At this point, I think that we’re all aware of the various designs that Mr. Jones Watches has been creating, given that we have covered quite a number of them here. Those are new creations, though, and focus in on the expanding capabilities the British company has. Today, we’re going to focus on a different part of their catalog – their vintage watch offerings.
Now, the vintage watches they have on hand are quite a bit more limited than their regular offerings, just by the nature of them needing to find the watches for refurbishment. While you can see the full listing here, I want to focus in on one of the Smiths watches they have, given that they are (or were) a British brand as well. This particular example is a Smiths W10 which was supplied to the British Army in 1970. As you might expect, this is a watch that conforms to the military specs of the era.
As such, it has familiar cues to us today – the dark dial, white markings and hands, and a minute track. The handset was treated with luminous paint (guess it to be tritium given the T on the dial), but that has all but been exhausted – not surprising given the age of the watch, and I (and collectors, I’m sure) am glad that they did not try to re-lume the watch. The 35mm case is apparently in its original state too – complete with scratches from whatever the soldier put it through, and some deeper scratches on the caseback from the wrong tools being used. While it has not been polished, it has been ultrasonically cleaned.
To spruce the Smiths W10 up a bit, Mr Jones has replaced the crystal on the watch. While purists might wish the original was there, I think this is a fairly low-impact way to make the watch much more usable day-to-day. They have also gone over the movement, in this case a Smiths 27.CS. From what they’ve written, this movement features hacking, as well as a Breguet-overcoil balance spring. This, combined with the service they have given the movement, makes for a relatively accurate watch. Bear in mind something that is 45 years old will not have the accuracy of a modern piece.
Coming in at a price of $1,065, the Smiths W10 is on the lower end of the vintage pieces that Mr Jones has on offer. It is representative of the effort that appear to be putting into restoring these watches for re-use. As I have not handled any of these pieces in person (nor am I particularly well-researched into the vintage Smiths watches), I won’t say that this is a blanket endorsement of what they are offering. As with any vintage watch purchase, you need to do your research, and do your homework so you can trust the seller. Having a more established shop behind the sale is a benefit, and if nothing else, this gives another data point for what is out there, and what it’s going for. Past that, I am just happy to see old movements (and watches) being given new leases on life. mrjoneswatches.com