SMITHS, Cheltenham, No B5373, for J W BENSON. The 'Bank'


£ 195.00

A good English pocket watch of the period, the last of their type until George Daniels.

More details

Base metal (Cuprel) Dennison case with snap-on back and bezel, circa 1950. Smiths pocket watch sized version of their '12.15' wristwatch caliber, in split three-quarter plate gilded form. St-line club-tooth lever escapement with polished steel escape. Monometallic balance, Beryllium 'non-magnetic balance-spring. Enamel dial in perfect condition, signed for the retailers with MADE IN ENGLAND at the bottom, original blued-steel hands. 50 mm diameter. 

James Walter Benson, London's most important watch retailer from before the end of the 19th century, sellers and manufacturers of good and top quality watches, clocks, etc. Benson sold this model as their "English-made BANK pocket watch" for which they asked 14 guineas in silver and £30 in gold - the copy I have Benson's advert for these watches does not mention the price of Cuprel cases.

Smiths, formerly S Smith & Son, the last manufacturers of English made pocket and wristwatches prior to the work of George Daniels, Roger Smith and others. For a short history of their post-war production (1945-1970), see the short note in my website Glossary, and my illustrated article on Smiths 'English Wristwatches' in the April 2003 issue of Antique Collecting.

The Birmingham based firm of A L Dennison, originally set up by Aaron Dennison, one of the founders of the American watch industry, the most important English manufacturer of machine-made watch cases  - see the recent book by Philip Priestley Aaron Lufkin Dennison. An Industrial Pioneer and his Legacy.

The gilding of the movement a little scruffy, typical of Smiths at the beginning of their production, and the case showing some signs of wear. Otherwise a good example of its type and one of the few with an enamel dial which has survived in such good condition. Serviced and guaranteed.