For those who are not aware, SMITHS were a very large manufacturer with over 40 manufacturing sites in the UK (not all watches) and many thousands of employees. They made - clocks, watches, electric clocks, alarms, automotive instruments, time switches, spark plugs, aerospace parts, defence contracts, Collaborated with Jaeger Le Coultre in high quality instrumentation for luxury autos, master/slave clock systems, and many other electro-mechanical items in various field, telecomms, [rotary dials for phones - remember those] etc., etc.
At the time, they were one of the few high end European makers outside Switzerland, and had a rudimentary "clean room" watch assembly module at one of their factories - a postive air pressure room - unheard of at the time. They were also the only
maker in Europe who produced all the parts
they needed "in-house" with the exception of balance wheels and hairsprings, only those were out sourced - that's cases, dials, hands, stems, straps, bracelets, gears, plates, you name it, it was made in one or other of their own facilities and brought together for final assembly.
What went wrong? Dinosaur-itis basically - too big and slow to adopt the newer Q technology plus a lack of credibility - it wasn't Swiss so it wasn't as good. Take a look at what high end Smiths go for on fleabay though, and see what modern day collectors will pay for a good one!
Today, I put this on
as a namesake watch (my second name) and Mrs Mel and myself went out for Chinese tonight - mmmmm!
Frae Edinburgh, Bonnie Scotland
Affordable and Everyday Watches
My other hobby - Sequence Dancing