Two-piece gold plated case with stainless-steel snap-on back. Smiths Cal: 0104, 19 jewel, shockproof movement. Double-roller detached lever escapement with steel escape, the monometallic balance with ‘chronospan’ balance-spring. Silvered dial with an unusual ‘tapestry’ texture having luminous hands and inner ring of dots, with a mixture of gilded Arabic numerals and batons, and with original matching gilt hands the centre-seconds with the usual red tip. 34 mm diameter, not including button or lugs. Together with its retailers velvet and silk lined box.
This is a particularly stylish centre-seconds watch with their newly designed movements developed especially by Smiths for their new Imperial models introduced in 1958. I cannot find the model number for this obviously rare gold plated design, it being only the third example I have seen in over thirty years. For more information about Smiths English wristwatches see my illustrated article on Smiths ‘English Wristwatches’ in the April 2003 issue of Antique Collecting.
NB: Please be aware that most Smiths wristwatches that survive show all the signs of much use, often with water damage, particularly to the dial. I do not deal in such watches and offer only those examples that have survived in very good or better condition with, wherever possible, original rather than refinished dials.
The firm started by Samuel Wilson & Robert Valentine Gill, 137-141 Regent St, London, jewellers; one of the main London retailers of Smiths wristwatches.
This watch and particularly the dial is the best of its type I have handled, showing few signs of wear or age and without any presentation engraving, although the original ‘lume’ has darkened with age. The retailers box also in lovely condition. Fitted with contemporary new/old stock tan leather strap. Serviced for its previous owner and working well – it can be freshly serviced if required, the cost of which would be around £200