements to have 18 jewels. 

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. This case style is not waterproof and all Smiths wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.

In good general condition but the dial has been re-printed at some point. Well done, and no doubt rescuing a dial that had been damaged, 'MADE IN ENGLAND,' as seen at the bottom of the dial on all Smiths best wristwatches manufactured in Cheltenham, has been omitted, and is priced accordingly. Otherwise a good example of what I believe to be a very rare model. Fitted with new black leather strap. Cleaned for its previous owner and appears to be working well.