Smiths GS Deluxe (1956)
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.
Case diameter (excluding winding crown): 35mm
Case material: stainless steel
strap width: 17mm
time keeping: grade A
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