Rare example of Smiths largest and best finished model - the English 'calatrava'
Nicely detailed three-piece 9ct yellow gold case with faceted lugs and concave chamfered sight ring to the front bezel, hallmarked Edinburgh 1961, sponsor's mark SCW (Smiths Clock & Watch Division). Smiths classic 12.15 gilt movement with 'Permalife' unbreakable mainspring upgraded to have 18 jewels, as noted on the dial. Double-roller detached lever escapement with polished steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring having an overcoil, as reserved for Smiths best work. Silvered dial with applied gold faceted batons and dots, gold hands, the only Smiths model to which they were fitted. 35 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with makers velvet lined leather covered box and guarantee.
These largest sized De Luxe models were rarely advertised by Smiths and one of the few times I have seen this exact model (A.522) is in their 1957 catalogue, page 62. 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.
Lightly engraved presentation dedication on the rear to L HUMPHRIES from the Midlands Gas Board and the dial with a nice overall soft toning. Otherwise a most original example of Smiths largest and best finished wristwatch in what I regard as their most stylish design of gold case. It stands up well in comparison to any 'high end' Swiss wristwatches of the period - for special occasions I prefer and wear my Smiths. On contemporary new/old stock brown 'English Calfskin' leather strap. Serviced and guaranteed.
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