Smiths De Luxe Ref. A.518 hallmarked 1960 | 9ct gold manual vintage wristwatch
Formed in the early 20th century, the English firm of S. Smith & Sons initially retailed both Swiss and English watches and clocks. During the Second World War, the company manufactured their own watches for the military but, from the mid 1940s, Smiths began to produce higher grade wristwatches which led to a transformation of their in-house production. In 1953, Smiths performed a marketing coup by supplying Edmund Hillary with a watch for his ascent of Everest. Seizing on the advertising opportunities, Smiths launched a campaign picturing a Smiths De Luxe watch on top of Everest with a quote from Hillary beneath stating: “I carried your watch to the summit. It worked perfectly.” The watch that Hillary wore, bore the same Smiths calibre as found in the present watch, the calibre 12.15. Smiths designed the 12.15 calibre with a traditionally English inspired finish with gilded, frosted plates and the movements quickly gained a reputation for their reliability and quality.
Ref. A.518 was advertised within the Smiths retail catalogues between 1958 and 1961. This version of the model has long baton hour indexes which have scooped centres with the exception of the stretched Arabic 12 o’clock numeral. A classic Smiths model, this watch retains its presentation case (there is a tear to the lid of the box). The dial has light oxidation to the surface and light scuffs and scratches to the case. We have fitted the watch with a fawn coloured, suede finished Hirsch Osiris watch strap.
[M] Smiths calibre 12.15 gilded movement, lever escapement, 15 jewels, compensation balance
[D] champagne dial, raised baton indexes with scooped centres, Arabic 12 o’clock, recessed subsidiary seconds
[C] 9ct yellow gold, down-turned lugs, chamfered bezel, gold snap-on case back, replacement winding crown
[S] case and dial signed
32mm diameter excluding crown
40mm length including lugs
9mm depth to centre of crystal
16mm strap width/lug gauge
One Year Guarantee – this watch has been fully serviced
Smiths presentation box, Black Bough certificate