Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -
Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -

Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -

Smiths GS De Luxe (1956) - reserved -

Regular price £ 4,500.00
/
  • Worldwide shipping
  • Secure payments
  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Backordered, shipping soon
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.
This watch is reserved as of 28/1/20 and may not be purchased

This is a Smiths General Service (GS) wristwatch which was issued in 1956. This is the rarest Smiths British military watch and arguably one of the rarest British military watches of all.
There were approximately 300 of these watches made up and issued to the RAF in 1954, 1955 and 1956, presumably as a test order. The case back is engraved with the issue number (12627) and the year of issue: 56.

These watches were given the same 6b/542 stores reference as the Omega navigators watch, so we can assume were issued to RAF pilots and navigators. This makes some sense for a test order - the inside of an plane cockpit was a fairly harsh environment for a mechanical wristwatch due to the presence of electromagnetic fields. The watches are shielded from electromagnetic interference by an iron dial and mumetal dust cover, which form an effective Faraday cage to prevent electromagnetic disturbance.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s Smiths were contracted to produce a General Service wristwatch for issue to the British Armed Forces. The British government was concerned about the reliance on overseas supply of wristwatches, which had been an issue during the second world war and subsidised Smiths / dangled lucrative contracts in front of them to foster British manufacture of wristwatches. For whatever reason the British army decided not to proceed with the order and Smiths didn't receive a military supply contract until the late 1960s for the W10 model.

The watch would originally have had a dial with radium luminous compound. In the late 1950s all watches in service with radium dials were recalled and the hazardous material was replaced with the inert tritium. The presence of a T on the dial indicates this dial and hands have tritium.  The case on the watch is in superb condition, which is rather rare on a military watch. The case back has a scratch where a previous repairer slipped with the opening tool but overall this is one of the best preserved examples you'll see.

The balance spring on the watch has a Breguet overcoil to enhance timekeeping across different positions. The movement has been fully serviced and is running superbly. The watch is fitted with a recreation of the original AF0210 type strap, a precursor to the ubiquitous NATO strap which is found on Military watches.


Specifications:
Case diameter (excluding winding crown): 35mm
Case material: stainless steel
strap width: 17mm
time keeping: grade A


--

about Smiths watches

Smiths were the last English producers of quality watches. Their watches aren't very well known today because it's over 30 years since they stopped producing, but the quality of their watches bears comparison with anything the Swiss were producing. Smiths produced a variety of styles of watch for both ladies and gentlemen in chrome, steel, silver and gold cases. The gold cased watches were particularly popular as long-service presentation gifts and the casebacks are often engraved with a long-service inscription. We don't remove these inscriptions as we feel they are an important part of the story of each watch. They developed an automatic movement watch and also were contracted by the British army to produce a wristwatch for general service use (the automatic and the military Smiths are amongst the most sought after and can command high prices).

These days we associate the Swiss with high end mechanical watches, but in the 19th century it was English watches that occupied this prestigious position. The Swiss began to compete with the English watchmakers by producing low cost watches. The English were slow to adept to this new competitor, they took great pride in the relatively small volume of high-quality hand made watches that were produced in England. The Swiss gradually swamped the watch market - beginning with low cost watches, later they produced watches of a comparable quality to the English hand-made watch, but at a lower price. The Swiss developed machine production of watches, this meant that the quality could be kept consistent and replacement parts were interchangeable. Ultimately the English industry couldn't compete and by the early 1930s pretty much all watches were imported.

In the run up to the second world war, the government became concerned that there was no indigenous watch industry left. They turned to S. Smith & Sons who were a long established a watch and clock producer and underwrote the development of a new factory in Cheltenham. Precise timing mechanisms were important for the war in things like bomb timers, as well as more traditional time pieces.

After the second world war, Smiths switched over to civilian production with the first of their watches coming onto the market in around 1947. They continued production up until the late 1970s, when they rather suddenly split up the watch and clock division of the company. By this time Smiths Industries was more focussed on civil and military avionics and I guess felt that the watches were part of their past. It seems odd that nobody else sought to take over the business as they were clearly profitable, possibly the impact of quartz watches was a factor in their decision to end the business.

Order processing

We aim to dispatch all watch orders within 2-3 working days, where this isn't possible, we will try to inform you via email.

When your order is dispatched your tracking details will be updated.

Please allow extra processing time for watches with a customised engraving or strap, during busy sales periods this can sometimes take an extra 5-10 working days.

If you are in a hurry for your order, please email us. We'll try our best to prioritise your order.

Shipping guide for watches

UK: FREE DPD shipping, 1-2 working days
United States & Canada: FREE Fedex shipping, 1-3 working days
The EU: FREE DHL shipping, 1-3 working days. To order to The EU, please visit our Euro website here (duties and taxes are included in the price of your watch).

Click here to see the full shipping guide for watches

Shipping guide for t-shirts

Our t-shirts are printed by us and shipped from our workshop in London. This means if you place an order for both a watch and t-shirt(s), they will be shipped together via an express service. Delivery times for these can be found here.

If you order a t-shirt without a watch, it will be shipped via a Royal Mail tracked service which usually takes a little longer. You can see an estimated timescale when you input your address at the checkout.

Shipping guide for watch straps

If purchased separately from your watch, watch straps will be shipped with Royal Mail 1st Class / International tracked shipping.

This takes 2-14 working days depending on location. You can see a more accurate timescale when you input your address at the checkout.

Please note, during busy sale periods dispatch may take a little longer (this is quite rare).

These delivery times are a guide based on the carriers terms of service, products may, in some unusual cases take longer to arrive. If this happens, please get in touch.

Return your watch for an exchange

We are happy to exchange unworn watches.

Fastening the watch will cause damage to the leather. If this is the case, we charge for the watch strap (or we can put the worn strap on the exchanged watch for free).

Please email us directly if you think your watch is faulty.

Return your watch for a refund

To return for a full refund, you have 30 days if purchased online. After this time we can offer an exchange if your watch hasn’t been worn.

If you purchased your watch in-store, we can offer an exchange or store credit only. This is because you’ve seen the watch in person and had the opportunity to try it on. Please let us know if you’re purchasing as a gift.

T-shirt returns and Exchanges

We recommend checking the measurements of our t-shirts on our size guide before placing your order, you can also check them here

However, if your t-shirt is faulty, we can offer an exchange or a refund. In this circumstance, please email us within 30 days of placing your order, with a photograph of the problem, as well as your order number.

To return other products (such as straps) please email us: info@mrjoneswatches.com to arrange this.

UK returns

1) Generate your free returns label here.

2) Print it off and stick it to your original packaging.

3) Take it to your local post office. Find your closest here.

(If you no longer have your original packaging, please ensure your watch is securely wrapped in bubble wrap / something similar to protect it in transit).

NB please include a short note describing the issue with the watch and your contact details.

EU and International returns

Please send the watch to this address:

Mr Jones Watches (repairs)
61 Dartmouth Road
London SE23 3HN
United Kingdom

Ensure the watch is securely wrapped in bubble wrap to protect it in transit.

Please include a note stating:

- the reason for the return
- a detailed description of the problem with your watch (if sending for repair)
- your email address and your order number
- remember to include your return delivery address, (so we know where to send the repaired watch)

We recommend you use a tracked service. 

As the UK is no longer in the EU, you will have to fill in a Customs Declaration form (usually a CN22).

Please write in the description field "wristwatch, return for factory repair / refund , no commercial value." 

This is essential otherwise an import duty will be levied which you will be liable for (there is no way for us to reclaim this charge).

Please note: we do not cover shipping costs for unwanted items, returned from outside of the UK. If you are returning a watch that is faulty we may be able to reimburse shipping costs if your watch is within warranty, please contact us ahead of sending in this instance.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.