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Thread: Smiths Everest 18 jewels

  1. #1

    Default Smiths Everest 18 jewels

    Hi All, As I live very near to Cheltenham (indeed my father lived in Cheltenham for much of his life) and collect watches I thought it time to have a non military Smiths in my collection. So, have plumped for an 9kt Everest model with 18 jewels, in what I think is lovely condition (albeit with an inscription to the case back although I quite like this added history). Anyway, I understood the 18 jewel movement to be of high quality and I did see another Everest dialled 18 jewels one on the internet when I googled for it so went for it. I can't, however, find another which has given me the jitters a little, only a little mind you as I really like the look of the watch and it wasn't expensive. I have looked at the history outlined on Smithswatches.com and don't see an Everest noted as having 18 jewels.

    Have I both a put together watch do you knowledgeable chaps think or is it original Smiths? I will be picking the watch up today so will post pics soon if needed.

    Thanks for your advice.

    Mark S

  2. #2

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    The 18J was used by Smiths for their highest grade watches and by Garrard - ah ha!, but which came first! The Smiths models are rare but not uncommon; they are a lovely watch.

    Until 1964, 'Everest' appeared only as a catalogue description for their best waterproof models (alluding to their success in the Everest ascent but using the Antarctic model) but by 1968 'Everest' was universally applied to their higher grade watches - including ladies. 'Imperial' was also dropped for 'Everest' or 'Astral'.

    'Everest' on a watch simply applies 'best grade' while the 18J Everest was their most expensive. Enjoy!
    Last edited by Brenellic2000; 12-07-2017 at 06:40.

  3. #3

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    Thank you Brenellic, very interesting, the twists and turns of marketing policies! Curiously, the inscription for 50 years service is dated 1941 - 1991 but the case looks distinctly late 1950's early 1960's to me. Anyway, very much looking forward to getting it this afternoon.

  4. #4
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    I can't ever recall seeing a 18j Everest (seen lots of 15, 19 and 25 jewel ones though) but it would make sense for it to be in a 9ct gold case.

    Are you sure it's not a 19j one? Is it centre or sub seconds? If the former then it'll be 17, 19 or 25 jewels; if the latter then it will be 15, 16 or 18 jewels.

    The 18j movement is quite rare: it's the basic 1215 sub-seconds ebauche (12 linge + 15 jewels) upgraded and uprated with three extra jewels and (sometimes) a Bregeuet overcoil hairspring, so it could be called the cal. "1218" except it never is. Some people think it is Smiths' best movement, it's certainly pretty looking.

    Whatever: if it's an Everest in a 9ct gold case it'll be a good 'un!

    Also the case should be fully marked inside the back (sometimes hallmarked on the lugs too).

    We need pictures!
    "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)

  5. #5

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    Pictures supplied by the seller as didn't get time to go get it today, will get it tomorrow. Last pic shows a hallmark between lug and crown.



  6. #6

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    I think what Brenellic say above makes perfect sense but it does seem strange that not many have been seen. I attach a link to the other one i saw when searching the net, it's in incredible condition and apparently dates to 1960.
    http://www.sellingantiques.co.uk/230...-original-box/

  7. #7
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by size11s View Post
    I think what Brenellic say above makes perfect sense but it does seem strange that not many have been seen. I attach a link to the other one i saw when searching the net, it's in incredible condition and apparently dates to 1960.
    http://www.sellingantiques.co.uk/230...-original-box/
    Excellent stuff! Yours seems to be the same as the one in the link except with different hands. 1960 would be too early for the "Everest" script on the dial (iirc they start in 1963) but it's quite possible that the case (or at least the hallmarking) is earlier.

    Note how the "15" has been overstamped to "18" - they used the base 1215 and up-jewelled it.
    "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)

  8. #8

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    I think I prefer the hands on mine as the lume somehow doesn't look right on the watch in the link, it is partly what made me worry about it being a put together as that was the only other one I could find. Apologies for the poor dial pic it's off an email, the font of 'Everest' is the same on mine as the one in the link and I am happy with the case being mid 60's stylistically, the inscription on the back being 1991 is a bit of a curve ball though!

    I am likely to want to get the watch serviced fairly soon and now Mr Senior isn't taking in outside work does anyone have any recommendations? Much appreciated.

    Mark S

  9. #9
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a put-together as the movement, dial and case are all top quality and of more or less the same age, plus the existence of another one points to it having been made this way.

    Frankly, even if it is a franken it's all Smiths and has been made from the best case / dial / movement. But as I said I don't think it is.

    "1991" is odd but not if it was presented as a vintage watch. Inscriptions can be added at any point, the killer is when they pre-date the watch!

    Wear it and enjoy it: a English-made gold watch with a superb movement will look great with a suit and should be capable of fine timekeeping.
    "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)

  10. #10

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    "Wear it and enjoy it: a English-made gold watch with a superb movement will look great with a suit and should be capable of fine timekeeping."

    Bloody hell do I have to buy a suit now!! One should have come with the watch....;-) I will wear it with great pleasure, maybe with just a nice shirt.

  11. #11

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    I hope you'll wear more than just a shirt! You'll need a 3-piece wool-worsted suit!.. and Goodyear welted leather shoes, bowler hat and 'brolly.

    The main reason why they are rare is that they were aimed at the top end of the market! A bog-standard Astral/Everest 1215/27CS was in the region of 15; an Imperial/Everest 19J at around 20, an automatic 40 and an 18J 18ct gold around 60... even though its a 'tarted up' 12.151

    Barry

    Several 18J Smiths are found in Barrie Smiths 'Smiths catalogue' compendium.

  12. #12

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    You know what, I think I might be smitten! (or Smithen!!) I haven't bought (or worn) what you might call a straight up 'dress watch' for around 20 years but this thing just makes me smile when I look at it on my wrist (the great condition does have something to do with this). It is just so understated, simple, yet clear and elegant, and perfectly proportioned, its just touching 35mm without crown, 16mm between the lugs, has an Apollo of Gt Britain strap on it that could well be original I bloody love it! Was hoping it might be a birth year watch too but it is hallmarked for 1960, Edinburgh, so a couple of years out......Now I definitely have to buy a bowler hat and some more cufflinks!!



    Barry, is your historical research on Smiths as a company wide ranging across all the business interests or generally focussed on watches and timekeeping?

    Regards

    Mark S

  13. #13

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    Hi Mark,

    The sign of quality is indeed 'understatement' - not bling! - and therein lies the beauty and appeal or Smiths' Cheltenham-made watches... until 1971. Thereafter Smiths marketed imported watches - many quite naff - but did offer some high grade ETA based models. Post 1971 is a nightmareish mess!

    My Smiths research covers the entire group and their products in some detail - clocks and watches, medical, motor accessories, avionics, echo-sounders.... My 'S Smiths & Sons - the Golden Years' is an intentionally brief history, but covers watches well (the remaining handful of reduced price copies of the book are available on e-Bay, moderator permitting).

    Mine is a more 'nuts and bolts' history, products, factories..., whereas James Nye's is more business orientated up to 2012 as it was sponsored by Smiths! You need both books!!! I'm not taking sides!

    Barry

  14. #14

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    Hi Barry, I have been trawling around trying to find Barrie Smith's 'Smiths Watches' that you mention above, (the compendium of catalogues) nothing on Abe books or anywhere. I tried emailing the publisher but the email appears to bounce back for some reason unknown as the company still seems to be trading?! Would you have any pointers as to get my hands on a copy please as it sounds an interesting mine of information.
    Regards
    Mark S

  15. #15
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    I think it's out of print, Pierhead press is no more and I even heard that Barrie Smith had died.

    I baulked at paying 20 for my copy but it's been worth every penny.

    Maybe someone needs to scan it in and offer it as a jpeg / pdf?
    "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)

  16. #16

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    That sounds like a great idea Revo but it would be quite an undertaking at 278 pages!! None of the related websites seem to be operational including the Clock Museum one so I suspect your fears for Barrie might be correct. From what I could gather on the internet Barrie sounded like a great enthusiast with a genuine dedication to his passion for clocks so it is great that he has left behind a legacy of his interest in book form. I do spend a fair amount of time in second hand bookshops so it is another one to add to my mental list of what to look out for.

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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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  18. #18

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    Thanks Dave, I had seen that web page, the publishers email bounces back and the link through to the museum is shut down, sadly.

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    you could always try placing a WTB advert here on the off chance -

    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/forum...nd-Accessories

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    FWIW One sold last month on the bay. GBP 20 seems quite the bargain.

    Rare book Smitths watches, compiled Barrie Smith. Closed: 94.97 USD - Bid Count: 14









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