SMITHS No C105758 for J W BENSON Ltd, London


£ 295.00

Good early 'Ludgate' wristwatch, circa 1950.

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Stylish Dennison 3-piece steel and chromed case with stainless-steel snap-on back numbered 5745. Smiths classic 12.15 movement first designed by Rene Lenoir and his team (not Jaeger) at their Cheltenham works around 1945 and uprated for Benson with an additional jewel at the centre - 12.16. Double-roller lever escapement with polished steel escape, the monometallic balance with timing screws, Beryllium balance-spring. Two-tone silvered dial with original blued-steel hands. 31 mm diameter, not including button or lugs.

This is Smith 5RG model as upgraded for their biggest retailer J W Benson, and which they marketed as their 'Ludgate' model - the steel and chrome cases were priced at £12/10/-. Note the slightly different marking to the earlier Smiths dials having a sub-seconds without the outer circle and the use of diamond markers instead of some of the Roman numerals in the chapter ring. This gives a lighter feel to the dial.

James Walter Benson, then at 25 Old Bond Street, one of London premier retailers of good and top quality watches throughout the later part of the 19th and 20th centuries, the main retailers of Smiths better models throughout the 1950's and 60's.

For more information about English wristwatches see the short notes 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 wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.

Some light marks beginning to show on the chromed middle section of the case, as usual, otherwise in lovely original condition, especially the dial which is among the best I have seen.  On new/old stock 'Darlena' dull green leather strap. Serviced, fitted with a new crystal and accompanied by my usual guarantee.