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Thread: The SMITHS QUASAR "Constellation"

  1. #1
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    The SMITHS QUASAR "Constellation"



    The Quasar from The National 15 - The decline of British watchmaking and the role of Smiths*

    I am putting this image here first... as the ad on the right always squashes the first post and I wanted you to first see the Quasar "Constellation" in its full glory (below in the next post).



    Basically, before I saw these cases in the box here, the only Quasar by Smiths I was aware of, was the TV dialed rendering above from "The National 15 - The decline of British watchmaking and the role of Smiths in a hoped for discovery" by David Read.

    *On page 15/88
    https://ahsoc.contentfiles.net/media...-_Read_wm6.pdf

  2. #2
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    "On visiting a watch mate today got to wear a Smiths quasar prototype. Made in the early 70's it is the only ever English quartz watch ever made. Very high quality and extremely rare."
    https://www.imgrumweb.com/post/BViBH7bnq8w
    QUASAR "Constellation" by Smiths



    Smiths was well advanced in quartz cock movements for aviation, maritime and domestic clocks when Cheltenham watch production ended, but persevered with a quartz wristwatch at their secretive 'Delphina?' research lab in Cheltenham launching their Quasar at the 1973 International watch fair... these are not even signed 'Smiths' but, if my memory serves me well, 'Quasar Time Systems' of whom very little is known. Its was clear at the show that Smiths was wasting its time and money so the Quasar was abandoned shortly after... so the 1974 label is probably one of the last tests.

    Whether Smiths sold the 'Quasar' brand/project to Stephen Strauss, who gained Ingersoll, is another unresolved mystery.
    [#23 Barry - Brenellic2000]


    Links:

    Flyaway Smiths at Cotswold auction room today
    https://www.mwrforum.net/forums/show...ion-room-today

    Smiths' last days in the sun / but will they run ? (Lots of pics)
    https://www.mwrforum.net/forums/show...-will-they-run

    * * *



    MWR reckon that the Smiths case was based on the Omega Constellation 168.0054. But it has a serrated bezel...



    On the other hand the Omega Constellation 368.846 has a smooth bezel but is without the DAY complication. Here is a lovely one to study:
    https://www.poshtime.com/3028.001/Om...tic-c.1970.php

    * * *

    So,

    1. I love the two crowns of the Quasar. They change the look of the Omega case. By the way, the second crown is for adjusting the Day-Date.

    2. What is going on with all the Omega connections? And why Omega?

    3. How about a homage? The current and next big-thing is integrated bracelets, as per Naulilus, RO, VC Overseas, etc...


    The back of the Quasar.
    Last edited by abraxas; 3rd September 2019 at 14:07.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    Thank you for posting this it's nice to see images of the fabled Quasar. That Cotswold auction has yet to release the hoped for information (by me anyway) that seemed to be potentially held in many of the lots.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Thatís very nice and not a watch I was aware of.
    It is very Omegaesque though although thatís no bad thing.

  5. #5
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Hey... my Quasars !

    Edit to add:

    I still have pretty much everything over on the MWR thread and am happy to answer any questions anyone might have. They’re great cases and all very interesting but getting them running is an uphill struggle. Smiths obviously found the same !
    Last edited by HookedSeven; 4th September 2019 at 12:50.

  6. #6
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    I would really like to know the reason behind Smiths using the Omega case/bracelet design. Also, were they actually intending to sell the watch with this case?

  7. #7
    Master
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    The more you get into "watch appreciation" the more you realise how many different watches there are - millions upon millions must have been produced.

    Thanks for starting the thread - always something new to learn ........ as they say "everyday is a school day"

  8. #8
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas View Post
    I would really like to know the reason behind Smiths using the Omega case/bracelet design. Also, were they actually intending to sell the watch with this case?
    Agree this is an interesting question, but no idea how to research further. I scoured all the other lots in the auction looking for documentation, or for a lead as to who the items belonged too, but no luck. Also the auction house couldnít give me any details of the consignor.

  9. #9
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by HookedSeven View Post
    Agree this is an interesting question, but no idea how to research further. I scoured all the other lots in the auction looking for documentation, or for a lead as to who the items belonged too, but no luck. Also the auction house couldnít give me any details of the consignor.
    Did you get a good look at the lot with all the original drawings/specs in it? Maybe there was something in there.

  10. #10
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by size11s View Post
    Did you get a good look at the lot with all the original drawings/specs in it? Maybe there was something in there.
    You mean from the original Cotswold auction ? These Quasars came later from an auction in the SW. I had high hopes for the original auction too but every man and his dog turned up !

  11. #11
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlier
    Made in the early 70's it is the only ever English quartz watch ever made.
    Doesn't the Sinclair watch count?

    M

  12. #12
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Doesn't the Sinclair watch count?

    M
    No idea !

    Was it entirely UK built, or did the chip, LED module, or other bits come from abroad. Didnít they blow up or stop working after a week ? If so thatís better than Smiths managed ;-)

  13. #13
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HookedSeven View Post
    No idea !

    Was it entirely UK built, or did the chip, LED module, or other bits come from abroad. Didnít they blow up or stop working after a week ? If so thatís better than Smiths managed ;-)
    No idea either, which is why I asked.

    M

  14. #14
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    No idea either, which is why I asked.

    M
    Oh if Iíd known you had no idea Iíd have just made something up :-)

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by HookedSeven View Post
    You mean from the original Cotswold auction ? These Quasars came later from an auction in the SW. I had high hopes for the original auction too but every man and his dog turned up !
    Yes, I was thinking the Cotswold auction....bloody hell that's another interesting auction I missed then!!

  16. #16
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by size11s View Post
    Yes, I was thinking the Cotswold auction....bloody hell that's another interesting auction I missed then!!
    Luckily EVERYONE else missed it too !

    Oh, and if you’re in Cirencester it can’t have been more than 20 miles from your front door !!
    Last edited by HookedSeven; 12th September 2019 at 13:49.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by HookedSeven View Post
    Luckily EVERYONE else missed it too !

    Oh, and if youíre in Cirencester it canít have been more than 20 miles from your front door !!
    Right....cheers for that...

    Been away quite a bit recently so not been on the ball. Was it at Stroud?

  18. #18
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by size11s View Post
    Right....cheers for that...

    Been away quite a bit recently so not been on the ball. Was it at Stroud?
    It was back in 2017. Wotton-on-edge.

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by HookedSeven View Post
    It was back in 2017. Wotton-on-edge.
    I know that auction house well. Congratulations on a fabulous, historic catch. How many have you got into working order if I may ask?

  20. #20
    Journeyman HookedSeven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by size11s View Post
    I know that auction house well. Congratulations on a fabulous, historic catch. How many have you got into working order if I may ask?
    None :-(

  21. #21
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HookedSeven View Post
    Oh if Iíd known you had no idea Iíd have just made something up :-)
    I remember it being 'the next big thing' when I was a kid and one of my friends got one for Christmas, but I could never understand the appeal of something you had to press the button to see the time, to be honest.

    I recall it being touted (by Sir Clive) as a 'Great British product', but I don't know how much was made here...

    M

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by HookedSeven View Post
    None :-(
    sent you a pm...

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