Smiths GS Deluxe (1956)

£ 5,500
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 (12745) 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 a 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 has one of the original dials, which features radium-based 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. This is a very rare survivor with the original specification that it left the Smiths factory with.   The case on the watch is in superb condition, which is rather rare on a military watch.

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 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

Please expect some shipping delays for orders placed through Black Friday weekend.

We will do our best to get your order out to you as soon as possible, however we are expecting this to take a little longer than usual.

Shipping companies are also experiencing some delays due to increased demand.

We aim to dispatch all orders placed before 12pm (GMT), on the same day working day. Where this isn't possible, we will try to inform you via email.

When your order is dispatched you will be emailed the tracking details.

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

If you are in a hurry for your watch, please email us.

Shipping guide for watches:

UK: FREE next working day delivery with DPD
United States & Canada: FREE Fedex shipping, 1-2 working days

Click here to see the full shipping guide for watches

Clocks, straps, bags (unless purchased with a watch): 

Free Royal Mail shipping, 5-14 working days (depending on location)

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 DPD, Fedex and Royal Mail terms of service, products may, in some unusual cases take longer to arrive. If this happens, please get in touch. 

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