Rare all-English automatic wristwatch, in lovely original condition.
3-piece 9ct gold case hallmarked Edinburgh 1962, sponsor's mark SCW (Smiths Clock & Watch Division). Smiths ‘Imperial’ Cal: 10144G 25-jewel, shockproof, nickel finished movement. Double-roller lever escapement with steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Silvered dial with gilt hands and matching baton markers and numerals, the c-seconds with Smiths usual red tip. 33 mm diameter. Together with makers original red velvet and silk lined pigskin leather box.
Smiths range of automatics in stainless-steel, gold and gold plated cases was introduced in 1959. Initially named 'Imperial Automatic' (a name that continued to be seen on the movement rotor and the special boxes), this is a fine example of one of Smiths most desirable and expensive wristwatches, those in gold cases were initially priced at £50. This is Smiths SW 501/E model, which was priced at £37/10/- in their 1964 catalogue, and the special Imperial Automatic named "presentation" boxes are rarely ever seen.
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.
The case showing hardly any of the usual signs of wear, with no presentation engraving and the original finish to the dial among the best I have handled - a fine example indeed. The rare box also in good condition although the lid has an old scratch and some marks, but it has protected the watch. Fitted with brand new best quality black leather Hirsch strap and recently serviced by one of the best Smiths specialists presently working in the UK, and guaranteed of course.
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