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Thread: 1968 Smiths W10 with the Royal Navy 0552

  1. #1

    Post 1968 Smiths W10 with the Royal Navy 0552

    A 1968 Smiths W10 recently sold on eBay (item number 120760182137, sold for GBP 255). It appears to be a regular Army Smiths W10, but has the Royal Navy Service Reference Number “0552” engraved on the caseback. This is the first time I have seen the RN Ref No. 0552 on a 1967-1970 Smiths General Service wristwatch. Typically there are two varieties of 1967-70 Smiths GS watches:

    Army: W10/6645-99-961-4045 (issued for four years: 1967-70)
    RAF: 6B/9614045 (appears to have only been issued in 1967 and 1968).

    If there was a Royal Navy issued Smiths GS wristwatch, then shouldn’t it have a caseback marking of 0552/96104045 rather than the W10 marking?

    There are two possible explanations:

    1. The “0552” engraving has been included on the watch by someone (not necessarily the eBay seller) seeking to increase interest in the watch thereby improve the selling price of a “unique” Smiths W10; or

    2. The RN actually did purchase a small number of Smiths W10 watches and added the “0552” Service Reference Number.

    The second scenario could have in fact occurred if the RN (Royal Marines?) required only a relatively small number of GS wristwatches (i.e. not sufficient quantities to justify a major purchase contract and thereby have RN specific caseback markings of 0552/961-4045).

    Incidentally, can anyone advise on the total number of 1967-70 Smiths W10 (and 6B) GS watches issued by the MoD (including a breakdown for each year)?



  2. #2
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Default Suspect Engraving?

    Hi there,

    New to military, and only yesterday posted a thread on my Smiths W10! In all my research on the watch, like you, I have not come across a Smiths with the additional navy reference.

    I was actually watching that sale, but did note take note of the final price... nor the additional engraving! Its hard to tell from the pics, but this looks like a later addition... maybe done by an amateur IMO... the spacing is not even, the two '5's look different, the 2 is uneven... and it is engraved only lightly on the surface!

    Would also be interested to hear about production numbers!

    Marc

  3. #3
    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    Default

    If you look carefully you will see that the W10 is double scored out. Can't see it being something done to add value. Looks messy enough to be correct. But I guess there is a chance it's fake.

  4. #4
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by foilguy View Post
    If you look carefully you will see that the W10 is double scored out. Can't see it being something done to add value. Looks messy enough to be correct. But I guess there is a chance it's fake.
    I think the only bit that could be dodge, is the 0552?

    The rest looks legit!

  5. #5
    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    Default you miss my point....

    the double scoring out is a known thing done when British Mil watches get re-assigned and gives credibility to the 0552 mark, i have several watches spanning 30 years that have been re-issued this way, Obviously the rest isn't in question

  6. #6
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Post In my opinion, probably legit...

    Remember this:-



    Well the style of engraving looks very similar doesn't it! Lemania 1965, Smiths 1968...

    And, there is mention of the general service wristwatch 6645-99-961-4045 being issued to the Royal Navy.

    See:- Def Stan TABLE III(A) , ITEM NO 22 , COLUMN (a)



    Best regards,

    Dave.




    Hope it was okay to use your reference picture Konrad...



    Just remembered:-

    The Hamilton general service wristwatch 0552/961-4045 was issued to the Royal Navy in 1971.
    Last edited by dave; 08-18-2011 at 10:53.

  7. #7

    Post

    As a result of Foilguy's eagle eye (detecting the double strike-through of the "W10") and Dave pointing out that the DEF STAN makes reference to a RN GS watch it appears we are collectively forming a view that the "0552" mark is legit and the watch was issued by the Royal Navy.

    Can anyone provide the total number of 1967-70 Smiths W10 (and 6B) GS watches issued by the MoD (including a breakdown for each year)?

  8. #8
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Default

    Good to know!

    I will remember to be less skeptical next time... good to see its 'legit'


  9. #9

    Default 0552 Smiths W10

    This is the second 0552 Smiths (W10) I have seen, the other was marked 4470/68 but I didn't note how the 0552 was applied. The issue numbers are quite close so it could add weight to the theory. I've also recorded 4319/68 as a normal W10 so I don't think there was a sequential run of 0552 marked Smiths, perhaps a random few in 1968.

    Ken, here goes a best estimate on the Smiths W10's.

    1967 6B/ 800
    1967 W10 3,600
    1968 W10 8,500
    1969 W10 7,000
    1970 W10 3,000

    Terry

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Andrews View Post
    This is the second 0552 Smiths (W10) I have seen, the other was marked 4470/68 but I didn't note how the 0552 was applied. The issue numbers are quite close so it could add weight to the theory. I've also recorded 4319/68 as a normal W10 so I don't think there was a sequential run of 0552 marked Smiths, perhaps a random few in 1968.

    Ken, here goes a best estimate on the Smiths W10's.

    1967 6B/ 800
    1967 W10 3,600
    1968 W10 8,500
    1969 W10 7,000
    1970 W10 3,000

    Terry
    thanks Terry. I was hoping you would post a response. Many thanks for the figures. Any guesstimate on the number of 68 6Bs?

  11. #11

    Default Smiths 6B

    Ken,

    I've only seen one '68 6B marked 245/68. I've noted that it has a thicker and larger crown than the '67 model. Have you got one?

    Terry

  12. #12
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Wink W10/6645-99-961-4045 , 4284/68 ...

    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    In my opinion, probably legit...
    Here's a couple more 0552 marked general service watches:-

    1273/67

    4240/68 (Lot 313)


    An early 1967 issue watch and a 1968 issue watch with a serial number quite close to the watch in this thread.

    Unfortunately no case back pictures though...




  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Andrews View Post
    Ken,

    I've only seen one '68 6B marked 245/68. I've noted that it has a thicker and larger crown than the '67 model. Have you got one?

    Terry
    I'm traveling at the moment and don't have access to my records. From memory I have two examples of the 1968 RAF 6B Smiths GS on record.
    I wonder whether the crown on 245/68 is a replacement? Hard to say with such a small sample of watches.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparcster View Post
    Good to know!

    I will remember to be less skeptical next time... good to see its 'legit'

    On the contrary, being sceptical isn't such a bad thing in the mil watch world.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Post And...

    0552

    4480/68


    The W10 is also double scored out, and close to Terry's 4470/68...




  16. #16

    Default Thanks Dave.

    The double strike through of the W10 mark is quite noticeable on this example.

    Image introduced for the MWR Archive disk.


  17. #17

    Post Smiths '0552' -- 1968 only?

    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    Here's a couple more 0552 marked general service watches:-

    1273/67

    4240/68 (Lot 313)


    An early 1967 issue watch and a 1968 issue watch with a serial number quite close to the watch in this thread.

    Unfortunately no case back pictures though...



    I contacted the seller of 1273/67 and was advised it was a mistyping in the description --it did not have the '0552' marking on the back.

    The seller also said he had seen quite a few '0552' Smiths over the years, and considers them to be definitely legit (the seller is a knowledgeable mil watch collector and long time MWRine).

    So far it appears that the RN '0552' marked Smiths watches were only issued in 1968...do we have any other examples out there?

  18. #18

    Default 0552 Smiths W10

    Ken,

    I think only 1968.

    Terry

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Andrews View Post
    Ken,

    I think only 1968.

    Terry
    To sum up: 1968 Smiths General Service wristwatches with the double strikethrough of the 'W10' and with the Royal Navy '0552' mark added to the caseback are considered legit.

    '0552' Smiths only appear to be derived from 1968 manufactured watches within a serial number range of 4000-4500 (so far, examples range from 4240-4480), but perhaps not sequential.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hq_sandman_ute View Post
    To sum up: 1968 Smiths General Service wristwatches with the double strikethrough of the 'W10' and with the Royal Navy '0552' mark added to the caseback are considered legit.

    '0552' Smiths only appear to be derived from 1968 manufactured watches within a serial number range of 4000-4500 (so far, examples range from 4240-4480), but perhaps not sequential.
    Usual double strikethrough of the W10 and engraved with 0552 indicating Royal Navy issue within the issue number range previously described.

    eBay item no. 200711259217



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