Rare gold pre-De Luxe Smiths wristwatch in lovely original condition.
Stylish 9ct gold 3-part case with 'horned' lugs, the Dennison case hallmarked Birmingham 1950. Smiths 12.15 movement, as originally designed by Rene Lenoir and his team at Bishops Cleeve in Cheltenham around 1945. Double-roller detached lever escapement with steel club-tooth escape, the monometallic balance with timing screws and Beryllium balance-spring. Silvered dial in the 'art deco' taste with Smiths lovely earlier style of gilt hands. 31 mm diameter, not including button or lugs.
A very good example of one of Smiths earliest designs for their new top quality wristwatches (from before they were given the DeLuxe name) first available from early 1947. 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 original (as here) rather than refinished dials.
The dial does show some slight signs of the usual ageing but the watch is in fine overall condition and is without any presentation engraving, and is certainly one of my most favourite Smiths models. Cased in solid gold, it is mentioned but not shown in Smiths early literature, the plated model number being A.302. Gold examples, in this condition, are truly very rare. Fully and properly serviced by a Smiths specialist, guaranteed and supplied on a brand new Hirsch tan leather strap.
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