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.
An excellent example of this De Luxe model, the silvered dial is in outstanding original condition with raised and gilded Arabic numerals and hands. Housed in a mid-sized 9ct yellow gold case which was made for Smiths by the English case making company Dennison, the bezel is flat while the slim lugs have an attractive, angular down-turn. We have fitted the watch with a new Hirsch suede fawn coloured strap.
[M] Smiths calibre 12.15 frosted and gilded movement, lever escapement, 15 jewels, compensation balance, 18,000 BPH
[D] silvered dial, raised gilded Arabic numerals, engine-turned subsidiary seconds dial, black outer minute track, gilded hands
[C] 9ct yellow gold circular case, bezel with flat upper and faceted sides, downwardly faceted lugs, flat gold snap-on case back
[S] dial signed Smiths de Luxe, case signed by Dennison
31mm diameter excluding winding crown
38.5mm length including lugs
9.5mm depth to centre of crystal
16mm lug gauge/strap width
One Year Guarantee – this watch has been fully serviced
Black Bough box and Black Bough certificate