Smiths originally started as a jewellers on the Strand in London. Smiths later became one of the largest UK manufacturers of clocks, watches, instruments and motor accessories. One of their earliest developments was their car clocks. These were the stimulus to develop their first 8 day clocks for the domestic market.

In 1914 the company ventured out and formed 'S Smith and Son Motor Accessories Ltd with Mr Allan Gordon Smith as the MD. They traded from 179/85 Great Portland St. London. W1 and one of their lines was a 'clock' for the car…


This clock was a pocket watch with the pendant at the 6 o'clock position and it mounted in a holder on the dashboard. An example of this can be see in Alan Shenton's Pocket Watch book. In due course, the company produced the dashboard gauges, clocks and instruments for virtually every English car manufacturer, under the names of both Smith and Jaeger.


Smiths English Clocks, the successor to S Smiths & Son were certainly in Business in 1942 and they also made watches. There are some watches in the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers collection by this company and the earliest is dated 1942 and the latest is 1953. The wristwatch dated 1953 had a Dennison Watch Case Co. case and was also worn by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953.


Smiths dominated the UK domestic market in the 1930’s with bracket clocks, shelf clocks, Longcase clocks, boudoir clocks alarms clocks etc. Their 8 day Calotte clock ( folding travel alarm or bedroom (no folding case) clock) appeared at the British Industries Fair in 1934 and was the first of it’s kind produced in the UK
By 1951, The company had changed it’s name to Smiths Industries Ltd. and was still making clocks and watches as well as motor parts and aviation equipment. the name was often shortened to just 'Smiths' on their clocks and watches. A lot of the watches were made under the Anglo-Celtic Watch Co. and were made in Ystradganlais, South Wales.


This company was a joint venture between Smiths and Ingersoll, and was set up with Government sponsorship at the conclusion of the war – wartime experience had shown the vital need for an English precision watch industry. Smiths made many 'novelty' watches such as the Jamboree, Ranger (cowboys) and the Time Tutor watch and commemorative watches for events such as the Festival of Britain in 1951. These watches were designed to appeal to a smaller audience rather than the mass market. Another trademark that they used on watches was 'Services''. This was used on cheaper watches. Of the many types of timers/stopwatches, Smiths made ones specially design for football (called the Referee) and sailing (the 'Yachting Timer'). The watch and clock division was closed down in 1981. Smiths industries is still a major Company, but it now concentrates mainly on the Aerospace side of things, together with some domestic time switches and security controls.


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