S SMITH & Son 'Watchmakers to the Admiralty' London. No 12695, Class 163 - Number 6


Lovely English finished minute recording chronograph, in fine English case.

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Heavy silver half-hunter case with gold furniture, hallmarked London 1898, sponsor's mark SS (Smith) but almost certainly the work of Fred Thoms. Three-quarter plate keyless movement jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape, probably supplied by Baume, with all the chronograph work mounted under the dial, the top plate engraved in full for Smiths and also SWISS MOVEMENT FINISHED IN LONDON. Double-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with double overcoil. Beautiful Willis (quality and colour) fully signed enamel dial with 60-minute counter at 3 and seconds at 9, original matching blued-steel hands that look to be the work of Hood - they are that good. 54 mm diameter.

Samuel Smith & Sons, 9 Strand, London, one of the largest retailers of Swiss and English made precision and technical pocket watches of the period. See the reprint of Smiths Guide to the Purchase of a Watch (3rd Edition), for further information about Smiths and their various chronographs. NB: This watch is priced at £45 (in gold?) in Smiths catalogue.

Baume & Co, the main English agent for Longines, many of their chronograph movements being supplied for finishing in London for Smiths. NB: The quality of finishing of these watches, even in the same Class, does differ, this being without doubt the best of its type I have handled. This watch is also notable for bearing the most honest engraved description of its origins and finishing I have seen.

The painted class number on the dial showing some fading, otherwise in truly fine original condition showing almost no signs of use. Serviced and guaranteed.