SMITHS 'Astral' Cheltenham. Batch No 90


All English wristwatch in lovely condition, complete with certificate and both boxes.

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Slim gold two-piece 9ct gold case hallmarked London 1970, casemaker SCW (Smiths Clock & Watch Division). Smiths 17-jewel shockproof 60466E 'military spec' movement with hack setting. Club-tooth double-roller lever escapement with steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Silvered dial with a mix of raised gilt hour numerals and batons, original gilt hands. 33.5 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with the original certificate, red clam-shell box and outer white cardboard box bearing the name of its British Railways recipient: J HOLLAND.

A very good example of Smiths Astral similar to that as shown in Smiths 1968 catalogue, model NG17. All Smiths wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions. Please also be aware that most Smiths wristwatches that survive show all the signs of much use, often with water damage, particularly to the dial. I do not deal in such watches and offer only those examples that have survived in very good or better condition (as here) with, wherever possible, original rather than refinished dials.

NB: It is sometimes said that Smiths Astral grade is not as good as their De Luxe or Everest models. This is not true. Smiths De Luxe, Astral, Everest and Imperial names were all variously used on their best quality watches and differences in the casing and jewelling can be found throughout the range. 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.

Case, movement and dial showing almost no signs of use and the most complete and original British Rail presentation watch I have handled, as well as one of the few with the top grade of movement. With new brown lizard strap. Serviced for its previous owner (I was told) and looks to be working well.