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Thread: Flyaway Smiths at Cotswold auction room today

  1. #21
    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    What's good is the greater knowledge and appreciation finally being used in the buying of off the radar watches. The examination into what quantifies an important historic watch still has a long way to go, but it appears people are learning.

  2. #22

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    That's quite the treasure trove. Thanks for sharing this info and better pictures.

  3. #23

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    Does anyone know what lot 403 went for with the Quasars...and were they complete?! Alas my piggy-bank has been under-fed!

    Revo raises some interesting points but the in-house Quasar did not 'almost bankrupt Smiths'. Smiths Cheltenham-made watches had never been profitable and were long making a loss. Smiths even offered their own HP scheme to 'move' stocks at a loss.

    Since Ingersoll pulled out of Anglo-Celtic, Smiths was determined to abandon mechanical clocks and watches altogether and thereafter only import. This they did... with some truly horrible 1970s cheap and nasties....

    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.

    The JLC/Smiths wristwatch was most likely to meet government demand to assemble stockpiled JLC movements most likely through ABEC, a joint Smiths-JLC company - its complicated! But Smiths was in no position to supply production models of their own stop-, pocket- and wrist-watches movements until 1943, 1945, 1946/7 respectively - that fact is documented. Yes they had pre-production Mk.X watches (centre- and sub-second) in summer 1944, but production was still 'imminent' in spring 1945!

    Why would Smiths (or anyone else?) need to 'sign' a pre-production prototype no yet in commercial production? Not all 1948-1950 Smiths commerical watch movements are signed! Don't forget during WW.II all of Smiths' designs/production was tightly controlled to 'utility' spec by the MAP and MoS who did not tolerate unnecessary frivolity!

    It is certainly true that 'Smithfire' (Smith's Spitfire Fund Spitfire) did not carry Smith's name to protect London and Cheltenham from bombing but it was neutral Switzerland, not Germany, who was most worried about Britain's high-grade watch threat!!

    Barry

  4. #24
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenellic2000 View Post
    Does anyone know what lot 403 went for with the Quasars...and were they complete?! Alas my piggy-bank has been under-fed!...




    https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/a...a-a771009926d5

    Hammer price: 1,250 GBP.

  5. #25

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    Thanks Dave,

    I guestimated 1,000... a tad over budget!!

  6. #26
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenellic2000 View Post
    Thanks Dave,

    I guestimated 1,000... a tad over budget!!
    Just out of interest, what would you pay for one?

    I mean, hypothetically. If one of these were to be offered for sale?
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

  7. #27

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    Cor, talk about a setting a very dangerous precedence leading to hyper-inflated asking prices and (undeclared) Capital Gains Tax liability... plus VAT...

    If it had the original movement and was in full working order complete with s/s bracelet then, due to its rarity, it is quite possible it could reach 1,000+ each... but would I pay 1,000 knowing there are no spares to these unique pre-producition movements? Nope! Not even with my wide Smiths interests and small pension!! (They were supposedly priced at 70 in 1973 - a decent weekly wage)!

    If they were a basic non-working display model, then clearly a lot less. These and the other prototypes deserve to be in a museum... like me. If the movement is anything like their battery clock movement, they'll go on forever.. unlike me!

    There is another version of this watch in a gilt cushion-case, TV screen crystal, same hands and dial design, but I have only seen a photo.

    Barry

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenellic2000 View Post
    Cor, talk about a setting a very dangerous precedence leading to hyper-inflated asking prices and (undeclared) Capital Gains Tax liability... plus VAT...
    There is no capital gains tax on watches, unless selling as a business. HMRC catabolises them as machinery with a limited lifespan.

  9. #29

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    Yes, thanks. I did know that, but I was just (trying to be) light hearted in view of the election and politicians' obsession with taxing 'the rich'.... There still remains a personal CGT threshold that most ignore!

  10. #30

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    What an interesting thread and it goes to show the amazing knowledge base we have on this forum.

    I hope some MWR members were able to acquire some of this horological treasure trove.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenellic2000 View Post
    Yes, thanks. I did know that, but I was just (trying to be) light hearted in view of the election and politicians' obsession with taxing 'the rich'.... There still remains a personal CGT threshold that most ignore!
    +1 :-)

  12. #32
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    There were Quasar parts and pieces scattered through the sale in various lots.

    The box marked "Navigator" contained big clock mainsprings -- one of the biggest disappointments of the week so far, but it's only Wednesday so there's still time to top that.
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

  13. #33
    Member dave.charlton's Avatar
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    I would enjoy this thread even more if the new owners put their hands up!!

  14. #34
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
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    I would enjoy it more if I could get details on that Smiths COSD!

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seiji View Post
    I would enjoy it more if I could get details on that Smiths COSD!
    this is what i was hoping to see..............

    an even better watch for edmund to have worn.........he could have then carried on for a solo

    stroll across antarctica..............

    Mark L

  16. #36

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    A very interesting read especially with the additional information and pictures..

    Not much goes under the radar these days and I too was hoping with fingers crossed that I might be in with a slim chance of a bargain lot. There was enough on show to make eyes light up!! Surprise surprise it wasn't to be...
    I'm left consoling myself with my last Smiths purchase..



    Not bad for 20!!! and just shows there are deals still to be had...

    Kind regards,

    Nick.

  17. #37
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    See that printed signature on the guarantee slip? Lot 385 in the auction had an actual tag signed by him. He was Edward ("Eddie") Holt the quality control manager and his brother was in charge of the main production building CH2.
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

  18. #38

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    forget all these bits and bob's that's a nightmare to put together... this is what you should be buying, a good solid working all round item

    https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/a...a-a7780107d19e

  19. #39
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.charlton View Post
    I would enjoy this thread even more if the new owners put their hands up!!
    You a trout fisherman Dave? We had a great mayfly hatch here but it's over now and the rain has coloured the water, still can't beat casting a fly on a river though. Chucking a dry fly upstream of a rising trout and watching it drift back towards you over its head -- will it, won't it? -- is the best thing in the world. Anyway you asked a question, I forget what it was now.
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

  20. #40
    Member isologue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revo View Post
    There were Quasar parts and pieces scattered through the sale in various lots.

    The box marked "Navigator" contained big clock mainsprings -- one of the biggest disappointments of the week so far, but it's only Wednesday so there's still time to top that.
    I forgot about those big springs and cogs in the navigator box.....
    Random Quasar materials from the other side of the room:

    Random Dennison G.S. cases:

    Random aircraft clocks:

    Random random stuff - think the dial is military?

    Regards,
    Martin (isologue)

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