016 Rare Smiths Astral 1969 Steel Diver’s Watch

£2,500.00

Case & dial are both 90+% whilst the movement is 95%.

Diameter 37.5mm; Lug-to-Lug 42mm; Height 16mm., it takes an 18mm strap and a new black leather one with white stitching and a steel buckle is fitted.

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Description

By the mid 1960s two things were happening in the watch business; divers’ watches were really taking off as watches for everyday wear and the British firm, Smiths watches were struggling. So, they chose to jump on the bandwagon and introduce on themselves.

However they had a small problem, they didn’t have an automatic movement, as their sole automatic movement, the 104G had been forced from the market due to a patent infringement suit by IWC, so they were forced to use a manual movement.

The movement that they chose was the classic frosted gilt finish 6047E, with 17 jewels. It has a monometallic balance with a beryllium hairspring, shockproofing and, most rarely for a Smiths watch, a simple calendar wheel.

The case is (I believe) French, as many small French manufacturers of this period used an identical case. What is interesting is that every other manufacturer used an automatic movement, which is why the case has a deep domed back. The back screws down on to a gasket and is marked that it is waterproof to 20 atm (or 200m), however the winding crown is not a screw down type, so I wouldn’t believe the rating on the case back. The resin bezel has marks for all the minutes and is bidirectional.

The dial is gloss black, with oversized 6 and 12 and large luminous dots for the remainder; it is signed Astral under a 3 pointed coronet on the dial and has a most unusual hour hand with a giant luminous arrow at its tip and a straight luminous minute hand with a needle tip and the seconds hand has a large luminous diamond insert near its tip. At the very bottom of the dial are the all important words “Made in England”, it was made in Cheltenham.

Case & dial are both 90+% whilst the movement is 95%.

Diameter 37.5mm; Lug-to-Lug 42mm; Height 16mm., it takes an 18mm strap and a new black leather one with white stitching and a steel buckle is fitted.

£2,500.00 (approx. $3,100.00 US)