Rare early gold cased Smiths wristwatch in good original condition.
Dennison's stylish 3-part 9ct gold case with 'horned' lugs hallmarked Birmingham 1950, case design No 12328, serial number 334225. Smiths 12.15 gilded movement, as originally designed by Rene Lenoir and his team at Smiths Bishops Cleeve factory around 1945. Double-roller detached lever escapement with steel club-tooth escape, the monometallic balance with timing screws and Beryllium balance-spring. Silvered two-tone 'art deco' dial with radium numerals and the original radium filled blued-steel 'skeleton' hands. Just over 31 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with its early Smiths 12.15 box
This is Smiths model RH.0605 watch with early C-series movement, and is one of the earliest examples I have seen of Smiths new top quality wristwatches cased in gold rather than gilded or chromed. From before they were given the De Luxe name, these stylish watches were first available to the public from early in 1947 but post-war austerity and rationing was the norm and very few will have been able to afford to buy a gold watch (priced at £25) at this period, even fewer will have survived being scrapped.
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.
Not mint, as it has been worn and cleaned in the past, but generally in fine original condition. These luminous dial models almost never survive in such good condition and this example unusually retains its original radium which, although discoloured, is all complete. The plain gold case also with no previous engraving on the rear. Winding and working OK but not cleaned by me and priced accordingly.
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