S. Smith & Son, 9 Strand, London, Makers to the Admirality & the Indian Government, Movement No. 191-232, Case No. 191-232, 55 mm, 159 g, circa 1900
A heavy precision pocket watch with 34 min. carousel - "Revolving Lever Escapament" - tested at the Kew observatory and rated with "class A, 88.0 marks especially good" Case: 18k gold, tiered, polished, gold dome, case maker punch mark "SS" (Samuel Smith, London). Dial: enamel, off-white (Willis), radial Roman hours, centre seconds, signed, numbered, blued spade hands. Movm.: 3/4 plate movement, frosted, gilt, chatoned, gold screw compensation balance, blued freesprung balance spring, chatoned diamond endstone on balance.
S. Smith & Son A leading firm in London for high quality and complicated watches at the turn of the century, S. Smith & Son was founded in 1851 by the jeweller and watchmaker Samuel Smith. In addition to the wide range of watches and clocks for private customers, Smith's also built reliable chronometers which made the firm a supplier to the Admiralty. Under the management of Herbert S.A. Smith the firm developed into a large manufacturing company that had its own research laboratories; in the next generation Sir Alan Herbert Smith extended the company product range further and began with the production of automobile and aircraft instruments. Around this time a period of general decline for British horology began; even so, a few British watchmakers created magnificent, ultra-complicated watches, as if to prove to the world that they were still the best. Some of these watches were made in collaboration with the most renowned Swiss watch companies. Charles Frodsham, Edward John Dent, and Samuel Smith were the London watchmakers best known for this, as well as J. W. Player in Coventry . Even among all the British Grand Complication watches of the 20th century this watch stands out. Its dial was made by the famous British maker Willis, whose dials are always outstanding. The movement is equally exceptional. It is large and has a very cleverly designed mechanism; it often utilizes the same arbor in the cadrature for two functions and is finished with extreme attention to detail. Some of the solutions, although not new, employ innovative ideas. Thus is the mechanism that disengages the striking while setting the watch planned in a simple and yet very secure manner.
Estimate 9,500 - 11,000 €
Price Realised 13,100 €
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