Rare all-English made automatic wristwatch in fine original condition.
Nicely detailed 3-piece 9ct gold case, sponsor's mark SCW (Smiths Clock & Watch Division), hallmarked Edinburgh 1963, the snap-on back with its original Smiths applied presentation engraving: to H R MENDL from DECCA. Smiths ‘Imperial’ Cal: 10144G 25-jewel, shockproof, nickel finished movement. Double-roller lever escapement with steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Silvered dial with gilt hands and matching baton markers and numerals, the c-seconds with Smiths usual red tip. 34 mm diameter. Together with makers red velvet and silk lined clamshell box.
Smiths range of automatics in stainless-steel, gold and gold plated cases was introduced in 1959. Initially named 'Imperial Automatic' (a name that continued to be seen on the movement rotor), this is a fine example of one of Smiths most desirable and expensive wristwatches, those in gold cases were initially priced at £50. Though I do not know the exact model number for this case style having parallel sided lugs, Smiths similar SW 501/E model, but in a less stylish case, was priced at £37/10/- in their 1964 catalogue.
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: This case style is not waterproof and all Smiths wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.
The case showing hardly any of the usual signs of wear and the original finish to the dial among the best I have handled - a very fine example indeed. The box also in very fine condition. Fitted with new tan leather Hirsch strap and recently serviced by one of the best Smiths specialists presently working in the UK, and guaranteed of course.
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