SMITHS 'De Luxe' Cheltenham. No C448276


Smiths largest De Luxe model, with box and certificate.

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3-piece 9ct gold case with snap-on back and bezel hallmarked Edinburgh 1956, sponsor's mark SCW (Smiths Clock and Watch Division), the rear with presentation engraving. Smiths classic 12.15 gilt movement with 'Permalife' unbreakable mainspring, as first designed by Rene Lenoir and his team (not Jaeger) at Cheltenham around 1945. Double-roller detached lever escapement with polished steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Lovely design of silvered dial with raised gilt numerals, gilt hands. 35 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with the original Smiths leather covered box and De Luxe certificate.

The largest sized De Luxe watch, Smiths model A.526 as shown on page 75 of their 1955 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. 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 with wherever possible original, as here, rather than refinished dials.

Note also the dial design which is exclusive to this 15-jewel model. This, with the slightly concave finish to the bezel, is among the most pleasing of all Smiths designs, one that I have always considered the English 'calatrava'

A lovely watch in lovely complete and original condition. Light spotting starting to show on the original dial lacquer, but far better than most that are seen. On lightly worn best quality Hirsh brown 'croc' strap. Cleaned for its previous owner and working correctly, but can be freshly serviced if wanted - likely cost around £150 + VAT.