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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thanks to my auction hair-trigger I now own the watch pictured below.

I've long considered a vintage Smiths and have spent months casually scanning for an Everest/Deluxe or W10 when I saw this going for under $150 and grabbed it. It looks like a cool retro piece with an interesting date/time zone function, otherwise I'm clueless as to its origins.

Does anybody know the model, year of manufacture, case size, movement type or any other information on this watch's history?

Untitled.jpg Untitled2.jpg
 

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Vint. Forum Co-Moderator
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That looks like great fun, love the month indicator. :-! I think though you'll need to show us movement photos to tell you very much more. I would hazard a guess as to late sixties through to mid seventies on the styling.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, that's what caught my eye, although similar to many older watches, it probably isn't as large as the pictures suggest.

From the case back and styling I'd be more inclined to say seventies than sixties, which makes it all the more interesting since I can find very little information on Smiths watches made after the sixties. The watch should arrive next week, so I'll post more pics then.
 

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Interesting piece. When you get it and rephotograph it, please put in a ruler or something for a frame of reference. If the watches are like their electronics on my MGB, I'm not sure how good a runner this Smiths will be! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As a former MG owner, one sympathises.

However, the little I've read on Smiths suggests they were a once great brand that supplied Hilary's Everest expedition and the standard-issue British Army watch for many years. Sadly they seem to have been a victim of the decline of Britain's manufacturing sector in the late seventies, although I believe they still make instruments for the aircraft industry - so their reputation must be pretty sound.

I'd love to know more about it and find myself wondering if it was designed for a specific purpose or expedition. I'll be sure to post more pics once it is in my possession.
 

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Interesting watch, and can't say I've seen one of those before, but would also say 70's from the styling!!

Look forward to seeing more pics of it :)
 

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Very cool looking watch. Unfortunately it lacks the most interesting part of the Smiths heritage; an English movement!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
True - although this might be one of the more interesting aspects of my mystery purchase. I've done some more digging and discovered that in their twilight years Smiths did some re-casing of popular Swiss movements. I've also seen some 1970's Smiths Military 'Divers' that appear to share the same casing...
 

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If the watches are like their electronics on my MGB, I'm not sure how good a runner this Smiths will be!
LOL...Everybody knows the Brits invented the intermittent windshield wiper...at the same time they invented the intermittent headlight, intermittent ignition, intermittent...

Cool looking watch though...very funky.
 

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that thing is bizarre, in a good way. You can safely wear it knowing nobody else has one on! I'd like to see a profile shot, this guy looks pretty tall.
As a former owner of several Triumph TR7's I can attest to the three-position Lucas lightswitch: Dim, Flicker and Fail!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ah yes, Lucas...the prince of darkness!

Here are the other two shots that were posted on the auction - profiles. It doesn't look too chunky, although that's by today's standards. The watch should arrive on Friday, so will post measurements and movement pics. Intriguing!

Smiths Profile.jpg Profile2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK, so this charming oddity finally arrived today.

It measures 40mm wide (43mm inc crown) and 48mm lug-to-lug. It sits precisely 1cm off the wrist.

I don't recognise the 17 jewel manual-wind movement, but it has 'swiss' engraved on it as well as a logo that could be either 'KL' or 'RL'. I need to find a better strap, the 19mm lug width meant this black leather band was the only one in my box that fitted.

I'd love to know more about the history of this piece - it must have been one of the last watches Smiths ever made. Can anyone ID the movement?

AA1_0004.jpg AA1_0006.jpg AA1_0247.jpg AA1_0253.jpg AA1_0250.jpg AA1_0252.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Another quick update. I've decided a green NATO strap works best on this beast...which no doubt will divide opinion. Here goes anyway:

AA1_0002.jpg
 
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Are you kidding? Or is this like the Russian invented baseball?

Just asking cause we all know it ain't so.

I found a site that sells Smiths and Precista watches. Email me direct and I can post it
i think it is on Timeactors though

I think the watch is a keeper
 

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Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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The movement is by Ronda, a maker of lower quality movements mainly of pin pallet grade (although some were upgraded to Swiss levers). A lot of their movements with different designations looked the same so without some numbers on the movement, I won't be able to tell you exactly which one it is. Here is an example:

bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Ronda 1111

Hartmut Richter
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for identifying this movement - it has helped me extent my research, although I still don't have a name, model number or year of manufacture for this watch.

It didn't look like a top-end movement, although it appears to be slightly higher quality than a couple of the French-made pin/lever watches in my collection that date from the same era.

I'd echo the comments above, shame they didn't use the classic Smiths movement used in their earlier military watches. Perhaps they felt a Swiss movement might give the brand a marketing boost in the final years of decline.
 
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