OK Smiths fans some news: the Hillary watch Dennison case is number 73359.
Anyone tell me some Benson case numbers? Be interesting to see how close they are to that.
A J Merrens' website has Bensons with 62261, 80126, 87389, 106707, 123665 so the one in the museum fits in that range nicely.
Mine is 56531, I can't read mrjones' watch from the picture.
Working hypothesis: Smiths made the ones like mine and mrjones' in c.1951 but in very limited numbers. They then dedicated that dial layout to the 16j Benson watches c.1952-'55. Some of these were pulled aside to be supplied to Hunt's expedition. They were Winterized and had their dials printed-up as Smiths De Luxe.
I'm awaiting news on the WW2 centre-seconds. I'm 99% certain that it's a Jaeger LeCoultre cal. 450 that went through Smiths due to the existing collaboration between the two companies in aircraft clocks and the "S. S. & Sons" Weems watches. In fact, I'd bet that this watch is sterile except for "S. S. & Sons" on the back, hence it's mis-identification as a Smiths.