Silver engine-turned openface Dennison case hallmarked Birmingham 1947. Smiths pocket watch sized version of their ‘12.15’ wristwatch caliper, in split three-quarter plate nickelled form. St-line club-tooth lever escapement with steel escape. Monometallic balance, Beryllium balance-spring. Printed dial with seconds at 6 underneath which is MADE IN ENGLAND, and signed SMITH (not SMITHS), original blued-steel hands. 50.5 mm diameter.
Smith/s, formerly S Smith & Son, the last manufacturers of English made pocket and wristwatches prior to the work of George Daniels, and now Roger Smith and Charles Frodsham. For a short history of Smiths post-war production (1945-1970), see my illustrated article on Smiths ‘English Wristwatches’ in the April 2003 issue of Antique Collecting. NB: This is a very early pre-numbered nickel plated example bearing the Smith name without the additional ‘s’ which happened almost immediately following this initial run.
The Birmingham based firm of A L Dennison, originally set up by Aaron Dennison, one of the founders of the American watch industry, the most important English manufacturer of machine-made watch cases – see the book by Philip Priestley Aaron Lufkin Dennison. An Industrial Pioneer and his Legacy copies of which are usually available on this website.
Light engine-turning on case back showing some wear, the dome engraved: IMPERIAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES Ltd, Presented to J TONG…1944 – please note that many smiths ‘ICI’ watches bear war time presentation dates, the recipients having to wait until after the war in order to receive their watches. A good and early example of its type, the dial in particularly fine condition, the best I have handled. Serviced for its previous owner and working well, but can be freshly serviced if wanted.