S SMITH & Son Ltd, Trafalgar Sq, London. No 354235


£ 1,745.00

Rare all-English made wristwatch with enamel dial, supplied by Rotherhams.

More details

18ct yellow gold case with English button, fixed lugs and jointed back, hallmarked Birmingham 1923, casemaker R&S (Rotherham & Son). Rotherhams smaller sized ‘A grade’ three quarter-plate gilded movement. St-line, club-tooth detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Lovely signed enamel dial with red 12, blued-steel hands. 31 mm diameter, not including lugs or button. Together with retailers box, issued by the jewellers Botley & Lewis, 25 King St, Reading.

Samuel Smith & Sons 'Makers to the Admiralty' London, one of the largest retailers of Swiss and English made precision and technical pocket watches of the period. See the reprint of Smiths Guide to the Purchase of a Watch, for further information about Smiths, copies of which are generally available on my website. 

Rotherham & Son, suppliers of most of the good quality wristwatch movements found in English work. They produced two sizes of movement used in their wristwatches, in two basic qualities, both jewelled to the 3rd (17-jewels). They were expensive when sold and survivors of these all-English made wristwatches are now very rare, particularly in such good condition.

NB: Both the lager and smaller sized movements were sold as 'gentleman's wristlet watches,' as can be seen in the page I have reproduced from Rotherham's 1926 catalogue, this No 182 model costing just over £20 in 18ct. The firm also produced wristwatches for women but these cases do not have wire lugs for leather straps, though I am sure that many women will have worn them as, evening wear watches apart, Rotherham's standard designs would be better thought of as unisex.

For more information about English wristwatches see the short note in my website Glossary, and my illustrated article on ‘English Wristwatches’ in the April 2000 issue of Antique Collecting. Please also note that this case style is not waterproof and all English wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.

In very fine condition showing just a few general signs of age and wear and the case back with no previous presentation engraving. The box also in good condition, but the half-inch open-ended leather strap coming unstitched and unsafe to wear. It does however retain its 9ct gold buckle and so I have left the strap in place as part of the watches history. Altogether a very rare 18ct gold English wristwatch retailed by this most famous London firm who only later (post World War Two) became known for producing their own wristwatches. Serviced, guaranteed and I will include a replacement open-ended strap if I can find one in my now almost depleted stock.