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Thread: British Aluminium Company and Smiths

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    Member Flyingdoormat's Avatar
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    Default British Aluminium Company and Smiths

    Picked up a couple of Smiths watches in a job lot of non-working watches on ebay recently. Primarily for a Seiko 62mas and Reconvilier ATP that were included. One Smiths is a De-Luxe which is a presentation watch and has the words 'The British Aluminium Company Limited 1958'. First time I have seen this type of back on a Smiths. The watch also looks as though it was gold plated at some time but mostly all worn off. Managed to find an association between BA and Smiths but wondering if anyone has any more information. Photos are snapshots from ebay hence the arrow over the 10 on the dial shot.

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    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    Looks nice. It's a the second iteration of the Dennison Aquatite case, they were sterile on the back and someone has made a nice job of the the engraving.

    Smiths used aluminium of course -- rubies are made with Al2O3. Smiths also had facilities for die-casting aluminium at Cricklewood and Witney. (Source: "A Long Time In The Making" by James Nye.)
    "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)

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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    I'm guessing that you were referring to the general association with the TI Group..

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    This looks like a bog-standard 'presentation' watch. Hundreds of companies bought Smiths watches for retirement or good service presentations, mostly solid gold backs as s/s is very difficult to engrave.

    The aluminium connection is totally irrelevent! When you consider that Smiths was major British manufacturer in aviation, defence, navigation, marine, motor industry, clocks and watches, control equipment, medical, hoses, heating and ventilation... it would not be an exagerration to say that most of British industry and much of the world's industries used Smiths' products. They licenced products to Russia, China, Poland... they were BIG!

    Smiths had an Australian subsidiary in Sydney and Melbourne, mostly aircraft instruments related -of which little is known - and owned Heacon Products Inc covering Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore which included 'James David' furniture.

    Just noted Dave's comment re Tube Investments (TI). They and Smiths merged in 2000 to form today's Smiths Group but this watch predates that merger by 30 years!

    Smiths had their fingers in everything - watches was a tiny cog in a very big machine!

    Barry

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    Member Flyingdoormat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information and yes Dave I was referring to the TI group but on further searches have found was much later

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