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Thread: Birth Year Watch - Smiths DeLuxe GS Content

  1. #1
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Birth Year Watch - Smiths DeLuxe GS Content

    I have been on the lookout for a birth year watch for many years now, but not found anything that I regarded as suitable. 1961 is a tricky year for sure, the standard size for most watches was 34mm and any of the 40mm watches issued by the big brands such as Submariners and GMTs by Rolex and Speedmasters by Omega carry serious price tags. They always have had, nothing to do with bubbles in the last 5 to 10 years etc, although I’m sure the value of those watches has gone mental.

    I did consider an Omega Pie Pan with an 18 million serial number, but never quite got there. In recent years I have been interested in military watches so asked the question about what watches were issued in 1961. It turns out that 1961 is one of only a handful of years when no watches were issued to the British military. However, there were three other options, a Bulova issued to US forces that is incredibly small so that was no good. The next choice was a serious watch, it was the IWC XI issued to the SAAF (South Africa - Armed forces or Air Force, not really sure). A nice watch, but all IWC XIs are not cheap and this issue is especially rare.

    The final watch of the three was a Smiths DeLuxe GS issued to the Australian military. There are still ongoing debates about which leg of that military they were issued to, no one seems really sure, but to date only around 15 watches are accounted for.

    The Smiths DeLuxe is a wonderful watch that I have admired for years, but it turns out the dial on the Australian issue is slightly different to the UK issue. No number 12, replaced with a triangle, closed 6 and 9, no circled T and thin arrow. Reminiscent of the Omega thin and fat arrow watches from 1953 for those who know their military watches. So presumably a radium dial.

    Anyway, based with what I now knew I placed a few WTBs on different forums. I was contacted by a member of MWR who also happened to be the owner of Mr Jones watches in Central London. He had bought one and restored it and offered it to me.

    Anyone want to see a picture of my grail birth year watch:



    Got to be a glass half full kind of guy to fall in love with a watch like that…

    By the time the restoration was finished the watch had improved slightly:







    The watch is basically 36mm wide and is fairly chunky, so has a bit of heft to it.

    I won’t bore you with the full Smiths DeLuxe story as there are already plenty of threads on that, but suffice to say I am very happy and exceedingly skint. A couple of Fatboys or Navigators are looking nervously at me as I consider ways to balance the books.

    Finally an image of the UK issue for comparison purposes.



    To my eyes the Australian dial is less cluttered, but I would happily own the UK version.
    Last edited by Wallasey Runner; 14th January 2022 at 18:30.

  2. #2
    Very nice to see a Smiths watch restored, I have owned a few and still have 2 left in my collection. Interesting to know where you got it from too, I know he is a keen WIS and I have bought a few Mr Jones watches over the years they are fun inexpensive stuff sort of like the kind of stuff you would find in the Russian market before it got saturated with fakes. Glad you found your birth year watch it looks a bit chunky though in spite of the size but good you like it.

  3. #3
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Well done Ken
    They are a lovely chunky watch.
    I would gladly own that one
    Enjoy

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    Absolutely fabulous Ken, many congratulations. Mr Jones is one of the 'good guys' for sure. I am still looking for one of these, hope springs eternal.

  5. #5
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys, Crispin has been absolutely superb during this purchase and has given the watch a one year warranty and an offer to help with any servicing or restoration work in the future. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  6. #6
    Great stuff! Congratulations on your birth year watch and I really enjoyed reading the story behind it. My birth year is 1969 so I had some really easy decisions when I chose something a few years ago (Omega Speedmaster). I'd still like an original Zenith from that year at some point too if £££ allow .


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Grand Master
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    That's fantastic - I note that it's the only Smiths logo I've ever seen that doesn't look like a pair of breasts. Or perhaps that's me!

  8. #8
    Master
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    Looks fantastic and great back story. Well done.

  9. #9
    Well done to you, Ken. That's a timepiece to cherish.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  10. #10
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Nice to see the hunt never ends. Good looking watch

  11. #11
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Thanks all, forgot to wind it yesterday and the damn thing stopped - who’d have thought it

  12. #12
    Loved the read and a great restoration job too. I hope it gives youany years of enjoyment!

  13. #13
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Always good to have a change, so put a burgundy Rios 1931 clip on strap on the Smiths. The strap is looking a little tatty now, but that fits in with the watch and makes it sit lower on the wrist.


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