Smiths largest De Luxe model, the English 'calatrava,' with unusual dial, circa 1955.
Gold plated case with snap-on stainless-steel back. Smiths classic 12.15 gilt movement with 'Permalife' unbreakable mainspring, as first designed by Rene Lenoir and his team (not Jaeger) at Cheltenham around 1946. Double-roller detached lever escapement with steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Rare silvered dial with textured area around the raised gilt numerals, gilt hands. 35 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with the original Smiths gold plated expander strap in its velvet lined leather covered box.
These largest sized De Luxe watches were rarely advertised by Smiths and I have not been able to find this exact model, although it is similar to their A.325 design (note the expander strap) shown on page 72 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.
The plating on the case and hands showing minor wear and markings, and with some minor scratches showing on the snap-on back. Otherwise a most original and unusual example of Smiths largest wristwatch. The original Smiths expander strap also shows some wear and, as few people these days like to use such straps, I have replaced it with a suitable brown leather strap. The original expander comes with the watch and I can replace it if wanted. Cleaned for its previous owner and working correctly.
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