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TobesEtc

Asprey Smith retirement watch (NOT ZENEX)

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This is a new thread to replace my earlier thread that incorrectly refered to an Asprey Zenex. The watch is actually an Asprey with a "Smith Clocks of Cricklewood" movement. It's been in Aspreys for "repair/refurb" for just over six months now so I still don't have a picture (didn't think it'd be anywhere near this long - their watch engineer became sick and had to be replaced - gws soon if you are reading this!). It is almost identical to this watch (17 jewel), down to the the engraving being the same all-bar having my Granddads name instead, and I think 1962 as the date. Forgive my ignorance, but I had never heard of this maker before (Smith, that is). What does anyone know about it or them? This is about my sum of knowledge: http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Smiths_English_Clocks

 

 

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Oh Dear, how little do the children know! :nono: Come sit here and I will tell you a story

SMITHS was one of the UK's largest company's making almost everything clock, watch and instrument related - - yes the same SMITHS you see on the speedo and instrumentation of vintage cars, time switches (mechanical and electrical) , clocks and watches, aircraft instrumentation, spark plugs, defence items - - - the list goes on. It was one of the largest employers overall of that sort of equipment makers in the UK. Alas, like all very large organisations, it was not susceptible to quic k change, and various core business parts went under in the quartz revolution, followed by the electronics revolution.

The Guv'mint of the day were asked to help, but decided British Leyland were a better bet, more in need whatever, and we all know where that went!:bash:

In the day, SMITHS were the only other maker besides/after ROLEX who made everything in house except hairsprings, even down to packaging, boxes and printing of manuals etc all in house. At Cheltenham had the first positive pressure clean room assembly area in the UK for hig grade movements, they made everything from pin pallets through to 21 jewel gold watches, and from alarm clocks through to "proper" carriage clocks and chimers. The company does still exist in a niche market of defence equipments!

At one time, all the other British Companies (Rail, major engineering etc., etc.,) would automatically go to the top end SMITHS goldies for long service awards, prizes, gifts and the likes and that accounts for the large numbers you ssee with engraved cases.

 

HTH a tad!

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