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Thread: Astral chronograph - auction images

  1. #1
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Default Astral chronograph - auction images


    EXTREMELY RARE VINTAGE SMITHS ASTRAL NATIONAL COAL BOARD VALJOUX CHRONOGRAPH

    RARE COAL MINERS WRISTWATCH. VALJOUX 7733 CHRONOGRAPH

    Winning bid: 702.00 GBP - 38 bids





























    Extremely rare N.C.B (National coal board) chronograph with the brand name Astral which I believe was used by the Smiths watch company.

    It is very rare to see a miners chronograph of any kind, I cannot remember seeing one in all my years of collection

    The watch features the Valjoux 7733 manually wound movement.

    The case back bears the N.C.B engraving and what I think is the stock number W137

    The case has wear to the plate around the lugs. The dial is very nice with only one imperfection around 1 o'clock.

    The watch with its white sub dials and white painted hands was probably one of the most easy to read configurations at the time for miners hence the choice of watch. Certainly a rare watch even without the N.C.B connection.

    Case size is 35mm not including the crown...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EXTREMELY-...p2047675.l2557
    Last edited by dave; 07-02-2017 at 14:44. Reason: added some details.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Default N.C.B.

    this is a very interesting little piece which has just sold well.

    the seller is a well known member on here; I wonder whether the new owner is as well..

  3. #3

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    Guilty M'Lud - I hope I'll get a massive retrospective Members' Discount - nudge nudge!!

    The problem with these 'off the shelf' early 1970s Smiths 'Astral' branded Swiss watches (and their earlier Landerons) is the poor chrome plating (lngersoll had an indentical model) whereas my almost identical Breitling of the same age (46/4/0d in 1972 vs 20+ for the Smith job on 17/wk wages!) had a stainless steel case... alas I sold it years ago!

    It is rare to find one of these in a 'good' case and near mint dial. Whether these chronographs were used by NCB Production Engineers at the coal face in vengeance is another matter - the tachymeter and stop-watch are 'useful' but as a qualified 'stop-watch bashing' Work Study engineer, these small sized chronos are next to useless for any serious work (the NCB had many Stop- and fly-back watches). I guess these were thus 'Managers' toys' - after all, in nationalised industries, when one reached a certain pay grade, one got a small carpet in one's office!

    All I need now a mint Smiths Landeron...

    Dear Father Christmas,


    Barry

  4. #4
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    the seller is a well known member on here; I wonder whether the new owner is as well..
    Quote Originally Posted by Brenellic2000 View Post
    Guilty M'Lud...
    well done Barry - glad that it has now gone to a good home and not back down pit lad.

    have you worked out the relevance of the W 137 marking yet?

    if not then I can probably enlighten you..

  5. #5

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    No and yes please in that order! Was W137 a particular mine?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Default W137

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenellic2000 View Post
    Was W137 a particular mine?



    yes, I would suggest that in this case it probably refers to Wollaton Colliery, Nottingham -




    NCB Divisions and area numbers ^^

  7. #7

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    Thanks - a 'mine' of information!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Default

    no problem - I just had a little dig around..

  9. #9

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    Dig around a tad more and find one with more plate exposed on the surface seamingly ore nought.

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