RAF (Royal Air Force) SMITHS EMPIRE 8 day wall clock with 12 inch dial, dated 1943

This is a very rare find - an apparently completely genuine and original wartime RAF wall clock. It was produced by Smiths for the RAF in 1943 at the height of WW2. The dial bears the RAF crest, the case is marked for George VI and is stamped SMITHS 1943, so it certainly saw wartime service. There is also a pencil inscription 82H492 to the back box - possibly a stores or requisition number. The clock is notable for its plywood case - a clear indication of wartime shortages and restrictions.

The clock is driven by a front-winding and front-regulating Smiths Empire 151 going barrel movement with jewelled platform escapement. The movement is hand-engraved with the date of manufacture (7/42 for July 1942). The use of an Empire movement rather than the more robust Astral movement is unusual, but there is no indication that it is anything other than original to the clock (again, this could be an indication of wartime shortages).

The clock is currently in the condition in which we received it. Outwardly it is quite grubby and the dial is heavily marked, with obvious attempts at earlier retouching. Fortunately, the RAF crest is fully intact. The movement does however appear to have been cleaned and serviced in recent years and is currently running very well. The key is old but not original.

We would neither undertake nor recommend any restoration, but careful cleaning can be carried out if requested.

Dial diameter 12 inches (305mm); overall diameter 375mm; depth 100mm. Weight 3.2kg

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