Rare example of Smiths largest and best finished model - the English 'calatrava'
Nicely detailed two-piece 9ct yellow gold case hallmarked Edinburgh 1955, sponsor's mark SCW (Smiths Clock and Watch Division). Smiths classic 12.15 gilt movement with 'Permalife' unbreakable mainspring upgraded to have 18 jewels. 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 18ct gold batons and dots, with the original gold hands. 35 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with its unusual Smiths leather covered De Luxe box.
These largest sized De Luxe models were rarely advertised by Smiths and the only time 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 (my favourite of all Smiths models) 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.
The dial looks to have been re-done at some point but the case back is without any previous presentation engraving making this a good, clean example of Smiths largest and best finished wristwatch. NB: The strap looks old enough to be the original so I have left it in place, noting that the lugs have spring-bars so the fitting of a new strap will present no problems. The shape and gold tooling on the De Luxe box is also of a different pattern than normal. Serviced and guaranteed.
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