Smiths is the new black among watch collectors around the world. This fairly unknown British brand of watches has been rediscovered and has slowly started to appreciate, a trend maybe fuelled by some modern British watch brands such as Henry London etc. that lately have started releasing watches imitating their design.
It is a nice design indeed. The telltale sign of a Smiths watch is the second hand, which is usually red or with a red diamond or triangle on it.
Samuel Smith started his business all the way back in 1851, then specialising in clocks and instruments. The advent of the automobile led to a new business opportunity for Mr Smith and then also his son who started to manufacture speedometers. Business was good, and as the company grew it ventured into various markets, one of which was wrist watches.
The pinnacle of Smiths as a watch brand was in 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary not only wore a Rolex Explorer as he reached the summit of Mount Everest, apparently he also wore a Smiths watch!
This is a superb example of a 1950's Smiths Empire watch. It is a simple watch with a a 5 jewel RY movement that beats 18,000 times per hours.
The dial is in extremely good condition and has a nice texture to it.
The case is gold plated brass showing little signs of use and good lustre. There are scuffs to the case side around the winding crown which is visible on the pictures.
Typical to its era, it is a mid-sized watch. It measures only 33 mm across but it has long lugs and the domed crystal gives the watch some height.
The watch is serviced and has a new crystal.
Fitted on a new new brown crocodile embossed genuine leather strap.
This watch is very old and while it has passed testing and does keep time and has a good power reserve, it must be taken into account that it is a vintage watch priced for the mid market and its performance is not to be compared to modern quartz watches.
This watch comes in a practical travel case, certificate of authenticity and one year warranty from Arlington watches.