3-piece 9ct yellow gold case with snap-on back and bezel, hallmarked Edinburgh 1959, casemaker BWC (British Watch Cases). Smiths classic ‘12.15’ movement finished to their best (12.18) 18 jewel grade. Double-roller detached lever escapement with polished steel escape. Monometallic balance with Smith’s best quality overcoil balance-spring. Signed silvered dial with applied gold batons and dots, original gilt hands. 31.5 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with its original silk and velvet lined Benson box
James Walter Benson Ltd, then at 25 Old Bond Street, one of London’s premier retailers of good and top quality watches. Benson was the leading English retailer of Smiths watches for which Smiths supplied some unique designs and generally their best movements, either 12.16 with an extra jewel on the centre wheel or the rare 12.18 also having cap jewels on the escape. Benson’s catalogue of circa 1952 gives a price of £31/10/- for this rarely seen ‘Presentation’ model.
NB: 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.
Case and movement in lovely original condition showing only minor signs of use, the original finish to the dial among the best I have handled. The case back also with no previous engraving. On hardly worn black leather Montal strap. Serviced for its previous owner and working well – it can be freshly serviced if required, the cost of which would be around £200